Daphne Loads's role involves supporting and developing initiatives - many of which are supported by alumni donations - that ensure teaching at Edinburgh remains innovative.
I studied English at Cambridge University (1977-80) and then taught English as a Foreign Language in Spain, Portugal and Egypt before returning to the UK to pursue a career in Social Care/Social Work. I worked with children and adults with learning disabilities in England and came to do my postgrad in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh, qualifying in 1989. After that I developed my interest in staff development and professional education, training teams and individuals to support people with learning difficulties to live as independently as possible.
I continued to pay attention to my own professional development, gaining professional qualifications in both counselling and horticulture. In 2007, I joined what was then the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at the University of Edinburgh and subsequently moved into the Institute for Academic Development (IAD) when it was launched in 2011. I gained my doctorate in 2012.
It was my Dad who inspired me to value education. He was a very talented man who never got the chance of further or higher education himself, but always encouraged his three daughters.
Now I lead the Principal’s Teaching Awards Scheme (PTAS), the Edinburgh Teaching Award (EDTA) and the Practical Strategies sessions – all ways of enhancing and recognising good teaching throughout the University. I also teach on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP), which is a masters-level programme for academics who teach. I am an active researcher, with particular interests in academic identities and arts-enriched development activities. It’s part of my role to encourage colleagues to research and write about their teaching.
This means I’ve come into contact with many, many colleagues who are committed to making their own teaching the best it can be and to helping their colleagues to develop.
One of my most inspirational colleagues is Emily Salvesen, who manages PTAS, PGCAP and the EDTA. I admire the way she is able to combine awe-inspiring efficiency with a warm personal approach to each colleague and student.
My aims are to continue with this balance of teaching, writing and support. I really enjoy it!
I’ve come into contact with many, many colleagues who are committed to making their own teaching the best it can be and to helping their colleagues to develop.
Not many people know that alongside all our other activities, members of the IAD also carry out research in to learning and teaching in higher education.