Posted Wednesday 14 September 2016
Dr Roberto Di Napoli, Associate Professor in Higher Education, and Programmes Director for Kingston University's Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice (CHERP), has recently returned from an educator in residence position at the National University of Singapore (NUS). NUS, which is 12th in the QS World University Rankings, has only previously invited only four other academics to be educator in residence prior to Dr Di Napoli, from universities in Australia, the USA and Oxford University.
The two-week residency included Dr Di Napoli giving the prestigious 2016 Ruth Wong Memorial Lecture on Education, named after one of Asia's most respected leaders in transforming teacher education. His lecture, titled ‘Ethical interprofessionalism: academic work, practices and identities', was delivered to a packed lecture hall of academics from all faculties in the University, its senior managers and students.
"I feel very honoured to have been chosen as educator in eesidence for 2016," Dr Di Napoli said. "My invitation shows that Kingston University and CHERP are seen as centres of academic excellence in pedagogical practice and scholarship. As well as the very prestigious lecture, I also led a well-received workshop on active learning, roundtable discussions with colleagues from the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning (CDTL) and the NUS Teaching Academy on matters around academic development, as well as leading intensive discussions around learning and teaching issues with colleagues from the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, the Centre for English Language Communication and the College of Alice and Peter Tan."
Dr Johan Geertsema, director of CDTL said three key points were especially impactful during the two weeks Dr Di Napoli spent at NUS. "He helped us see the value of taking a step back in thinking deeply about higher education and what concepts such as quality or practice, which we use each and every day, actually mean," he said. "Second, he helped sensitise many of us to the importance of a more integrated approach to academic work. His visit was also inspirational to our academic development team and gave us concrete ideas to strengthen the work we do."
Dr Di Napoli's work with NUS included advising academics and senior managers on the importance of an integrative approach to higher education, especially in terms of the curriculum, and ensuring that learning and teaching policies were linked to academics' career progression. "I'm very passionate about the pedagogy of interdisciplinary studies and, while in Singapore, was able to visit the Yale-NUS College for Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies and share ideas with its pedagogical lead, Professor Bryan Penprase".
Dr Huang Hoon Chng (Associate Provost, Education) established the Educator in Residence Programme (EiRP) in 2009 to cultivate a network of scholars in the field of teaching and learning, and to learn from their expertise and perspectives. "We were privileged to have Roberto di Napoli of Kingston University as our fifth EiRP Scholar," Dr Chng said. "My colleagues and I have been deeply enriched by his recent visit with us in August. I treasure the interactions I had with him and as my Institution is engaged in the challenging work of culture building through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), I am thankful for his encouraging words and important reminder that transforming any institutional culture takes time, patience and persistence."
Dr Di Napoli said he found the visit fascinating. "It is a continuation of work I have done in Spain, France, Vietnam and as visiting professor, at the University of Teramo in Italy," he said. "Through this trip I have made long-lasting contacts and am looking forward to myself, CHERP and Kingston University having a continued working relationship with the National University of Singapore and colleagues there."
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