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Institute of Education

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Q&A with Professor Norbert Pachler

1  What is your role and what does it involve?
As Pro-Director: Teaching, Quality and Learning Innovation, I have overall strategic responsibility for UCL Institute of Education’s teaching and learning portfolio comprising a large number of teacher education, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, leading change, managing quality and supporting innovation in the nature, form and content of IOE activities.
I oversee the developmental work on IOE Futures and actively contribute to some large international teacher education and professional development projects.
As Pro-Vice-Provost Education I also work closely with the Vice-Provost Education and Student Affairs on UCL-wide initiatives such as online education, assessment regulations and the review of postgraduate taught provision at UCL.

2  How long have you been at UCL? If less than 5 years, what was your previous role?
I joined the IOE in 1997 as the Subject Leader for the Secondary PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages. I was programme leader for the MA in Languages in Education as well as programme leader for the Master of Teaching and have worked in various academic leadership roles at the IOE including as Deputy Head of School, Assistant Dean: Continuing Professional Development, Associate Dean: Professional Development, Acting Dean: Initial and Professional Development, Co-director: Centre for Excellence in Work-based Learning for Education Professionals, Pro-director: Professional Education and Director: International Teacher Education. I also served as Chair of Academic Board.

3  What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your students about the subject you teach?
In recent years I have mainly been involved in working with postgraduate research students as well as on international teacher education and development programmes and I find working with education professionals in developing evidence-based approaches to context-specific professional and pedagogical challenges very rewarding.

4  What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I have been centrally involved in the merger between the IOE and UCL and greatly enjoy the opportunity to explore synergies with other academic fields and strengthen the inter- and cross-disciplinarity of my own academic work and that of the IOE more generally.

5  Tell us about a project you are working on now which is at the top of your to-do list.
Together with a number of colleagues I am involved in teacher education projects in the Middle East working with governments in the region to develop system-wide approaches to the professional formation of teachers that build on the extensive expertise of the IOE in London.

6  What would it surprise people to know about you?
I am a founding member of the IOE’s staff football team which has competed in the University Indoor Football League for some years now.

7  What other piece of research outside your subject area interests you?

My academic work focuses on a variety of domains, including digital technologies in teaching and learning (with a particular focus on mobile learning), teacher education and development and languages in education.
As the convenor of the London Mobile Learning Group, I have enjoyed working with a number of international colleagues from a range of fields including cultural and media studies, sociology, social semiotics, pedagogy, educational technology, work-based learning and learning design.