top of page

Teaching Transformation

Developing the capability and competencies to support change

We are all apprentices at the end of the world as we know it

In the new world of 21st Century challenges in which we find ourselves, we are all apprentices. Old approaches rarely work, and continuing to apply them risks compounding challenges. We - teachers and students - all need to learn different skills, dispositions, and capacities to work with the scale, pace and nature of the challenges we face. 

Ioan brings a wealth of experience in helping people developing capacities for the 21st Century. He has taught in Universities for over 20 years, is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy; has a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (Aberystwyth University, 2008); has received numerous teaching awards and nominations; has a Certificate in Counselling Skills (Abertay University, 2013); extensive experience in designing and facilitating complex learning programmes; is a teacher and trainer of deep and transformative ancient shamanic practices; and continuously engages in his own personal and reflexive development.  

“Ioan was the best lecturer I had at the University of York. He has a very engaging teaching style, delivered insightful modules, and introduced us to holistic, systemic ways of thinking and viewing global problems. These are skills that I know will be invaluable in my career. Ioan not only conveyed to us his innovation through the content of his modules, but also in his methods of teaching, which were often directed by students and therefore very engaging. Despite the remote nature of teaching due to COVID, Ioan was committed to delivering the best possible learning and mentoring experience to myself and my fellow students and I always looked forward to Ioan’s lectures and seminars.  Not only this, Ioan is a fantastic mentor: he has a true understanding of issues that affect his students (such as mental health) and is considerate and supportive of these issues. His mentorship grew my confidence greatly and enabled me to consider future study through a PhD, something that I did not believe I was capable of even thinking about achieving. I would therefore highly recommend Ioan as a teacher and a mentor.”

 

~ Holly Clarkson, Undergraduate Student, University of York, 2021

Innovative and Advanced Teaching

  • Teaching for 'inner change'. An experienced trainer of ancient shamanic practice to empower participants undergo deep personal change and tap into the regenerative power of nature and learn to relate to the world differently. This includes teaching introductory courses and 18 month in-depth programmes. 

  • Building capacity of students to develop strategic plans for ambitious and transformative change: Ioan currently works with 170 students working in groups from across four degree programmes at the University of York to take them through an experiential learning process and develop capacity to apply futures-based approaches. This incudes facilitating all students concurrently in large workshops to help them develop group reports and presentations on how to rapidly decarbonise food, energy and transport systems.

  • Working with complex systems and systems thinking: Teaching students systems thinking and how to analyse resilience of complex social-ecological systems (Universities of Aberystewyth, St Andrews, Dundee and York). This including helping students to understand dynamic complexity of real world case studies, such as vulnerability of New Orleans to Hurricanes, food or water systems, and then applying resilience theory as solutions and to deepen their thinking. 

  • Developing creative visions and steps of how to get there: Teaching masters students at the University of Dundee to examine key development related issues in an urban environment, develop ambitious visions, and back-cast how to get there. The group work was based on real-world problems and resulted in professionally produced work.

  • Transformations to sustainability: Teaching masters students at the University of Dundee to deliver change projects. This involves group work to develop a theory of change and implement it, while providing continual training in how to work pragmatically with complexity, develop targeted and strategic pattern shifts, and working with dilemmas.

  • Teaching reflexivity: Students were also required to engage in deep reflexive thinking, such as asking themselves how the process influenced their thinking about sustainability, change and thinking.

  • Large classes to experientially learn about behaviour change: Teaching large classes in innovative ways to engage them in experiential behaviour change processes at the University of St Andrews. This included working with 300 first year students who develop their own behaviour change targets to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Integrative curricular and pedagogical design: Ioan designed integrated and interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in sustainability (Universities of St Andrews and Dundee). Much of this included innovative elements (e.g. a focus on experiential learning about change and sustainability practice, combined with in-depth research methods training. Ioan was also instrumental, as Director of Strategy in the Environment Department, University of York, in helping create a whole scale Departmental shift towards solutions-oriented teaching in four undergraduate and three masters degree programmes.

  • Delivering training in capacity building: As Deputy and Director of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience, at the University of Dundee (2013-2019), Ioan regularly ran workshops to help Doctoral students develop diverse skills and competencies for working with complexity, systems thinking, futures methods and working with dilemmas. This included covening annual ‘Facing the Future’ conferences and training events. 

  • Teaching facilitation: Innovative approaches to teaching using facilitation methods to help develop skills and awareness of students about participation and working with groups. This experientially based training has been delivered to diverse fora, including PhD students, community leaders, action researchers, and others in places like Bangladesh and the Solomon Islands.

  • Supervising doctoral students:  Over 20 students in social science research, often using action-oriented methodologies. Current projects include those working on designing and developing transformational evaluation methods, approaches to support system change, and working to create cultural shifts in large organisations.

  • Examining Doctoral theses: Many examinations of theses on leadership, change and transformation. This includes at Hult International Business School, Ashridge, London. 

Watch this short video on facing the Future capacity building training 

  • Supervising doctoral students:  Over 20 students in social science research, often using action-oriented methodologies. Current projects include those working on designing and developing transformational evaluation methods, approaches to support system change, and working to create cultural shifts in large organisations.

  • Examining Doctoral theses: Many examinations of theses on leadership, change and transformation. This includes at Hult International Business School, Ashridge, London.  

“Ioan is a highly innovative teacher. His teaching style draws strongly on transformational thinking, which is hugely inspiring. A session with Ioan broadens one's perspectives not only on the external process of transformation but also on the internal transformational process, including the very nature of thinking and knowledge. He also provides very valuable advice, encouragement, tools and opportunities for professional and personal development, such as how to set goals, recognise your unique value, manage your resources, and find fulfilment in life. He is always friendly, diplomatic and encouraging, respecting individual views and making sure that all of his students have a chance to be heard. His teaching has been one of the highlights of my learning at the University of York.” Sam Buckton, Doctoral candidate, University of York" 

 

~ Sam Buckton, Doctoral candidate, University of York

bottom of page