Assistant Director of KLI (Accredited Programmes)
Senior Lecturer in Higher Education
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7848 3172
Room 5.18, Waterloo Bridge Wing,
London, SE1 9NN
Dr Saranne Weller joined King's Learning Institute in April 2005 and is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education. She was the Programme Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) from 2007 and from 2010 she has assumed overall responsibility for the Institute’s accredited programme provision as Assistant Director (Accredited Programmes).Saranne is also current Chair of the Masters in Academic Practice Programme Examination Board. Saranne has taught in higher education since 1996 and holds a first degree in English and American Literature and a Masters degree in American Studies. She was awarded her doctorate by the University of Warwick in 2001. Before taking up her post at King’s College London, she was Academic Development Adviser at the University of Surrey responsible for the accredited programmes for graduate teachers and new lecturers.
Saranne teaches on the Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (GCAP), Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education (PGCAPHE) and Masters in Clinical Education (MACE) programmes. She is an internal examiner for the Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Practice in Higher Education (PGDipHE) and is a PhD supervisor.
Saranne is the Co-Convenor of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) Newer Researchers Network and was Co-Chair of the SRHE Newer Researchers Conference 2010 held at the Celtic Manor, Newport, South Wales.
Articulating my teaching philosophy is for me to disclose something that I believe is wholly personal. By that I mean that expressing my values and beliefs about teaching is by necessity to be biographical. In that vein I started teaching in higher education when I was 22 in the first week of my PhD study. As a graduate teaching assistant I was required to lead seminars and one-to-one tutorials for at least 6 hours a week and subsequently also contribute lectures for undergraduates in exchange for my PhD fees and a stipend.
This immediate integration of my roles as a teacher and a researcher has made separating those identities impossible for me and I continue to see all my teaching, research and even administrative practices as scholarly. Teaching has never been based on my sense of myself as possessing and gifting knowledge – as a very young teacher in higher education the impossibility of this was always very real to me – but about learning through collaborative argument and debate. I believe that by participating freely and wholly in discussion, by agreeing and disagreeing, by listening and responding, we find out more about ourselves and our relationships to others.
My belief in the emancipatory potential of learning has, of course, been informed by the work of many people but my reading of both Barnett’s notion of “critical being” and Parker’s inspirational expression of the self in teaching have perhaps excited me the most. Brookfield and Preskill’s work on the democratic values of discussion has also helped me find tangible ways for expressing this philosophy in my day-to-day teaching and research practices.
Barnett, R (1997) Higher Education: A Critical Business. Buckingham: Society for Research in Higher Education/Open University Press.
Brookfield, S. & Preskill, S. (2001) Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for University Teachers.Buckingham: Society for Research in Higher Education/Open University Press.
Palmer, P. (1998) The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Research - King's Research Profile
Following on from doctoral study in literary studies, my research in higher education continues to be informed by both the epistemological and methodological values of the humanities. At the same time, my intellectual and professional move into academic development has drawn my research focus towards a critical inquiry into the theories and particularly the practices of academic development.
My interest in the pedagogies of the humanities has led to research, funded by a King’s Learning Institute Seedcorn award, in the pedagogies of critical reading. Whilst grounded in the theoretical frame of academic literacies, this research has highlighted the way in which reading practices currently remain secondary to research into writing practices and this therefore constitutes a key strand of my current and future research.
The second strand of my research focuses on the role of teaching observation for the purposes of development. I am currently engaged in a project examining the discursive practices of teaching observation in the context of a postgraduate qualification for new lecturers. This research is funded by the award of one of two Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) Newer Researchers Prizes in June 2008.
These two strands are now converging in an emerging area of research on the role of professional reading for development that will look at the ways in which the reading of pedagogic and disciplinary research contributes to the enhancement of academic practices as part of the ongoing professional development of academic staff.
Publications - Full publications (pdf, 20KB)
Kandiko, C.B., Hay, D.B. & Weller, S. (2012) Concept mapping in the humanities to facilitate reflection: Externalising the relationship between public and personal learning, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. 1474022211399381, first published on June 20, 2011 as DOI: 10.1177/1474022211399381.
Weller, S. (2011) New lecturers’ accounts of reading higher education research, Studies in Continuing Education, 33(1), 93-106.
Weller, S. (2010) Comparing lecturer and student accounts of reading in the humanities, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 9 (1), 85-104.
Presentations - Full presentations (pdf,24KB)
Lygo-Baker, S., Weller, S. & Jones, A. (2011) Using teaching circles as a method of educational development for new faculty, Preparing Academic Practice Conference, 4-6 April, University of Oxford.
Weller, S. (2010) Problematising the “received wisdom” of teaching observation: Developing academic practice or embedding the practice of academic development?, SRHE Annual Conference, 14-16 December, Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales.
Weller, S. (2009) Using professional reading to develop teaching practice: Understanding the experience of academic reading for new lecturers, Beyond Teaching and Research: Inclusive Understandings of Academic Practice, 3rd International Conference on Preparing Academic Practice, 13-15 December, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford.