I am the Deputy Vice Provost for Learning and Teaching at Bath Spa University, and my role focuses particularly on enhancement of learning and teaching across the institution. My background is in the subject of geography, specifically around issues of poverty, wellbeing and sustainability. I studied geography at the University of Birmingham, development geography at the University of Liverpool, and completed my PhD at the University of Bath. My doctoral research used a wellbeing framework to explore the processes and outcomes of community group membership in a village in Northeast Thailand.
This research has contributed to my teaching at Bath Spa, as I am interested in all aspects of the development process, from issues of sustainability and environmental change, to the politics of collective action, poverty alleviation and enhancing wellbeing. I have also been involved in research focusing on the teaching of geography, effective assessment and feedback strategies, and methods of supporting students while on overseas fieldwork, and during work-based learning placements.
My other research interests and publications centre around the role of development organisations and the creation and effectiveness of partnerships for international development. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.
- MA University of Liverpool
- BA University of Birmingham
- PhD University of Bath
- PGCert Bath Spa University
- Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Learning in Higher Education (Bath Spa University, 2009)
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, with the Institute of itish Geographers (RGS-IBG).
- Bath Spa University Promising Researcher Fellowship, Feb 2008
- Schaaf, R. Wellbeing of Places? Exploring collective wellbeing. Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, New York, 2012
- Simm, D., Marvell, A. and Schaaf, R. Evaluating student-led learning and engagement with place on international fieldwork. RGS-IBG Annual Conference, 2011.
- Marvell, A., Winlow, H., Simm, D. and Schaaf, R. Student Experiences of Foundation Degrees in Further and Higher Education. GEES conference, University of Plymouth, 7-9th July 2010
- Schaaf, R., Skellern, A. and Haslett, S. Google Earth and Sustainable Development Education: examples from human and physical geography. GEES conference, University of Plymouth, 7-9th July 2010
- Simm, D. and Schaaf, R. Providing specialist support to peers: evaluating a student mentoring scheme for semi-independent overseas fieldwork - Poster presentation. GEES conference, University of Plymouth, 7-9th July 2010
- 'Place Matters: aspirations and experiences of wellbeing in NE Thailand', Paper presented at the Wellbeing and Place Conference, Durham University, April 2009
- 'Whose Wellbeing? Experiences and outcomes of community groups in Northeast Thailand', Paper presented at the Department of Social and Communication Studies Conference, University of Chester, March 2009
- 'Do Groups Matter? Using a wellbeing framework to understand collective activities in Northeast Thailand.', Paper presented at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, DARG session, London, 27th August, 2008
- 'Developing as One: Community groups and the construction of wellbeing in Northeast', Paper presented at the ASEASUK Conference, Liverpool, 20-22 June 2008
- 'Relational Harmony or Economic Efficiency', Poster presented at the Wellbeing in International Development Conference, University of Bath, 28-30 June 2007
- 'Constructing wellbeing through community groups: a view from Northeast Thailand', Paper presented at the Political Studies Association Conference, University of Bath, 12 April 2007
- 'Balancing wellbeing through community groups: Exploring individual and collective behaviour within a context of rapid change in Thailand', Paper delivered at the ASEASUK Conference, Emerging Scholars Panel, Oxford, 16 September 2006
- 'Individual and Collective Wellbeing: Exploring the role of community groups in the construction of wellbeing in Northeast Thailand', Paper delivered at the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Health and Wellbeing Session, London, 1 September 2006.
- 'Participation and the Diversity of Wellbeing Experiences in NE Thailand', Paper presented at the School of Science and the Environment Seminar Series, Bath Spa University, March 2006
- 'Wellbeing and Collective Action: Preliminary findings from a village study in NE Thailand', Presentation at Khon Kaen University, Thailand, 26 August 2005