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Nicholas Sorensen

2

Personal statement

I joined Bath Spa University in September 2008 as a Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership working in the Professional Masters Programme. My current role as Associate Dean is concerned with developing and sustaining strategic partnerships.

My professional experience includes 25 years working in secondary schools: for 6 years I was the headteacher of a large comprehensive school in Wiltshire.

I am a jazz musician, playing alto and soprano saxohones, and regularly perform with the pianist John Law. My experience as a musician provides me with an understanding of improvisation that I seek to apply within educational settings. My PhD thesis, gained in 2014, explored the improvisatory nature of teacher expertise.

Academic qualifications

  • BA(Hons) Exeter
  • PGCE Goldsmiths
  • MA Sussex
  • PhD Bath Spa University

Professional memberships

  • British Educational Research Association (2009)
  • Expansive Education Network (2011)
  • Institute of Leadership and Management (2010)
  • International Professional Development Association (2010)
  • Nordic Educational Research Association (2012)

External examiners

External examiner University of Bedfordshire [MBA in Educational Leadership] from Sept 2013

Other external roles

  • Subject Expert: National College for School Leadership
  • Commissioned evaluation of TRANSFORMs Masters in Teaching and Learning (2010)
  • Commissioned evaluation of University of Bath's Graduate Teacher Programme
  • Research Officer with the Welsh Baccalaureate Internal Evaluation team, University of Bath
  • Reseach Officer for CfBT report on the TDAs 'Excellent Teachers' scheme
  • Associate consultant for GL Performance
  • Associate consultant for TLO
  • Associate consultant for Tribal

Conferences

  • BERA Conference 2012
  • NERA Conference 2012
  • IPDA Conference 2010
  • IPDA Conference 2009
  • BERA Conference 2009 
  • IPDA Conference 2008
  • IPDA Conference 2007

Teaching specialism

  • Leadership Development
  • Research methodology and methods
  • Coaching
  • Improvisation music workshops

Current scholarship

My research is centred around a number of related themes:

  • professional formation
  • teacher development
  • leadership and creativity.

I am particularly interested the study of improvisation, exploring my own practice as an improvising musician as a means to understanding improvisation within social contexts.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

The nature of work based learning on placement
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Sorensen, N (2017) 'The nature of work based learning on placement.' In: Hordern, J and Simon, C, eds. Placements and work-based learning in education studies: an introduction for students. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 22-31. ISBN 9781138839069


The music: extracts from The Eleonora Diary
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Sorensen, N (2016) 'The music: extracts from The Eleonora Diary.' In: Oddey, A and White, C, eds. A gift for Eleonora. Eleonora Press, pp. 35-39. ISBN 97809935552007


Catching the sparks: an evaluation of the early development of a novel Master’s degree in teaching and learning
book_section

Sorensen, N and la Velle, L (2014) 'Catching the sparks: an evaluation of the early development of a novel Master’s degree in teaching and learning.' In: la Velle, L, ed. Masterliness in the Teaching Profession. Routledge, London, pp. 73-91. ISBN 9781138813632


Listening to vegetables
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Sorensen, N and Fisher, L (2009) 'Listening to vegetables.' In: Friedland, S.R, ed. Vegetables: proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2008. Prospect, Totnes. ISBN 9781903018668


Managing change: managing time for talk. A whole school approach to oracy
book_section

Sorensen, N and Miller, D (1990) 'Managing change: managing time for talk. A whole school approach to oracy.' In: Talk and the secondary school: reports from the West Sussex Oracy Project. West Sussex language papers, 2 . West Sussex County Council, Chichester, pp. 6-11.


Diversity and complexity: becoming a teacher in England in 2015-16
article

Whiting, C, Whitty, G, Menter, I, Black, P, Hordern, J, Parfitt, A, Reynolds, K and Sorensen, N (2018) 'Diversity and complexity: becoming a teacher in England in 2015-16.' Review of Education, 6 (1). pp. 69-96. ISSN 2049-6613


Improvisation and teacher expertise: implications for the professional development of outstanding teachers
article

Sorensen, N (2017) 'Improvisation and teacher expertise: implications for the professional development of outstanding teachers.' Professional Development in Education, 43 (1). pp. 6-22. ISSN 1941-5265


The challenges of student-centred learning: from policy to practice
article

Sorensen, N (2016) 'The challenges of student-centred learning: from policy to practice.' The 10th International Silk Road Conference on EU Association Agreement: Perspectives and Challenges - Proceedings, 10. xi-xvi. ISSN 1512-2549


The metaphor of 'the jazz band': ethical issues for leadership
article

Sorensen, N (2013) 'The metaphor of 'the jazz band': ethical issues for leadership.' Critical Studies in Improvisation, 9 (1). ISSN 1712-0624


Catching the sparks: an evaluation of the early development of a novel Master’s degree in teaching and learning
article

Sorensen, N and La Velle, L (2013) 'Catching the sparks: an evaluation of the early development of a novel Master’s degree in teaching and learning.' Journal of Education for Teaching, 39 (1). pp. 74-92. ISSN 0260-7476


Authorised to teach?
article

Coombs, S and Sorensen, N (2010) 'Authorised to teach?' CPD Update, 126. pp. 8-9.


Whither Postgraduate Professional Development? Towards a theoretical framework to guide long-term teacher development in England.
article

Coombs, S and Sorensen, N (2010) 'Whither Postgraduate Professional Development? Towards a theoretical framework to guide long-term teacher development in England.' Professional Development in Education, 36 (4). pp. 683-689. ISSN 1941-5257


Transitioning 'Eleanora': an auto-ethnographic account of site-specific transdisciplinary collaboration
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Sorensen, N (2016) Transitioning 'Eleanora': an auto-ethnographic account of site-specific transdisciplinary collaboration. In: Performance Studies Network: Fourth International Conference, 14 -17 July 2016, Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.


Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley workshop: funk masterclass
conference_item

Sorensen, N, Ellis, P.W and Wesley, F (2016) Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley workshop: funk masterclass. In: Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival, 19 March 2016, Bristol Folk House, Bristol, UK.


Improvisation and teacher expertise: reconceptualising teacher professionalism.
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Sorensen, N (2015) Improvisation and teacher expertise: reconceptualising teacher professionalism. In: BERA Annual Conference, 15 - 17 September 2015, Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Developing the art of improvisation in expert teachers
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Sorensen, N (2015) Developing the art of improvisation in expert teachers. In: The Arts and Science of Improvisation in Education, 8 - 12 June 2015, Stord/Haugesund University College, Norway.


Challenges of student centred learning in the framework of the Bologna Process
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Sorensen, N (2015) Challenges of student centred learning in the framework of the Bologna Process. In: 10th International Silk Road Conference: EU Association Agreement - Perspectives and Challenges, 22-23 May 2015, Silk Road Research Institute, International Black Sea University, Tbilisi, Georgia.


Pee Wee Ellis masterclass: funk and all that jazz
conference_item

Sorensen, N and Ellis, P.W (2015) Pee Wee Ellis masterclass: funk and all that jazz. In: Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival, 7 March 2015, Bristol Folk House, Bristol, UK.


In session with Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley: a funk masterclass
conference_item

Sorensen, N, Ellis, P.W and Wesley, F (2014) In session with Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley: a funk masterclass. In: Bristol International Jazz & Blues Festival, 9 March 2014, Bristol Folk House, Bristol, UK.


Understanding expert teaching: in search of ‘the improvising pedagogue’
conference_item

Sorensen, N (2012) Understanding expert teaching: in search of ‘the improvising pedagogue’. In: BERA Annual Conference 2012, 4 - 6 Sep, University of Manchester.


Fixed vs negotiated CPD: abridging the best of the TDA’s PPD with the new MTL
conference_item

Coombs, S, Barrington, R, Sorensen, N, Caston, A, Maine, F and Wisdom, P (2010) Fixed vs negotiated CPD: abridging the best of the TDA’s PPD with the new MTL. In: International Professional Development Association, 26-27 November 2010, Aston University, Birmingham.


Creating “authorised” teachers: the leadership of CPD in a self-improving school system
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Sorensen, N (2010) Creating “authorised” teachers: the leadership of CPD in a self-improving school system. In: International Professional Development Association International Conference, 26-27 November 2010, Aston University, Birmingham.


Researching teachers lives: finding out how brilliant teachers improvise and why this is a good thing
conference_item

Sorensen, N (2010) Researching teachers lives: finding out how brilliant teachers improvise and why this is a good thing. In: Bath Spa University Second Annual Summer Symposium, 4 June 2010, Corsham Court Centre, Bath Spa University.


Creating a culture of professional learning: the role of metaphor, teacher narrative and improvisation in school-based CPD
conference_item

Sorensen, N (2009) Creating a culture of professional learning: the role of metaphor, teacher narrative and improvisation in school-based CPD. In: BERA Annual Conference, 2-5 September 2009, University of Manchester.


'Effective', 'Excellent', 'Outstanding: Unravelling the lexicon of 'good practice'
conference_item

Coombs, S and Sorensen, N (2009) 'Effective', 'Excellent', 'Outstanding: Unravelling the lexicon of 'good practice'. In: International Professional Development Association. International Conference 2009, 26-28 November, Paragon Hotel, Birmingham, UK.


Principles of professional learning: how PPD can have an impact upon students learning experience
conference_item

Sorensen, N (2008) Principles of professional learning: how PPD can have an impact upon students learning experience. In: International Professional Development Association 40th Annual Conference, 5-6 December 2008, Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool.


The value of a four phase framework for teacher development to identify individual staff training needs
conference_item

Sorensen, N (2007) The value of a four phase framework for teacher development to identify individual staff training needs. In: International Professional Development Association Conference, 30 November - 1 December 2007, Ramada Hotel, Belfast.


Improvisation and teacher expertise: a comparative case study
thesis

Sorensen, N (2014) Improvisation and teacher expertise: a comparative case study. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.


Towards a new topography of ITT: a profile of Initial Teacher Training in England 2015-16. An Occasional Paper from the IFE No.1
commissioned_report

Whiting, C, Black, P, Hordern, J, Parfitt, A, Reynolds, K, Sorensen, N and Whitty, G (2016) Towards a new topography of ITT: a profile of Initial Teacher Training in England 2015-16. An Occasional Paper from the IFE No.1. Bath Spa University, Institute for Education, Bath. ISBN 9780992633899


A gift for Eleonora
performance

Sorensen, N and Oddey, A (2015) A gift for Eleonora. Pazzi Chapel, Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, 14-15 May 2015.


The journey home
audio

Sorensen, N and Law, J (2010) The journey home.


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