John Peters


John Peters joined Newman in 2014 as Head of Academic Practice, was appointed Professor of Higher Education Practice in 2017 and became Director of Learning, Teaching and Scholarship in 2018. He studied History at Cardiff University, joining the academic staff there in 1990. In 1993 he moved to the University of Worcester, becoming Principal Lecturer in History and first Deputy Director of the Learning and Teaching Centre, then Deputy Head of Academic Development and Practice and, finally, Head of Higher Education Practice Programmes. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2001. John is on the executive of the Staff and Educational Development Association, as chair of its Scholarship and Research Committee, and is on the editorial board of its journal Innovations in Education and Teaching International.

Current Administrative Duties

As Director of Learning, Teaching and Assessment, John is responsible for working with staff and students across Newman to enhance the University’s learning, teaching and academic scholarship. John is a member of numerous University committees including University Operations Team, Senate, Learning Teaching and Academic Quality, Research, Research Ethics, Student Experience, Environmental, Equality and Diversity, and he chairs the Retention and Success Task Group.


Research Interests

John’s current research interests include student partnership, critical pedagogy in HE, appreciative inquiry, collaborative educational development and personal tutoring. He co-ordinates the Romero-Freire Institute and research centre at Newman and has recently, regularly published and presented in partnership with student researchers. John was principal investigator for the £200,000 HEFCE funded NTF project the ‘National Action Research Network for researching and evaluating PDP and e-portfolio practice’ which was published as a special edition of the Journal of Learning Development in HE in 2010. In 2010 John was awarded £40,000 from the JISC to research the use of personal learning systems to support staff development. John has co-authored and co-led a number of successful externally-funded projects at Newman including a HEA strategic enhancement project on flexible pedagogy, a HEA project on ‘enhancing retention, progression and achievement through student partnership’ and a HEFCE Catalyst Fund project on the ‘collaborative development of pedagogic interventions based on learning analytics’. John has co-authored a book on Worcestershire Voices of the First World War and was a member of the AHRC funded Voices of War and Peace research network.

Current Teaching

An experienced educational developer, John provides workshops on the range of HE learning, teaching and assessment practice, with a particular focus on student partnership and critical pedagogy.  He is a key contributor to the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice.

Other Activities

Details of Research Supervision

John has supervised eight PhDs and an MPhil to completion, on subjects as diverse as soldiers’ experiences of the Great War, the design history of the utility Land Rover, the student experience of PDP, early years education and educational research methodology. He is currently supervising History PhDs on State-funded education for patriotic imperialism between 1870-1914 and Birmingham’s political ‘exceptionalism’ in the aftermath of the Great War, alongside Education PhDs and EdDs on ‘Using diffractive analysis to explore students’ experiences of collaborative working,’ ‘Using Heathcote’s Commissioning Model for a Richard Burton Heritage project with young people in Port Talbot’ and ‘University Education: A Transformational Experience?’.  John has also examined PhDs and EdDs at UCLan, and the Universities of Derby, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

PhD completions

2004 PhD James Roberts, ‘Killer butterflies: Infantry Combat Behaviour and combat Morale within the 19th (Western) Division during the Great War’

2005 PhD Adrian Gregson, ‘1/7th Battalion, Kings Liverpool Regiment and the First World War – the experience of a territorial battalion and its home towns’

2008 MPhil Robert Bennett, ‘The Management of road traffic in rural Herefordshire 1919-1939’

2014 PhD Anthony Barnett, ‘Developing a creative analytic paradigm in relation to the early years physical setting’

2014 PhD Mark Tymms, ‘Is Personal Development Planning delivering on its pedagogic claims? The student experience of PDP at a UK university’

2015 PhD Ian Llewellyn-Nash, ‘Emotional intelligence and the construction of knowledge in student nurses’

2017 PhD Paul Hazell, ‘The Making of a Design Icon: The Utility Land Rover’

2020 PhD Dalvir Gill, ‘Exploring the Way Pre-School Practitioners and Parents from South Asian Diaspora in the UK Perceive and Construct Their Young Children’s Identities’

2020 PhD Deborah Steele, ‘Stories of Voyage and Discovery; International Sojourns as Places of Learning’


  • Sarah Parkes, Adam Benkwitz, Helen Bardy, Kerry Myler & John Peters (2020). Being more human: rooting learning analytics through resistance and reconnection with the values of higher education, Higher Education Research & Development, 39:1, 113-126, DOI: 10.1080/07294360.2019.1677569

  • Mark Tymms & John Peters (2020). Losing oneself: tutorial innovations as potential drivers of extrinsic motivation and poor wellbeing in university students, Pastoral Care in Education, DOI: 10.1080/02643944.2020.1713871

  • Peters, J., & Mathias, L. (2018). Enacting student partnership as though we really mean it: Some Freirean principles for a pedagogy of partnership. International Journal for Students As Partners, 2(2), 53-70.

  • Peters, J. (2018). The ‘Pedagogies of Partnership’ in UK Higher Education: From Blair to Freire?. Chapter 3.2 in: Melling A., Pilkington R. (eds) Paulo Freire and Transformative Education. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

  • Peters, J. (2016). The pedagogy of partnership: Six principles for action. Educational Developments, 17(4), 8-9 [December].

  • Andrews, M., Gregson, A., & Peters, J., (2014) Voices of the First World War: Worcestershire’s War, Amberley Books, Stroud.

  • Kadi-Hanifi, K., Dagman, O., Peters, J., Snell, E., Tutton, C. and Wilson, T. (2014). Engaging students and staff with educational development through Appreciative Inquiry. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 51, 6, 584-94

  • Tymms, M., Peters, J., and Scott, I. (2013). Personal Development Planning: Pedagogy and the Politicisation of the Personal. Research in Post Compulsory Education, 18, 3, pp. 257-268

  • Peters, J. (2013) ‘Hearing voices and seeing visions: why the conversation with students matters for higher education, Educational Developments, 14.1, 9-11 [March]

  • Rickarby, T. & Peters, J. (2011) ‘Final report: Using a personal learning system to engage your staff in Continuing Professional Development’, JISC building capacity project.

  • Peters, J. (2010) Book review: ‘Teaching research methods in the social sciences’, Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 47, 4, [November], Taylor & Francis

  • Peters, J. (2010) Building research capacity in a practitioner community: framing and evaluating the ‘National Action Research Network on Researching and Evaluating Personal Development Planning and e-Portfolio Practice.’ Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Special Edition: Researching PDP Practice

  • Peters, J. (2009) ‘What is the purpose of a University CPD framework?’ in Laycock, M & Shrives, L. (eds) Embedding CPD in HE, SEDA paper 123, London, [March].

  • Peters, J., Burkinshaw, S., Hughes, P., Keenan, C., Kumar, A & Ward, R. (2009) ‘Building research capacity in a practitioner network: the National Action Research network on researching and evaluating PDP and e-portfolio’ The Assessment, Learning and Teaching Journal, 5, Spring

  • Peters, J. (2008) ‘Does identifying and rewarding excellent teaching always improve student learning?’ Educational Developments, 9.1, 14-19 [February]

  • Peters, D, Jones, G. & Peters, J. (2008). Preferred ‘learning styles’ in students studying sports related programmes in Higher Education in the UK. Studies in Higher Education: 33,2, pp. 155-166

  • Peters, D, Jones, G & Peters, J. (2007). Approaches to studying, academic achievement and autonomy in students on sports related programmes in higher education. Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education, 6, 2. [November]

  • Peters, J. (2007) ‘Identifying and rewarding excellent teaching improves student learning – discuss’ in Rust, C. (ed) Improving student learning through teaching, OCSLD, Oxford

  • Halstead, A., Mcguirk, M., Peters, J., and Watkins, D. (2005) ‘Implementation and Evaluation of an ePortfolio across a UK Higher Education Institution’. Proceedings of the International EPortfolio 2005 Conference. 'Transforming Individual and organisational learning'. Cambridge, ISBN 2- 9524576-1-1

  • Peters, J. (2001). Combining Innovative Professional Practice with a Traditional Subject: Negotiated Learning in History. in Chambers, E., Evans, Y. & Lack, K. (eds) Subject Knowledges and Professional Practice in the arts and humanities: Institute for Educational Technology, Open University

  • Peters, J. (2001) ‘University College Worcester Case Study N’ Learning and Teaching Support Network, Personal Development Planning: Institutional Case Studies, LTSN, York

  • Peters, J. Peterkin, C. & Williams, C. (2000). Progression within Modular History Degrees: Profiling for a Student Centred Approach. in Booth, A & Hyland, P (eds) The Practice of University History Teaching: Manchester University Press