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Jon Wright


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Personal profile

Research interests

My primary research is ‘flow’ or optimal experiences, and in reversal theory that theoretically underpins much of what I have come to understand about the flow. I have a general interest in all things related to occupational therapy and occupational science, which has been reflected in the supervision I have undertaken for many Masters students and four doctoral students I have supervised.

Approach to teaching

I am an experienced problem based learning (PBL) teacher and have a passion for Performance-Based Learning (PBL) and other student centred approaches to learning that has directed my teaching throughout my career. I believe that there are similarities between occupational therapy and pedagogic philosophies that underpin much of my work including the importance of meaningful occupation/learning and learning through ‘doing’. Consequently, in my teaching I work in a way that ensures that learning has meaning for the student, for example, by working on problems from ‘real life’ or issues within the students’ own practice. Additionally, my teaching reflects the belief that students learn deeply through active engagement in the learning process in a safe, supportive environment in which they can be challenged academically and helped to think critically.

I consider myself to be extremely enthusiastic and student/client centred in my work and compassionate and supportive towards students. I have a reputation for being warm, open, friendly and approachable and for using humour when teaching. I believe that I produce my best work when I am working in partnership with others, in environments where I can facilitate students and colleagues to produce high quality work and where I am inspired by being at the leading edge of developments.

Supervisory Interests

Jon Wright is an experienced research supervisor at masters and doctoral level. He is interested in supporting research into the following research areas: occupational therapy practice, occupational science, flow/optimal experiences and reversal theory. Jon is a pragmatist in his approach to research; he is problem-centred, orientated to real-world practice and believes in selecting from the full range of available methods those most appropriate for the research problem being investigated.

Scholarly biography

Following successfully completing my Diploma from the College of Occupational Therapists, I worked in London as an occupational therapist, firstly at the Whittington Hospital and later at Hackney Hospital. During this time, I worked in a variety of physical settings, before moving to Kent to work first in elderly rehabilitation at Nunnery Fields Hospital and then moving to become Head IV Occupational Therapist at the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital (RSBH) in Margate, which specialised in orthopaedics and rheumatology. I acted-up as Head II Occupational Therapist for Thanet for a year, having responsibility for occupational therapy services at Margate Hospital, Ramsgate Hospital, RSBH and Victoria House Young Disabled Unit. In 1989, I changed direction and began working in mental health. Initially, I was a Head III Occupational Therapist responsible for occupational therapy services in two Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) in Thanet, and later I additionally became responsible for services in Canterbury & Faversham and the coastal area of Whitstable and Herne Bay. I acted-up as Head II Occupational Therapist on a couple of occasions before being awarded the position permanently, with responsibility for occupational therapy mental health services throughout the Trust, including acute adult and older people’s services.

I joined the University of Brighton as a Senior Lecturer in 1996 and became a Principal Lecturer in 2005. During my teaching career, I have worked with students from foundation degree to doctoral level. I have been a member of the staff team for the European Masters in Occupational Therapy for many years and an external examiner at several universities. Although I have been involved in teaching other disciplines including physiotherapists, podiatrists, nurses, social workers and medics, my main responsibilities have been in the education of occupational therapy students. I have been a course leader and team member responsible for numerous successful validations, accreditations and periodic reviews. Both courses I’ve led, and the many that I have been a team member of, have consistently and regularly received excellent feedback from external examiners.

From 1996, my main role has included the Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy/MSc Health Through Occupation (later renamed MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration)), which was the first pre-registration Masters in Occupational Therapy in the UK. During this time, I have taken various roles including: Year One Coordinator, Module Leader, Admissions Tutor and Course Leader (2003-2010). My involvement includes being a personal tutor, research supervisor and a problem based learning teacher, that has included devising new problems with occupational therapy colleagues, creating new triggers, writing tutor guides and providing fixed resource sessions. I have introduced innovations within the curriculum such as changing the dissertation from a 15,000-word thesis to a paper prepared for submission to a peer reviewed journal with an extended literature review and critical reflection, or ‘Research by Design’, in which students could produce a detailed proposal for research that could form the basis for doctoral study. Both innovations have been adopted by other programmes at the University. I was the first to devise group student research projects with local occupational therapy managers and clinicians and was course leader when inter-professional education was introduced between occupational therapy, medical, nursing and social work students.

In 2010 I became Course Leader for the MSc Occupational Therapy (Post-registration) (Education/Management). In this role, I have worked closely with colleagues from other professions including physiotherapy, podiatry and nursing. An example of innovative practice in this role is of introducing LYNC/Skype for Business in action learning sets and in the assessment of presentations.

I have been a member of the staff team of the European Masters in Occupational Therapy since 2001, providing education and research opportunities for postgraduate occupational therapists from many countries throughout Europe and beyond. The European Masters is a course that is run in cooperation with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), Zurich University of Applied Sciences, University College Zealand (Denmark) and Karolinska Institute (Sweden). The course underwent two re-accreditations simultaneously in September 2015 in which I represented the course in his positions of module leader, research tutor and member of the Examination Board: the programme accreditation per the standards of the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Institute NVAO (Nederland’s Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie) and the Distinctive Quality Feature Internationalisation per the ECA standards (European Consortium for Accreditation in Higher Education). The accreditation process assesses the programme on four standards:

  1. Intended Learning Outcomes
  2. Teaching and Learning Environment
  3. Learning and Assessment System
  4. Learning Outcomes Achieved.

The first three were judged to be ‘good’, and the fourth one ‘excellent’. The results were the highest that a programme has received within the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The European Masters has graduated 197 students of whom over 50 have published their research in peer reviewed journals.

Knowledge exchange

I have acted in a consultancy role, as a professional supervisor, for occupational therapy managers in both physical and mental health services to develop professional practice and improve performance. I have led CPD workplace learning initiatives in collaboration with service users and local occupational therapy managers entitled: ‘Understanding and supporting people with low motivation’, and initiated and organised courses in the Model of Human Occupation for between 20-200 people that were highly evaluated by local managers and participants. I have been invited on several occasions to participate in CPD workshops for occupational therapists working in local Trust promoting knowledge transfer about compassion in health care and optimal experiences.

Education/Academic qualification


… → 2008

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Research Output 2004 2019

Developing a fall prevention program: what are the views and opinions of people with multiple sclerosis?

Kegsin, F., Suddick, K., Heesen, C. & Wright, J., 20 Aug 2019, In : Disability and Rehabilitation. 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Multiple Sclerosis
Accidental Falls
Program Development
Occupational Therapy
Focus Groups
Occupational Therapy
Intellectual Disability
Organizational Culture
Professional Education
Learning Disorders

Bourdieu and interprofessional education: what’s the relevance?

Bonello, M., Wright, J., Morris, J. & Sadlo, G., 7 Aug 2017, In : Studies in Continuing Education. p. 1-16 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
health care profession
sociological theory

Occupational therapy supporting people with PIMD to engage meaningfully in activities at home

Haines, D., Wright, J. & Comerasamy, H., 31 Jul 2014, p. 395-396. 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

multiple disabilities
occupational therapy
occupational therapist
research results
Motor Skills
Process Assessment (Health Care)
Cross-Sectional Studies