Helping students achieve that ‘lightbulb’ moment: Rachael Carden

A former English teacher in both the UK and abroad, Rachael Carden is the Course Leader for our four-year International Business Management BSc(Hons). Rachael’s passion is supporting students in achieving that ‘lightbulb’ moment!

Rachael CardenOn which programmes and modules do you teach?

I am the Course Leader for the BSc International Business programme and I teach on other BSc Business Management programmes. I am module lead for level 6 modules (Year Abroad Report and International Placement). I also teach on Accounting, Business Project Planning and Research Methods modules.

Tell us a little about your professional background?

I have a first degree in Business Studies and specialised in Marketing and Marketing Research. I then qualified as an English teacher and taught English (and Business English) both here and abroad for four years. This enabled me to learn Spanish and understand the challenges of living and working in a country that is not your own. Upon my return, I undertook management roles in English Language Schools for several years and then moved into a Further Education college where I taught both English and Business subjects. I eventually became the Course Leader of the Fundation Degree (FdA) Business programme.  At the same time as working and raising my family I took and passed the PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and subsequently I studied a Masters degree in Education at Brighton University thereby instilling in me the values of multi-tasking, time management and organisational skills.

What can you tell us about the course you’re leading?

I am Course Leader on the BSc International Business Management programme which is a fascinating degree as it allows our home students the opportunity to study/work abroad and to use that experience as part of their assessment journey. At the same time, exchange students come to study with us from our partner universities from all over the world. These exchanges give us valuable insights into alternative cultures and educational practices.

What interests you most about the subject you teach?

I am equally at home teaching English as a Foreign Language, Maths (Accounting anyway) and Research Methods. I especially like having the opportunity to support students to develop fit-for-purpose business plans (some of which have developed real businesses).

Tell us about any projects you’ve been working on outside of the classroom

All of my research projects are about education: trying out new educational technologies or attempting to make my small corner of the world of education a more level playing field for all by addressing inequalities of opportunity. I have written and presented papers about academic transition for non-traditional students; addressing issues of alienating academic language and uses of digital technologies such as Discussion Boards, MOOCs and Blogs.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

All of it. From Plato to Piaget I love the theory and practice of teaching! It truly is a vocation but for me, the real joy is seeing a student achieve a ‘lightbulb’ moment after grappling with a difficult concept and simultaneously saying something like “Ah, I get it now!”

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