My whole career has involved teaching, working and playing with children, teachers and artists (when treated properly, teachers and artists play just as well as children!). Most of my creations have been of the moment and consequently fleeting and have taken place in the minds and emotions of the participants; consequently, my publications are very few but, hopefully, memories are many. Outcomes and problems solved have been on the face of it in the realms of the imagination but who knows what applications to and effects on real life have been experienced by at least some of the people who have shared in the creating.
More formally, my academic achievements include a degree in English, a PGCE from the University of London and a PhD from the University of Leeds. The PhD involved publishing a critical edition of an original, previously unpublished and unperformed version of a Restoration Comedy – my production of the resulting text was performed at Leeds Polytechnic (claimable as a World Premiere?). I successfully qualified as an OFSTED inspector, registered inspector and trainer.
My research interests include: drama in education and its importance as a learning medium across the curriculum, particularly across the primary age range; the development of creativity in education; active approaches to learning; arts and the under-fives; the arts in the curriculum; language development; children's literature; role play and educational drama in training education; and interpersonal skills training. I have successfully supervised PhD or MPhil students in drama/arts /language/creativity related areas: teachers’ attitudes to creativity; drama and the arts in the primary school; children's literature; children's writing; metalanguage and English as a second language with a group of reception children; art and mathematics with primary children; learning in the primary school through drama in education; visualisation in theatre / performance; arts therapies.
I was organiser and leader of the Leeds Polytechnic Drama in Education Seminars and Arts in Education Seminars for Polytechnic staff, researchers in drama in education and teachers across the region and Conference Co‑ordinator for an Arts Council sponsored national conference on Arts and the Under Fives at West Yorkshire Playhouse. I have been external examiner or consultant in a variety of colleges and universities, particularly in English and drama. More recently I have been Vice Principal of a Musical Theatre College in Leeds. Not least, I have had the privilege of being Chair of the Creativity Centre Educational Trust (CCET).