[Please note: John is currently on holiday with limited access to the internet - he's asked me to post his candidate's statement here on his behalf, in case Fellows have missed it on the main RSA website and as a way of introducing John to the discussions taking place here on the RSA Fellowship Social Network]
I am Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of East Anglia. Following experience as a teacher I developed an academic career as an applied educational and social researcher, specialising in the evaluation of educational innovations and the collaborative construction of actionable knowledge with educational practitioners. In both respects I attracted national and international recognition.
In 2009 I was elected by RSA Fellows in the Eastern Region to the new Fellowship Council. As such I participated in restructuring the governance of the Society to give Fellows greater influence in its affairs. The positive impact of this democratic restructuring is clearly evident.
On the Fellowship Council I held the brief for education and embarked on convening a problemfocussed multi–disciplinary Fellows Education Forum as a pilot in the Norwich area. This Forum now consists of a stable self–sustaining network of Fellows engaged in an action research process, aimed at giving parents and young people in educationally and socially disadvantaged communities a voice in articulating and sharing their educational stories and experiences to each other, ultimately empowering them to develop community based action strategies to effect change in the life chances of young people. This is being done in partnership with a community radio station. The aim has always been to roll out such problem-focussed and Fellows–led Forums across the regions.
There remains much to be done in finding ways to roll out Fellow–led local projects nationally and internationally to establish them as a basis for information exchange and thematic networking; also, in establishing stronger linkages between the RSA's funded projects and Fellow–led initiatives and thematic networks. My experience and skills as an applied social researcher and member of the Fellowship Council to date has equipped me to play a leading role in these major areas of development.
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