Mrs Ruth Atkinson
Lecturer in Education (Music)
Plymouth Institute of Education (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)
I work in Plymouth Institute of Education, teaching on the BEd and PGCE initial teacher education programmes for primary and early-years teachers. I am the subject leader for Music on these programmes as well as overseeing our broader curriculum teaching as a whole. I am also a professional tutor and make school visits when students are on placement.
2016 Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Roles on external bodies
Member of the board of the Plymouth Music Education Hub
A continuing priority is to help student teachers develop a deep sense of how children learn and develop - and how high-quality teaching is founded on this understanding. Times change - and so do curricula, statutory requirements, technologies, budgets, etc - but the fundamental nature of children, their wellbeing and their learning remain constant and need always to be at the centre of what we do.
- developing students' skills, knowledge and confidence in working musically with children
- developing their pedagogic understanding and professional expertise
- exploring how to plan effective lessons and how to assess progress
- considering, from a whole-school/setting perspective, how to organise and plan things so that children's musical experiences can be progressive, with continuity as well as variety
- investigating what is known and surmised about children's musical development
- carrying out small pieces of new research in schools
I am interested in aspects of HE pedagogy that impact on the efficacy of my work with student teachers, particularly in the realm of primary music. This was the basis of my article published in 2017 'The pedagogy of primary music teaching: talking about not talking'. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ie4wX23ZA3g5gq9eBwKQ/full
I am currently engaged in research focused on supporting staff in primary and special schools to develop their capabilities and confidence in music teaching.
Grants & contracts
One project I am currently involved in is being funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Another project has been given pump-prime funding by the Plymouth Institute of Education and further match-funding is expected from Devon Music Education Hub.
Atkinson, Ruth (2018) Mastering Primary Music, London: Bloomsbury Academic
Key publications are highlightedJournals
Music Mark newsletter for schools January 2016:
Other academic activities
Music workshop as an 'immersive pedagogical experience' for new lecturers at Plymouth University, as part of a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) module called 'Developing Professional Practice', June 2016
'Musical music teaching in UK primary education: putting into words the need to get away from words'
I enjoy many kinds of music in a variety of contexts. I play 'cello, drums, recorders, ukulele, guitar and piano, and I sing. I love living by the sea.