John Peters

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John Peters joined Newman in 2014 as Head of Academic Practice. 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. He is on the executive of the Staff and Educational Development Association as chair of its Scholarship and Research Committee and is Associate Director for Research at the Centre for Recording Achievement.

Current Administrative Duties

As Head of Academic Practice, John is responsible for staff formation at Newman University, with regard to academic and educational development. He is a member of Newman University Operations Team, Senate, Academic Standards Committee, Research Committee, Research Ethics Committee, Environmental Committee, Equality and Diversity Committee, Estates and IT infrastructure working group and is vice-chair of Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee.


Research Interests

John’s current research interests include student partnership, critical pedagogy in HE, appreciative inquiry, collaborative educational development and personal tutoring. He 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 £10,000 HEA strategic enhancement project on flexible pedagogy, a £15,000 HEA project on ‘enhancing retention, progression and achievement through student partnership’ and an ongoing £47,000 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 is a member of the AHRC funded Voices of War and Peace research network.

Current Teaching

John has supervised six 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 and educational research methodology. He is currently supervising PhDs on State-funded education for patriotic imperialism between 1870-1914 and Birmingham’s political ‘exceptionalism’ in the aftermath of the Great War.

An experienced educational developer, John provides workshops on the range of HE learning, teaching and assessment practice as well as supporting the development of staff academic practice.  He is the programme leader of the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice and a course tutor on the national SEDA/CRA personal and academic tutoring award.

Other Activities

Details of Research Supervision


  • 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, Volume 6, Number 2 [November]

  • 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, 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

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

  • Kadi-Hanifi, K., Dagman, O., Peters, J., Snell, E., Tutton, C. and Wilson, T. (2013). Engaging students and staff with educational development through Appreciative Inquiry. Innovations in Education and Teaching International

  • 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 ,

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

  • 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].

  • Croll, A. & Peters, J. (1999) 'The Nineteenth Century (1815 - 1914): British History' Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature 85

  • Peters, J. (2006) ‘Researching student attitudes to personal development planning’ PDP-UK Newsletter, 7, 7-8

  • Peters, J & Burkinshaw, S. ‘The national action research network for researching and evaluating PDP and ePortfolio practice’ PDP-UK Newsletter, 12, 6-7 [December]

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

  • 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. (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. (2001) ‘Implementing Progress File: Skills, PDP and Recording Achievement’ 2nd Annual Skills Conference Proceedings

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

  • 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. (2007) ‘A guide and toolkit for evaluating personal development planning’ Centre for Recording Achievement

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

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