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David Darwent

David Darwent BSc (Hons), PGCertLTHE, PGDip, FHEA

Senior Lecturer: E-Learning Technologist


E-Learning Technologist:

• Provide support, guidance and instruction for staff in the Sheffield Institute of Education in the implementation and use of E-Learning tools and Digital Solutions to enhance teaching and learning in their programmes and modules.

For the Post 16 & F.E. PGCE programme:

• Leadership of Professional Practice and Learner Experience modules

• Personal tutor

• Assessments of trainees’ teaching

• Mentor Training, which I have previously led

• NQT ‘Champion’

• Behaviour Forum and Careers events lead

• Recruitment and selection of trainees

  • About

    I’ve taught in Higher Education for the past four years and prior to that I taught in schools and Sixth Form Colleges for over sixteen years, mostly as head of ICT (schools) and Deputy Director (post-16 sector), although I did spend the first four years of my teaching career as a mathematics teacher.

    I have overseen significant change projects, including a brand new whole-school I.T. system from network infrastructure, hardware and applications / software to staff training and development using the new system; and also the introduction of many new digital solutions and staff training to use them whilst working in the Sixth Form College environment.

    I have always worked closely with Teacher Education, almost exclusively SHU provision, and for many years was Senior Mentor Co-ordinator in a college hosting up to twenty trainees per year. I took my own PGCE at SHU where I also studied for my first degree (Mathematics with Education) and where I am now studying a Masters in Education.

    Prior to my degree I worked for eight years in retail management.


    I am interested in all aspects of teacher education but my particular passion is the development of teachers’ and trainee teachers’ skills and abilities for re-engaging learners, most especially those who are non-traditional post-compulsory students, such as those who have had a negative experience of school and reached leaving age with few or no formal qualifications. I have engaged in research into the roles of youth work and praise / recognition in re-engaging learners and continue to research the latter.

    Via my service on the committee of ITTE I seek to influence change in the training of teachers to make use of Digital Learning Technologies including my joint leadership of a project to create a national CPD programme for teachers in the use of ICT to enhance learning.

  • Teaching

    Department of Teacher Education

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    I have a wide range of teaching interests, but the embedding of Mathematics, the use of Digital Technology and how learners are given feedback and praise are particular interests within the ITE curriculum

  • Research

    Embarking on a EdD from January 2018, with the draft title "Marking to fail or facilitating success: an investigation into approaches to assessment, focussing on the use of assessment criteria."

    Joint research into Trainee Teachers' use of Social Media (especially FaceBook) and presented the resulting journal article to Ethicomp 2015. Publication: EDWARDS, Martyn, DARWENT, Dave and IRONS, Charly (2015). 'That blasted Facebook page': supporting trainee-teachers' professional learning through social media. Computers and Society, 45 (3), 420-426.

    Joint research into the embedding of Professional Standards into ITE.


    Research into how (or whether) teachers are trained to offer meaningful praise and recognition to learners and whether praise and recognition are significant in maintaining learner engagement. 

    Leader of Faculty LTA Project on Praise and feedback in collaboration with Sheffield United Community Foundation, New College Pontefract and Birkdale School.

    Collaborative research and writing for BERA 2017 symposium: “University teacher education and teacher educators: trust, agency and leadership in changing systems”.

    LEAD Associate for 2017 with a project on modes and models of feedback and reward.

  • Publications

    EDWARDS, Martyn, DARWENT, Dave and IRONS, Charly (2015). 'That blasted Facebook page': supporting trainee-teachers' professional learning through social media. Computers and Society, 45 (3), 420-426.

  • Other activities

    • Chartered IT Professional member of the British Computer Society (CITP) 

    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)  

    • Founder member of IfL (MIfL), now member of SET (MSET)

    • Founding member of the Chartered College of Teaching (CCT)

    • Committee member of the association for information technology in teacher education (ITTE)

    • Member of Teacher Educators in Life Long Learning (TELL)

    • Member of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT)

    • External Examiner for the University of South Wales' PCET provision

    • External Examiner for the University of Cambridge's International Examinations’ Teaching with Digital Technologies Professional Qualification. 

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