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Mrs Claire Saunders

Claire Saunders Education Staff Tutor

Profile summary

  • Regional Academic Staff
  • Staff Tutor, Education
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
  • Regions & Nations (ECYS)
  • c.e.saunders

Professional biography

Having begun my career as a primary school teacher, I have spent the last ten years or so in higher education. Most recently I was a Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at Solent University, Southampton, where I was also course leader on the PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

I began my full-time role with The Open University as Staff Tutor (Education) in April 2019. From September 2019 I will be undertaking various cluster management responsibilities, working with Associate Lecturers on a range of Primary and Early Chidlhood modules. I’m also currently an EdD student with the OU and will be continuing to tutor on E102, so I bring with me plenty of experience as both an OU student and AL!

Research interests

My current research is for my EdD thesis, due for submission in October 2019. Entitled, 'Protected space: Building a community of writers in a university', it is an ethnographic case study of a writing group.The study is the result of a lifelong personal and professional interest in writing as a powerful tool for communicating ideas that can capture the imagination and transform both reader and writer. Specifically, it focuses on the role of writing in the professional lives of academics in a modern UK university. The study explores how the potential for writing might be unlocked in a new university, where the main priority for academics is teaching, but where there is simultaneously growing pressure to produce research ‘outputs’ to satisfy an increasingly metrics-driven sector.

Teaching interests

My role as Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at Solent included course leadership of the PG Cert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, reflecting my interest in teacher education and higher education pedagogies. However, as an AL with the OU I also maintain my early career interests in children and childhood, teaching on E102 - An Introduction to Child Psychology and Childhood Studies.

Impact and engagement

2018 Saunders, C., Groll, A., Bates, S. and Smith, R. ‘The teacher educator experience: Guardians of the pedagogy’ in Identity and Resistance in Further Education. Bennett, P. and Smith, R. (eds). London: Routledge.

2018 Jessop, T., Saunders C. and Pontin, C. ‘The challenges of academic development as a first job: Am I doing it right?’ International Journal for Academic Development.

2018 Jessop, T. and Saunders, C. ‘Curriculum as counter-narrative: co-constructing a framework for personal knowing’, Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Autumn Conference, Birmingham.

2018 Jessop, T. and Saunders, C. ‘Old and new hands at academic development: Bringing the student heartbeat closer to the action’, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, Bergen, Norway.

2018 Saunders, C. and Jessop, T. ‘The writer’s banquet: Creating space for teaching-focused academics to write’, International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, Bergen, Norway

2018 Jessop, T. and Saunders, C. ‘The unexamined curriculum is not worth knowing (apologies to Socrates), International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, Bergen, Norway.

2019 Saunders C. and Powis, B. 'Breaking the code: An academic literacies approach to building students' reading and writing capability', Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Spring Conference, Belfast.



OU student wins Care Apprentice Award

Heather always wanted to be a mental health nurse, having worked as a carer for a number of years. When she was given the chance by her employer to study for an Open University course in Health Care Practise, she grabbed the opportunity. Earlier this year, Heather was awarded the Care Apprentice Award at the National Care Awards, as Carers Week begins, she talks about her journey with The OU.

10th June 2019
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