Dr. Pratap Rughani, Reader and Course Director of MA Documentary Film at LCC, has been elected as Vice Chair of the Committee of the Association of the National Teaching Fellows (CANTF). The committee provides a group response on policy issues as well as coordinating the work of the ANTF. This is a prestigious position in which Pratap will be representing National Teaching Fellows across the country. The Exchange caught up with Pratap to ask him about the value of being a National Teaching Fellow:
Exchange: How has being a National Teaching Fellow benefitted you?
Pratap: Being a National Teaching Fellow helps me go more deeply and refine what I aspire to do and give in the teaching part of my time at UAL. And, crucially, to develop this in a community of people more developed than me. You get exposure to some really exciting practitioners across the country; fantastically motivated people helping create the weather in teaching and learning at a time when there’s a real need to stake out the case for the future and excellence of art education.
Exchange: How can becoming a National Teaching Fellow support other UAL staff?
Pratap: Becoming an NTF can help UAL staff build on what drives and animates us. It’s about nurturing our individual voices and vision whilst bringing this into relation to great teaching practice in a collective response that builds our teaching and learning collective and culture. Leading from what we love in teaching and learning is the essential ingredient in an age too preoccupied with jargon, frameworks and bureaucracy. If that resonates with you then think about becoming an NTF – there’s real support for it here. There’s a wealth of inspiring teaching practice at UAL – from great colleagues who interleave how to make, teach and research concurrently.
Practically, the award includes £10,000 for CPD to develop further so that our students can benefit, and develop individual directions that are really meaningful. It encourages staff to be in touch with their passion in teaching and learning and it’s helped fuel this for me.
Exchange: What advice would you give to someone thinking of applying?
Pratap: Talk to NTFs and people who support the application process (details below). I did it because someone I respected said it would help the College/UAL if I tried. I respected her enough to put energy into this but also out of respect for myself – as a way of asking myself “what do I think I’m doing in my teaching practice?” and assessing how this is working (or not). I want my research and practice to infuse my teaching and vice-versa and I wanted to know if it was working – especially on days where I felt pulled in diverse directions. So for me its developmental value was huge – an important exercise in itself, whatever the outcome of the application. If you think that taking stock of your teaching and learning journey so far could help improve your teaching and working life, then this is a real chance to take that impulse seriously. Good luck!
The Teaching and Learning Exchange supports staff to become National Teaching Fellows. The next round of applications will be announced in August 2016. For further information visit our National Teaching Fellowship page on MyArts, or visit the Higher Education Academy website.