Meet people in the School, Psychology

Introducing new academics in the School: Dr Cathy Schofield, Staff Tutor

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We introduce a new Staff Tutor in the School, Cathy Schofield.

Cathy says ‘I started my new role as a Staff Tutor, and I think I can genuinely say that the Open University has given me the warmest welcome ever – this morning I have spent over an hour going through all of the welcome emails that have filled my inbox over night! I only hope I can live up to their expectations.’

Cathy, what were you doing before you came to the Open University?

I have joined the School of Psychology and Counselling after 25 years of developing and leading on the only psychology higher education provision in Cornwall, and am really excited about the new challenges ahead. I am not entirely new to the OU, having been an AL on DE100 for the last two years, and working with other OU colleagues on a range of other exciting projects.

What are your plans for teaching and research in the School?

With respect to teaching, I am very pleased to be allocated DE100 as I am passionate about the development of skills with our budding psychologists, and this early module is the place to get them focusing on the process of being a psychologist, as well as learning about the products of research endeavours. To complement this, I have spent time over the last year working on the Methods Lab, developing materials for students to engage research methods in various ways, supporting their activity within their modules, and I am very excited to see the Lab go live.

Much of my previous research has been focused on the student experience, and in the past I have worked on several student-focused research methods projects, so it may be interesting to continue research in the same vein, and possibly review the student experience of, and engagement with, the Methods Lab once it is up and running. Through my role as an AL I have loved delivering the day school learning events. I am fascinated by the depth of engagement by those who attend, and how much they gain from the experience. From this observation I am curious as to why more students do not attend; be it practical barriers of time and place (Covid excepted), or more of a mental barrier through attitudes to learning or engagement with education.

Tell us about your interests and the area of psychology that you work in

My other area of interest is that of dance psychology, bringing psychology into a relatively under-studied area of application. I work with the Royal Academy of Dance, where I deliver various workshops on their CPD program to dance teachers who are eager to learn more. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, all research in this area has been curtailed.

I am sure that reading welcoming emails and writing introductory blogs is the calm before the storm, but I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead, and meeting with the team in the near future.


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