Meet Sam Clements

Written by Sam Clements, Birmingham City University HELS PhD Student and Senior Lecturer at London South Bank University.

Sam C

My research interests are music education, the performing arts, creativity, creative partnerships and teacher identity. The working title of my PhD thesis is ‘Defining the X Factors: Enablers and Inhibitors of effective music teaching’.

My long route to full time PhD Study…

I made the decision to begin a PhD in September 2013 having worked for 13 years in education after qualifying as a teacher in the year 2000. My first two years as a PhD student were subsequently undertaken in a (very) part time capacity! I had a full time post as a Senior Lecturer in Education within the Department of Education at London South Bank LSBUUniversity (LSBU), where I was course director of two different undergraduate Education degree courses. In addition I was teaching and leading modules on the primary PGCE course (with all the school supervision that entails) which allowed me very little time left to carry out the reading and research required for my PhD studies. To compound things, having moved to Oxford for my husband’s work I had been travelling up to 6 hours each day into London to work and back since February 2014.

1. Me - Biog photo

Eventually, in the Summer of 2015, it became clear that things could not continue as they were, and I finally decided to give up my job in order to concentrate on my PhD full time from September 2015. A scary decision! I have retained a small portion of my teaching at LSBU, in particular the Masters level module in Performing Arts Education which is an optional part of the primary PGCE course. The subject area of this module is my main area of interest and having written and validated the module in March 2013, I was feeling far too possessive to give it up! However, I have not missed the managerial side of my former job for even one second.

It is a real shame that the culture and way of working within HE often makes it virtually impossible for full time academic staff to carry out any research.

A lecturer in education who does not actively research education makes no sense to me.

I spent two years as Primary Music Consultant for Hertfordshire Advisory Service before arriving at LSBU in September 2011. Prior to this I had accumulated ten years of experience in a wide range of primary education contexts, specialising in music and the performing arts, including teaching posts in the UK and Australia.

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