“… a proven stimulus of innovation —  the meeting of unlike minds.”
Thomas Stewart, 2001

David Oliver

David Oliver is a Founding Director of Unlike Minds and has a wealth of experience in education leadership, leading school governors, developing and delivering school improvement programmes. Within the education domain, as well as being involved with the School as a Research-Informed Learning Environment programme with Dr Rebecca Torrance Jenkins, he leads on:

Breakthrough Performance Environments. David helped to lead a ground-breaking action-research project formed from global organisations based in the USA and Europe. They considered what factors might promote amazing results – breakthrough performance. Would it be possible to deliberately construct environments where breakthrough performance was more likely than in other environments, and if so, what would you need to focus on to realise them? This project was the beginning of David’s work on, and continuing exploration of, breakthrough performance environments. here

Applying Technology to Learning. Working for Manchester Metropolitan University, David led one of the first DfE-funded initiatives in the use of augmented reality to support engagement of pupils in science. Working in partnership with The Monastery Manchester, David has used immersive display technology to engage pupils in creative writing,  performance and self-regulation. Augmented reality has featured again too, with initiatives at the Monastery (visitor experience) and in schools, using readily-available technologies to ‘bring objects or images to life’.

Research-informed Personal Development.  With research indicating that short training courses – especially if relying on ‘cascade’ to reach colleagues – struggle to achieve sustainable impact in schools, David explored the use of action-research to improve professional development. Practitioners working together to explore areas of interest in their own classrooms provides the raw (descriptive) data for structured conversations on aspects of practice that highlights next steps. This self-reflective approach has proven to be a powerful tool in staff development in those schools that have adopted it.