Tim Saunders


About Me

Dr Tim Saunders 



I first came to live in the north west of England as a student at Manchester University in 1985 and having lived and worked nomadically here ever since, I eventually settled in Liverpool, a stone’s throw from the Mersey estuary.  I count both city regions home and it is the living waterways of the Mersey rivers, many streams one river, that define this bioregion and ground my one planet thinking and living theory.

Educational Experience

I have a wealth of experience that includes Primary School teaching (7 years), Headteacher (14 years), University lecturing (8 years), Thinking Skills training in schools (10 years), and Organisational Development Consultant (6 years).

Academic Qualifications

I have taken a BA Hons in Theology and Religious Studies (Manchester University),  MA in Educational Management (Open University), PhD in School Leadership (Liverpool University). My teaching qualifications include a PGCE Primary (Manchester University), PGCert ODE Online & Distance Education (Open University) and PGCTHE Postgraduate Certificate for Teaching in Higher Education (Edge Hill University).

Mindfulness Practice

In order to maintain my own personal mindfulness practice I have followed three life practices for a number of years:

• Practice 1 Mindfulness-based Compassionate Living and self-directed Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy

• Practice 2 Sufi meditation as a path to mindfulness, living presence and the essential self via the most beautiful names – Al Asma Ul Husna (أسماء الله الحسنى)

• Practice 3 Yang Style Tai Chi, (24 step Taijiquan otherwise known as the Beijing form, the most prevalent simplified exercise form in China) and Ba Duan Jin Qigong 八段錦 (8 Pieces of Brocade)



I do not adhere to any one school of philosophy but support the revival of philosophy as a way of life  and have affinities with the traditions of American Pragmatism, Russian Personalism, Nordic Metamodernism, English Pluralism, Andalusian Sufism and buddhist influenced Middle Way philosophy. Those who have most inspired the educational thinking that informs the multimodal practitioner synthesis include John Heron, Walter Watson, David Dilworth, Matthew Lipman, Kieran Egan, Michael Schiro, David Cooperider, Bruce Tukcman, Daniel Goleman, Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn, Tony Bush, Mike Bottery, Annick de Witt, Tony Hodgson, JG Bennett, Hanzi Freinacht, and Arnim Wiek. The map of practices was inspired by the Personal Synthesis of Nash Popovic. My inspiration for developing ‘middle way philosophy of education’ derives from the work of Robert M. Ellis.

Centre for Mindful Educational Leadership

I created EduSynthesis to support academic research in metamodern leadership theory and integrative leadership for learning. The Integrative Leadership Framework seeks to construct Educational Leadership as the intercultural mediation of Kinship, Traditional, Modern and Postmodern Worldviews in a time of culture wars; and as the moral interdependence of Generative, Contemplative, Progressive and Transformative practice in a time between worlds.

The Mindful Leadership Development meta-model seeks to integrate Somatic, Contemplative, Cognitive and Organisational forms of Mindfulness as a means of supporting mindfulness-based compassionate leadership development and school development: mindful coaching for the wellbeing of leaders and coaching in mindful leadership for the wellbeing of schools.

The Multimodal Practitioner Synthesis of the Educative Middle Way aims to model how practitioners can develop their own big picture synthesis of educational theory by mapping modalities and modes of integrative practice at four different scales: personal, pedagogical, professional and planetary.


Mindful Support Network

Beyond teaching and research, the Mindfulness-based Leadership Development model is adapted to inform and facilitate a peer support network specialising in mindful co-coaching, co-counselling and peer action learning. In addition to my academic and educational qualifications I am affiliated with Co-counselling International (UK), having undertaken the minimum 40 hours training to practice as a Co-counsellor and an additional 80 hours co-training other coco practitioners.

I am also a certified teacher and practitioner of the Narrative Enneagram having completed the professional training program with Helen Palmer and David Daniels in 2007. This involved 270 hours of professional training encompassing Foundation, Typing Practitioner and Panel/Teacher training, plus many hours of practice.

In the UK I am affiliated to Enneagram Alive and subscribe to its Code of Ethics and am a participant in the Independent Practitioner Network.

© 2024 EduSynthesis

Centre for Mindful Educational Leadership

Tim Saunders PhD


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