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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Mental Health lecturer James Wilson, becomes National Teaching Fellow

Published: 31 August 2017
James Wilson
New National Teaching Fellow, James Wilson

Today James Wilson from Health Sciences, has been awarded with a National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy. He is accompanied by two Southampton colleagues; Judith Holloway from Medicine, and David Read from Chemistry.

Mr Wilson joins an existing group of National Teaching Fellows (NTFs) from across the University. These exceptional educators truly highlight the quality and innovation of the teaching taking place at Southampton.

2017 is now the institution's most successful year to date for NTFs with three being the maximum number awarded in any one year. This year Southampton was one of only two universities to receive the maximum of three awards.

James is a leading national practitioner of the innovative use of interactive theatre within learning and teaching environments. Although broadly mental health focussed his clinical specialist areas include dementia and managing aggression. His suite of highly engaging teaching techniques include ‘Clickers Theatre’, whereby students are invited to take control of a live situation being acted out on stage, using a response system – or ‘clicker’. Doing so enables students to prepare themselves for difficult situations they may encounter in their future occupations whilst imparting a deeper understanding for empathy and professional responsibility.

It is exactly this kind of immersive and powerful educational approach that last year saw him nominated for a prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Award for ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’.

James described doing a “dance of joy” after finding out about his fellowship, “because it’s an extremely distinguished honour.” James went on to describe why he is so passionate about teaching:

“It is a great honour to be able to contribute to the shaping of our students who have chosen health care as a profession. I see it as an opportunity to spark curiosity about the potential of their extraordinary role. As an experienced registered mental health nurse, I am passionate about delivering impactful teaching experiences that enhance the delivery of care that our graduates will provide people with mental illnesses.”

Professor Mandy Fader, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences is delighted:

“We are enormously proud that James has received this prestigious award. He is a brilliantly engaging educator and his highly creative and innovative approaches are inspirational to students and challenge their thinking about mental health.”

Find out more about James's work and his passion for innovative teaching techniques and for more on the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme awards visit the HEA website

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