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University lecturers win national award for innovative module

Dr Duncan Reavey and Dr Linda Cooper

LECTURERS from the University of Chichester have won a national award for their innovative teaching module which encourages students to make a significant difference in the community.

Dr Duncan Reavey and Ms Linda Cooper, pictured, urged their classes of teacher trainees to lead projects which benefit nearby schools and charities and help children to learn.

The prize was awarded by the national Teacher Education Advancement Network, known as TEAN, which supports and promotes innovation and development in learning.

Principal Lecturer Dr Reavey, from the University’s Institute of Education, said: “We challenge our final-year Primary Education undergraduates to make real change happen in their workplace.

“One day a week, across four months, self-selected groups of three to five students work to provide genuine products for community groups and schools.”

More than 120 teacher-trainee students in around 35 individual groups undertake the module during each academic year.

Recent projects ranged from building a World War Two air raid shelter at Fishbourne Primary School, near Chichester, to creating an adventure trail at the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex.

Students of the Institute of Education

Ms Cooper, a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, added: “The students manage the work themselves, from finding an idea to sourcing materials to build the developments, and forging close relationships with schools and community groups.

“It means they graduate from Chichester with the experience to lead projects and the confidence to tackle problems and try out new ideas.”

The TEAN award, a commendation for effective practice in teacher education, was presented to Dr Reavey and Ms Cooper last month.

As part of the module, which will resume from September, the BA (Hons) Primary Education students are assessed by the University lecturers on the outcome of their projects.

They are rewarded for clear thinking and creativity as well as for the lasting impact of their work on children, teachers and the wider community.

Director of TEAN Dr Alison Jackson said: “We had an interesting range of entries for the award which showed innovative and effective practice in teacher education.

“It is my pleasure to announce the University of Chichester as winners of the 2017 TEAN commendation.”

To find out more about the BA (Hons) in Primary Education visit www.chi.ac.uk/institute-education/our-courses.

Alternatively for more on the Institute of Education at the University of Chichester go to www.chi.ac.uk/education.