We – Jo Horsburgh, Martyn Kingsbury and Monika Pazio – have recently returned from a trip to Hiroshima, Japan, where we presented at the 6th International Academic Identities Conference 2018 at Hiroshima University. The conference theme was ‘The Peaceful University: aspirations for academic futures – compassion, generosity, imagination and creation’ and offered us a forum for discussion of how academics’ relationships with students are changing and how those changes affect the role of the university within society from a variety of international perspectives.
Monika and Martyn along with Caroline Clewley from the Department of Physics presented on their research into staff- student partnerships with UROP students, in particular the use of visualisation to target abstract key concepts within Physics and other STEM subjects which students struggle to gain a deep conceptual understanding.
My presentation focussed on my doctoral research into the professional identity development of medical educators, in particular the similarities and differences between different groups of medics in how they develop their identities between different communities of practice.
As well as attending the conference in Hiroshima, on our trip to Japan we also made time to visit colleagues at the Institute for Excellence in Higher Education at Tohoku University in Sendai. During our visit we discussed active learning pedagogies and the work of Carl Wieman as well as common approaches to learning and teaching at our respective institutions. A return visit is being planned for later this year where our colleagues from Japan will meet with and learn from the learning and teaching community at Imperial College.
Dr Jo Horsburgh, Principal Teaching Fellow in Medical Education