Professor Emeritus – Nick Sorensen – Bath Spa University

 Emeritus Professor 

Personal statement

Nick Sorensen is Emeritus Professor of Education and former Assistant Dean of the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University. Prior to joining Bath Spa in 2008 he had extensive experience of working in secondary schools (which included 6 years as a headteacher) and as an educational consultant.

His interests centre around the education and professional development of teachers. As a researcher he contributed to the evaluation of the innovative Masters in Teaching and Learning and chaired the Diversity in Teacher Education project that mapped the increasingly complex system of school led teacher education. He contributed to the development of the Paper Nations creative writing project and was a member of its Governance Group.

Nick was the saxophonist in the transcultural music project Kusanganisa (the Shona word for mixture) alongside Chartwell Dutiro (mbira), Leandro Maia (guitar) and Chris Blanden (bass). The group gave a presentation at a Bath Spa Global Citizenship lecture in October 2017.

Kusanganisa also contributed to the Mistura Mundo Sul Generis International Music Festival in the Brazilian cities of Pelotas and Porto Alegre in November 2017, a visit funded by Dr Leandro Maia’s Bath Spa Pioneer Award.

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) English and Drama University of Exeter
  • PGCE Goldsmiths College, London
  • MA in Education University of Sussex
  • PhD Bath Spa University.

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow HEA
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Current projects

  • Since September 2019 Nick has been contributing to an interdisciplinary project undertaking research into the significance of silence in music.
  • Nick is an advocate for promoting the performing and visual arts within the curriculum.

Other external roles

  • AHRC Peer Review Panel Member.

Research

Nick’s practice-based research, as a musician, is concerned with processes of collaboration and the fundamental relational and social nature of music making. He is also interested in site specific performances that explore the unique acoustics of unconventional spaces.

This research informs his interest in teaching and the development of improvisational pedagogies, specifically the ways in which improvisation is taught and how teaching can be developed as an improvisational practice.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Diversity in teacher education: perspectives on a school-led system
book

Sorensen, N, ed. (2019) Diversity in teacher education: perspectives on a school-led system. UCL IOE Press, London. ISBN 9781782772521


The craft of teaching musical improvisation improvisationally: towards a theoretical framework
book_section

Sorensen, N (2021) 'The craft of teaching musical improvisation improvisationally: towards a theoretical framework.' In: Holdhus, K, Murphy, R and Espeland, M.I, eds. Music education as craft: reframing theories and practices. Springer, Cham, pp. 165-180. ISBN 9783030677039


Encouraging equitable access to higher education in Bogotá, Colombia: a case study of an innovative dual-enrollment project
book_section

Gomez Bermeo, L and Sorensen, N (2019) 'Encouraging equitable access to higher education in Bogotá, Colombia: a case study of an innovative dual-enrollment project.' In: Huber, T and O’Meara, J.G, eds. Teacher education at the edge: expanding access and exploring frontiers. Information Age Publishing, Charlotte, NC, pp. 141-178. ISBN 9781641138284


Reclaiming teacher education: a conversational journey of realization, innovation and determination through imposed national policies
book_section

Black, P and Sorensen, N (2019) 'Reclaiming teacher education: a conversational journey of realization, innovation and determination through imposed national policies.' In: Sorensen, N, ed. Diversity in Teacher Education: perspectives on a school-led system. UCL IOE Press, London. ISBN 9781782772521


Partnerships: the changing relationships between schools and HEIs
book_section

Sorensen, N (2019) 'Partnerships: the changing relationships between schools and HEIs.' In: Sorensen, N, ed. Diversity in Teacher Education: perspectives on a school-led system. UCL IOE Press, London. ISBN 9781782772521


Introduction: Diversity in Teacher Education: a study of a school-led system
book_section

Sorensen, N (2019) 'Introduction: Diversity in Teacher Education: a study of a school-led system.' In: Sorensen, N, ed. Diversity in Teacher Education: perspectives on a school-led system. UCL IOE Press, London. ISBN 9781782772521


The nature of work based learning on placement
book_section

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
book_section

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, Abingdon, pp. 73-91. ISBN 9781138813632


Listening to vegetables
book_section

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.


Identifying new parameters informing the relationship between silence and sound in diverse musical performance practices and perception
article

Burnard, P, Sorensen, N, Gill, S and Rabinowitch, T-C (2021) 'Identifying new parameters informing the relationship between silence and sound in diverse musical performance practices and perception.' International Journal of Music Science, Technology and Art, 3 (1). pp. 7-17. ISSN 2612-2146


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


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


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


The DiTE project
conference_item

la Velle, L and Sorensen, N (2018) The DiTE project. In: ICET 62nd World Assembly, 9 - 11 July 2018, Laredo, TX, USA.


Collaboration & partnership within a school-led system of teacher education
conference_item

Sorensen, N (2018) Collaboration & partnership within a school-led system of teacher education. In: Marjon Academy Lecture Series, 12 March 2018, Plymouth Marjon University, UK.


Transitioning 'Eleanora': an auto-ethnographic account of site-specific transdisciplinary collaboration
conference_item

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.
conference_item

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
conference_item

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
conference_item

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
conference_item

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.


Kusanganisa Live
audio

Sorensen, N, Blanden, C, Dutiro, C and Maia, L (2018) Kusanganisa Live.


The journey home
audio

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


Exploring teacher recruitment and retention: contextual challenges from international perspectives [book review]
other

Sorensen, N (2021) Exploring teacher recruitment and retention: contextual challenges from international perspectives [book review]. Journal of Education for Teaching, 47 (2). pp. 300-301. ISSN 1360-0540


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