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Personal profile

Research interests

Paul's interests include issues relating to living with disability, technology, equipment, adaptation of the environment, wellbeing and quality of life, and he is particularly drawn to phenomenological, hermeneutic and existential theory. His current research, supported by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, explores the transition from adolescence to adulthood for young people with cerebral palsy. Previous research has examined behaviour and the safety of children with autism, specialist seating, and living with back pain. Paul's interests have broadened his understanding of disability and human rights and the importance of public involvement in health and social care stimulating his interest in international and interdisciplinary therapeutic and rehabilitation approaches. He co-leads the School's phenomenology specialist interest group and supervises Masters and doctoral students undertaking qualitative research.

Approach to teaching

I convey enthusiasm for a career in occupational therapy during personal tutorials, large-group sessions and smaller problem-based learning (PBL) tutorials. I believe PBL enables students to develop knowledge and understanding to address real-life problems and I endeavour to be student-centered whilst mindful of front line practice. I use varied approaches including practical activities, videos and service-user involvement to stimulate curiosity and discussion. I organise an annual study day for practitioners who work with children and families and include students in this. I especially try to encourage students to think deeply and critically to prepare them for practice, work independently and understand the importance of lifelong learning.

Scholarly biography

Paul contributes to the occupational therapy undergraduate and postgraduate courses as module leader and tutor. For several years he was a manual handling trainer, placement tutor, and student engagement champion. Currently he is the MSc (pre-reg) Occupational Therapy admissions tutor, one of the School's complaints officers, an external examiner at Robert Gordon University, and also regulary peer reviews research for publication. Paul is a member of the School Recruitment and Admissions Staff Support Unit and represents the team on the School Health and Safety Committee. He is a member of the Programme Committee for the European MSc Occupational Therapy involving collaboration with five European universities. Paul has an undergraduate degree in the social sciences and postgraduate qualifications in occupational therapy and teaching, his PhD is in the area of adolescence and living with disability. He qualified as an occupational therapist in 1999 and initially worked for the NHS in mental health services but has spent the majority of his career in social care working with children and adults with complex needs.


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