Meet the Institute of Education Lecturers

Meet the Institute of Education Lecturers

Tricia Carroll 

Senior Lecturer (Early Years)

Don't fret over a poor grade, concentrate on exploring researching, and discovering. Trust that your tutors want you to succeed, work with them.

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

I chose early years as my specialism on entering Higher Education to gain Qualified Teacher Status.

As a newly qualified teacher, I found myself working in a fantastic school and local authority that allowed me to pursue my interest in many aspects of teaching (English as an Additional Language, anti-bias teaching, Early Years, and English). I developed my interest in these areas through attending the great Continuing Professional Development that was available to me and applied this in the context of my work in an Infant school (birth to seven years).

The teaching community I worked in was so positive and it nurtured me into becoming a reflective practitioner. Having a specialism has allowed me to think deeply about current and enduring issues in early years teaching and learning and I have been able to share insights and good practice in my various roles since then (Head teacher of an Infant school, Advisory teacher, Head of a Children's Centre, National Moderator on Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, Early Years consultant. 

My local authority also supported me to undertake an Master’s Degree in Early Years , which further developed my research skills and led me to working in Higher education at a University in London and, when I moved North to work here as a Senior Lecturer in Early Years.

Describe your best experience in your career.

I have had many roles in my career and each has left their mark on me. I think though, being the Head of an Infant school in an area of disadvantage in London was the most enriching and rewarding.  Leading a professional and dedicated team, creating a vision for our school, and continuing our own learning about how young children learn was a great privilege. I still miss it at times.

Describe some challenging moments you have experienced.

When funding cuts caused local authorities to reduce the number of advisory staff, my role as an Early Years advisory teacher disappeared overnight. Fortunately I had had enough experience and had built enough confidence in my field to work freelance as an Early Years Consultant. I worked nationally and loved providing Continuing Professional Development for colleagues in various local authorities. It made me more resilient and allowed me to undertake research in various aspects of early years.

What you wish you could tell your younger/student self.

Getting away from home was an exciting thing but it was also difficult to suddenly be without the usual support and familiarity of home and school. I explored the adult world and learnt a great deal about society and myself. There was no internet then, so we were quite sheltered and there was a lot to learn about EVERYTHING! This made me a bit of a risk-taker and developed my confidence to have a go at pretty much anything I put my mind to.  A piece of advice I would give is the same as I give to my students now. Have a go at things even if it’s scary! Have an open mind, take some risks in your learning, let go of stereotypes and prejudices and see that learning is something you construct with others. Enjoy reading about interesting ideas. Think! Don't fret over a poor grade, concentrate on exploring researching and discovering. Trust that your tutors want you to succeed, work with them.

Tell me what you love about your current role.

Working with the students! Watching them develop and grow as learners and sharing their learning journey is a very fulfilling process. With each of my PAT groups that I say goodbye to, it feels like losing my little class of infants at the end of the year as they fly the nest and go on to great things.

 Teaching student, Male with satchel

Ann Kendrick

Senior Lecturer, Education Leadership and Development. 

Leadership Pathway Coordinator for MA Education Professional Practice; Initial Teacher Training, Primary Partnership Tutor 

If I were to advise my younger self I would say, 'dream big', then 'dare to dream even bigger

I am also a member of BELMAS (British Education Leadership Management and Administration Society) where I co-convene a Research Interest Group on School Leadership Preparation. Plus several publications in the last couple of years. 

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

From the very beginning of my career, I was driven to work in a role that would enable me make a difference!  Working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds was a natural step.  I have worked in a variety of roles including Deputy Head of an Education Action Zone, Science Teacher, Advisory Teacher, and Health Development Specialist for Young People plus Outdoor Experiential Educator for young people at risk of exclusion.  This variety of career experience has enabled me to bring a diverse range of perspectives to my work whether in leadership roles, in the classroom, or undertaking research.

Describe your best experience in your career.

Receiving feedback from pupils, whether through a letter of thanks for changing a life, or when a colleague reports pupils have said I am a 'great teacher' are extremely rewarding. As a teacher-educator, the moments which give me the most satisfaction are being able to support students to find solutions to their dilemmas whether on placement, in their academic work, or through classroom research. I particularly treasure being part of an excellent team in the Department of Education where creativity, collaboration and professional challenge is always fulfilling. 

What you wish you could tell your younger/student self.

If I were to advise my younger self I would say, 'dream big', then 'dare to dream even bigger: if you miss your mark, be your own 'best friend', seek support, and get back in the saddle: every problem is thankfully just another learning opportunity'.  

Tell me what you love about your current role.

What I love about my current role is knowing I am part of the future: part of our student's future career success and through them, part of the future success of the next generation of children.

When I am not teaching you might spot me out on a lake or river somewhere learning to row.


Chris Barlow

Senior Lecturer (Primary Geography and History)

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

I trained to teach at University of Cumbria, when it was formally S. Martin’s College and taught for 18 years in primary Schools in Lancashire – the last four of which were also as a Deputy Head Teacher in Garstang.

I moved into teacher training it was initially quite a challenge to move from teaching children to teaching adults (especially the change in the level of marking), but having previously taught some ‘return to teaching’ sessions for the university I quickly got the hang of it. I’ve been working in initial teacher training now for 13 years and absolutely love my job, it’s a privilege to help the next generation of teachers become the excellent teachers that our children deserve.

I try to model the need for passion, enthusiasm and creativity in the profession and really enjoy helping our students develop their knowledge, skill and attitude towards the profession.

Describe your best experience in your career.

As a dedicated geographer, I regularly contribute to the Geographical Association’s annual conference and I am a member of their Teacher Educator Special Interest Group. I recently delivered workshop sessions on inspirational practice in primary geography and on instant fieldwork and am currently working with the Geographical Association to develop exemplar teacher training materials.

Tell me what you love about your current role.

I teach mainly on the Primary Post Graduate degree in Lancaster, for which I am also the cohort leader. As well as my post-graduate responsibilities I also help run a school-direct teaching group in Blackpool and have responsibility for any primary geography that our students on campus receive.

I love the fact that I can help student teachers realise that geography is everywhere and can be a really interesting and worthwhile subject to teach.

When I’m not teaching or spending time with my family, I’m probably walking the dog or playing guitar or mandolin.


Howard Foster

Senior Lecturer and Professional Partnership Tutor

My advice is simple, education opens doors it gives you choices,

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

I enjoyed sport at school but being a professional footballer was a dream that I could not meet.  Leaving school with no qualifications I just wanted to better myself. At 16 I started an apprenticeship in Heavy engineering building Cranes. This was dirty and at times dangerous work but I did my best and with the encouragement of my family and managers I managed to pass my first exams and get a Higher National Certificate. This saw me progress into the austere world of the drawing office where in silence we produced the drawings for the components that would become cranes.    By now my 'dream' was to be the company’s first apprentice to progress onto a degree course, I did this and obtained an Engineering Degree and became a designer of cranes - I was happy but ambitious.

Describe your best experience in your career.

After a while, I moved into automotive safety design with a multinational company rising to European Product Design Manager and gained a Master Business Administration. During this time I designed vehicle crash safety products that went into numerous vehicles.  It was a challenge coming up with original and inventive patented products, managing their design and testing to meet legislation, and then seeing them come off the production line was thrilling, as was traveling the world meeting customers, getting an order for $100 Million on one of my products was memorable. Being headhunted by a Billionaire was also memorable but that's a long story.

After a while, it was time to leave Engineering. I did my GCSE's then gained a PGCE from the University of Cumbria and went into teaching to satisfy an ambition to do something worthwhile and less corporate.

Teaching was hard work but rewarding. A favourite memory was writing a Xmas show called 'Grotto' it was a musical with a cast of 70 children written in rhyme with 20 songs and it felt like a hit. Giving children the aspiration to learn and self-belief that they can do anything they set their mind to be a source of pride.

Tell me what you love about your current role.

Personally my aspiration was to be a head but just as I was looking into this to my own surprise I joined the University of Cumbria as a Senior Lecturer. I get great satisfaction when I visit a school and observe a student teaching; thinking this student has got it!

What do you wish you could tell your younger/student self.

Would I change anything - yes of course I would. I would have learned the guitar at 14 and started a band and then conquered the world. My advice is simple, education opens doors it gives you choices, if you know what you want to do go and do it, but remember always do your best at whatever path you choose and try and enjoy the journey ...even the tough bits. 


Prof Pete Boyd

Director of LED Research Centre

What did you do before joining the University of Cumbria?

I was a high school teacher for 12 years, teaching mainly geography but also some mathematics and outdoor education. I also trained as a mountain instructor and worked for three years in residential outdoor education with children and young people from 9 to 19 years old.

Tell me what you love about your current role.

My teaching includes giving lectures and workshops across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, mainly in the Institute of Education. I am currently ‘Professor of Professional Learning’ and my research interests focus on workplace learning by teachers and other educators. I am Director of the Learning, Education, and Development (LED) Research Centre and support research activities by a range of school teachers and university-based teacher educators. I work with school-based expert teachers on collaborative ‘close to practice’ projects focused on aspects of classroom teaching and learning. Recent publications from close to practice projects with teachers have included early years study on how to talk to four year olds (Learning Conversations) and Singapore-style approaches to primary mathematics (Mastery Mathematics). My teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes is informed by my research and development work with experienced teachers.

What do you get up to in your leisure time?

I have co-authored a book on assessment in higher education and am an advanced reader for beginning teachers (Learning Teaching). I have a commitment to leading change in education practice through professional inquiry and practitioner research and this creates a connection for me to leadership in education. I am interested in the significant challenge of scaling up professional inquiry so that it becomes part of workplace learning for all teachers. I aim to make most of my publications available open access online


Kelly Powell

Senior Lecturer (Education Studies Programme Leader and Safeguarding Campus Officer Lancaster)

If I could talk to my younger self, I would say to be more confident in your own abilities.

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

Since the age of 5, I wanted to be a Primary School teacher.  As a child I would play ‘schools’ with my dolls and teddy bears and make registers and help my toys with their learning!

When it came to teacher training, I chose St Martin’s College.  Yes it was one of the best teacher training institutions but it felt right when I visited for interview day – the people were friendly, the location was beautiful and the course was exactly what I wanted.  My mum and dad loved it too but didn’t dare say anything in case 18 year old me rebelled against them!

I met my husband while studying so ended up staying in the area. 

Describe your best experience in your career.

I completed my final teaching practice in a local school, who invited me back early in the next academic year for 2 weeks of supply teaching, I left the school 14 years later! I had many opportunities during this time and it was important to me to support St Martin’s/UoC and their student teachers, so I remained in contact and eventually coordinated the link between school and the university.

During my career as a primary school teacher, I was able to take on a number of different roles. I was able to teach all the year groups and take on various leadership responsibilities including Science, Modern Foreign Languages, Assessment, PSHE, and English. Having thought I would be a key stage 2 teacher, I actually found that I preferred teaching key stage 1 and have fond memories of my last class which was a year 1 class.

When the opportunity arose to apply for a job at UoC, I couldn’t resist!

Describe some challenging moments you have experienced.

There have been many highlights and challenges throughout my career; these have been both small day-to-day things, as well as big events. The day-to-day highlights are mostly the ‘light bulb’ moments when a learner of any age suddenly understands what they have been learning and you see the ‘light bulb click on’. Big highlights include achieving my Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from Liverpool University, watching children move on from primary school, and being part of graduation ceremonies. I don’t see challenges as negative, just a problems to be solved. One of my biggest challenges that I have faced is preparing to teach ‘new’ year groups; going from teaching year 1 children to teaching adults was daunting, but turned out to be not so different!

What you wish you could tell your younger/student self.

If I could talk to my younger self, I would say to be more confident in your own abilities.

Tell me what you love about your current role.

My current role is varied and includes: programme leader for the Education HEFCE programmes; campus safeguarding officer; senior lecturer in English and Phonics; and, personal tutor. My favourite part of my job is the time I spend supporting our students in their learning and watching how they develop over their time with us. Graduation ceremonies are the highlight of the year and it makes me proud to see our students graduate knowing that we played some part in their achievements.


Pinaki Chakrabarti

Senior Lecturer (Education), London

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

I decided to train as a teacher and pursue a career in teaching because I was inspired by the teachers who taught me both at schools and in post-compulsory education. Thus, after working in the field of Media for some time, I opted for a career change and the obvious choice was teaching.  As a teacher, I have taught in a variety of settings and in three countries - the UK, Australia, and Asia.  I have worked in a range of roles including classroom teacher, subject teacher, lead teacher and more. Through these roles I have been able to work with some fine colleagues who have been at the forefront of education making a big difference in pupils’ lives day in and day out.  My next career transition was into Higher Education as a Teacher Educator. This transition has enabled me to work with established school professionals and students teachers simultaneously.

Describe your best experience in your career.

Learning from my students and receiving feedback from them. Being able to work with like-minded professionals who are passionate, resilient and supportive.

What you wish you could tell your younger/student self.

Always do your best and never think you can’t.

Tell me what you love about your current role.

Every day is different and how each student I teach is unique in their strengths.


Sue Temple 

Programme leader BA Hons Primary Education (3-11) Institute of Education

Describe how and/or why you followed your career dreams.

I always wanted to be a teacher - I used to play 'schools' with my two younger sisters and was the typical bossy big sister! We had a small blackboard, desk and lots of toys to make up the class. My teachers were generally supportive as they enjoyed teaching themselves, though one or two thought I was mad. I was the first one in my family to go to university so it was a big step when I finally went off to Sunderland to do my B.Ed Hons - and a very proud day for me and my family when I graduated four years later.

I started off teaching in Carlisle but at the end of that first year moved to South Shields and got married. I went from a Primary school with a very good catchment to a tiny nursery school in a much more deprived area of Jarrow - quite a culture shock! After only two years of teaching under my belt I became Acting Head of the Nursery School.

Describe the best experience in your career

Initially, I had a lot of support with this but by the end of the first year, the Local Authority advisors were more or less leaving me to it so I can only assume they were not concerned about how I was coping.

I then decided I didn't want to only have experience of Early Years so I moved to a large Primary School in South Shields. This was a tough school but the staff were brilliant to work with - I made some lifelong friends here. I taught a mixed Yr1/2 class for a while and one parent was really concerned that after a year in my class her son still couldn't read. He was slightly behind his peers but I felt he was just on the cusp and luckily the Head supported me and the child stayed in my class - taking off with his reading within weeks of returning after the summer. At the end of the year I got a lovely letter from his mother saying she should have had faith in me and how well he had done over the two years - I still have that letter.

After a few years there, doing a whole variety of Continuing Professional Development and working towards my Masters Degree I moved into a Pupil Referral Unit working with children who were experiencing Speech and Language difficulties. The team I worked with there often commented we should write a book about the funny things the children did and said.

Describe some challenging moments you have experienced

One of my most challenging experiences was when I got a phone call on a Saturday morning to say could I go into school as there had a been an arson attack during the night. When I got to school I discovered that 95% of the contents of my classroom had been destroyed, along with all of the classrooms next door. The two classrooms had to be demolished and I ended up teaching in the staff room for 8 months while they were rebuilt. I lost virtually all of my own resources but the Local Authority and the staff in the main school supported me and my colleague through all the trauma.

I loved being a classroom teacher, but I love this role too (most of the time!). I'm able to concentrate on my favourite subject of History for most of my teaching. I love the variety I get in this role; from speaking at local, national, and International Conferences, writing articles and chapters in books to support Primary history teaching and writing children's books to take my current students on visits locally and abroad (World War I battlefields and Berlin so far) or dressing up as Elizabeth I to embed the trainees understanding of using drama and role play to supporting trainees in their classrooms on placement.

What you wish you could tell your younger/student self

I wish I had realised when I first started teaching how very different schools are - I firmly believe there is a school out there to suit every trainee - children are all different and we need teachers who are all different to support and teach them, every child needs someone who will make those connections.

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