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Cass researcher collaborates with Royal Literary Fund

Dr Gerry Czerniawski, a senior lecturer from the Cass School of Education and Communities, has received funding from the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) to explore values and identity among RLF Consultant Fellows.

Trevor Day, Head of the Consultant Fellows’ programme, explains: “Since 1999, the RLF has sponsored about 300 professional writers in some 120 higher education institutions in the role of writing tutors, offering one-to-one guidance to students. The success of this scheme has led to the creation of an RLF Consultant Fellows’ programme in 2013-2014, in which successful RLF Fellows, with appropriate backgrounds and sensibilities, were trained to offer writing development consultancy to universities.

During the training, at least some Consultant Fellows (CFs) were observed and reported undergoing shifts in professional values and identities, from that of professional writers and presenters – as ‘outsiders’ in the HE domain – to becoming more student-focused facilitators of learning, with a more ‘insider’ orientation. However, the nature and extent of any changes were not explored systematically.

This research seeks to explore possible shifts in values and identity as a new cohort of CFs undergo their training, and consider the factors that might be most influential in such changes. This should inform the successful training of CFs as a valuable part of the provision for developing current generations of students as effective communicators.”

The ‘Study of the Emerging Professional Identities of Consultant Fellows at the Royal Literary Fund’ is a collaborative research project between UEL and the Royal Literary Fund and runs until the end of July 2015.

Gerry’s research interests include Teaching and Learning, Student Voice, the identities of teacher educators, Continuing Professional Development and teachers working in prisons.He is the editor of the bi-annual periodical, Research in Teacher Education, from the Cass School of Education and Communities.

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