Tim Saunders PhD
Lecturer in Education and Initial Teacher Training
I created EduSynthesis for two reasons. Firstly as a way of mapping out my own personal philosophy of education as part of my own lived inquiry and commitments as a teacher. Secondly as a guide to the journey of life and love of learning in support of co-operative inquiry with others. It is thus a provisional map for my own path in providing 1:1 support, teaching classes, distributed leadership and engaging in planetary sustainability. It is also thus an invitation to explore the world of education using my map as a guide, in the hope that you construct your own better map as you navigate your own path.
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.
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 (Edge Hill University).
I have a wealth of experience that includes Primary School teaching (7 years), Headteacher (14 years), University lecturing (7 years), Thinking Skills training in schools (10 years), and Organisational Development Consultant (6 years).
I do not adhere to any particular 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 and Andalusian Sufism. Those who have most inspired the educational thinking that informs the EduSynthesis map 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 design and graphical presentation of the map owes most to Nash Popovic and his Personal Synthesis project.
EduSynthesis @ Edge Hill University
I currently teach and research at Edge Hill University Research Profile in the Faculty of Education, Department for Primary and Childhood Education, supporting students and trainee teachers on the PGCE, BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS and BA (Hons) Children and Young People’s Learning and Development Teaching Profile I am also a member of SustainNet @ EHU working to develop and nurture trans-disciplinary collaboration on sustainability research and other forms of academic-related work at EHU, integrating sustainability into curriculum programmes, including continuous professional learning and in-service learning and build ever stronger partnerships with local and other external stakeholders to improve the sustainability of the local region SustainNet
I have worked with Tim on many occasions in the areas of organisational development through Appreciative Inquiry, and the training of coaching skills. I am consistently impressed with his knowledge of theory, his quick wit and his ability to engage with all kinds of groups.
Mr Saunders was one of the very few excellent teachers I have been taught by. Even thought It was over 25 years ago, such a positive experience stays with you forever. He was always able to think out of the box and deliver such interesting ways of teaching the simplest of things. Teaching a class to play chess, combining art into story writing and developing our “joined up writing” skills were all part of class 6 daily life, but having someone who instilled confidence and belief in each and everyone of us, no matter what our background or ability was a quality Tim brought to the classroom every day.
Tim is able to apply his wide range of skills to a wide variety of organisational development needs and professional fields beyond education. I have worked with him on many occasions and never fail to be impressed by his unique insights and creative approach. He is an accomplished events organiser and group facilitator encouraging user engagement in evaluating & improving services through appreciative inquiry. He speaks from the heart, is an idealist in the best possible sense with huge understanding and knowledge and would be an asset to any organisation concerned with people development.
Dr Tim has excellent temperament, is a brilliant creative thinker, a great team player, always willing to give others credit and motivate them. He has an “expert knowledge” leadership style. He can command respect because of his ability to effortlessly convey his expertise to those working with him. He is methodical and creative. This ensures that he continually inspires those around him to excel at their jobs. Dr Tim has excellent interpersonal skills. He was equally at ease conversing with pupils, staff, parents or governors. A good listener who would accommodate different styles for people to achieve a common goal. My fellow governors and I would employ him again, without reservation. He is well suited for any roles that involve development, expansion, or diversification at a senior strategic level.
Dr Saunders led on whole-school Teaching and Learning 3-16 with great skill and care, demonstrating excellent knowledge within a newly structured leadership team, and introducing a high impact Teaching and Learning strategy using split-screen teaching to improve learning dispositions and thinking skills across the age range. This project demonstrated his organizational skills and very good management of whole-school planning. I was impressed with the way a primary expert quickly gained the confidence of secondary teachers who enthusiastically put his recommendations into practice.
Dr Timothy Saunders successfully combines academic rigour with leadership skills in ways that are rare. He integrates effectively his very substantial and diverse experience of educational management with an exceptional capacity to draw upon and apply a wide range of thinking – across many different disciplines – in ways are that fresh, creative and fertile. He demonstrates flair, imagination and lateral thinking, or thinking ‘outside the box.’ Tim is well-equipped to make a very valuable contribution to teaching, consultancy and research work.