Kelly Alexander

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Prior to joining the University of Bedfordshire in 2010, I worked as a forensic social worker and Approved Mental Health Professional in London. My doctoral research drew on this experience to explore the emotional impact of the risk assessment and management aspects of the role of mental health professionals.

Additionally, I have been involved in research relating to resilience, particularly related to enhancing resilience in social work and healthcare students.

My main areas of interest are mental health social work practice, risk and resilience.

Approach to teaching

I am a qualified social worker, Approved Mental Health Professional and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My teaching practice integrates practice experience, research and pedagogy.

As a social work educator, I think it is essential to adopt teaching
methods that are distinct and enable students to develop their professional identity. Shulman (2005) identifies signature pedagogy as education characterised by core aspects constituting professional
knowledge. The social work curriculum combines academic and practice-based learning that requires students not only to evidence competence but also to evaluate their ethical understanding of social work as a value-based profession. I understand that a key element of my role as a social work educator is to socialise social work students into the profession, in addition to facilitating the development of knowledge and skills. 

To achieve this, I adopt a relational teaching approach (Bovill, 2020) that emphasises the relationships between both academic and student, and student and student; this is evident in the teaching methods that I use that encourage interaction and engagement as well as peer learning. This approach supports a focus on relationship based social work practice, which is central to my ethos, particularly as a result of my doctoral
research that found that emotion management in practice was facilitated by the strength of collegiate relationships. I think that creating a teaching environment in which students work relationally is important preparation for their practice. 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Risk and relationship in mental health practice: a grounded theory of situational connection

Award Date: 21 Jan 2019

External positions

External Examiner

13 May 2021 → …

External Examiner

1 Jul 2019 → …


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