Debra Myhill

Debra Myhill

Debra is Associate Dean - Research and Knowledge Transfer in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies. She is a nationally recognised leading academic in the field of education with a particular interest in literacy.

Her commitment is to the bringing together of teaching, teacher education and research so that children and young people‘s experience of learning to be literate enables them to be confident, articulate citizens of the future, able to use language and literature for personal fulfilment and economic well-being.

Debra believes that being an academic in education is fundamentally about inspiring change and about undertaking teaching and research which makes a difference. Education as a field is naturally outward-looking, seeking to understand and transform the educational experiences of young people. She says: “I hope to inspire those I teach, especially new teachers joining the profession. Becoming a teacher can be a rather bureaucratic process and my goal is to demonstrate to future English teachers that excellence in teaching is far more than simply evidencing a set of criteria: it is about being confident, critical and reflective so that professional learning never stops.

“If I can inspire new teachers, then hopefully they, in turn, can inspire young people to love the texts and language of English, and to understand themselves and their world better. Secondly, my motivation for researching writing is to inspire change, the kind of change that will transform pedagogies and enable all young people, regardless of their social background, to be confident, creative writers.”

In addition to her work, Debra delights in the amazing scenery and landscapes of Devon, growing and picking her own home-grown fruit and vegetables, laughing with friends, her faith but, she says, “most of all my family, without a doubt. They bring both joy and pain! I have two little grand-daughters who live very close by so I see them a lot and they are a real joy, a reminder of what life is all about.”