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I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning – Wayne Steven Jackson’s blog

We’re continuing to celebrate adult learning across our Group in recognition of the Festival of Learning’s ‘Have a Go Month’.

To help promote adult learning one of our UCEN Manchester lecturers, Wayne Steven Jackson, has kindly taken the time to share his experience.

In a few sentences, tell us about your education history and career to date

I studied BA (Hons.) Theatre Studies at Lancaster University and graduated in 2004. At this time I decided to form my own theatre company, Escape Theatre. Our productions were really successful and we performed all over the North West of England. We even received 5 star reviews at the world renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I went on to gain a Masters in Contemporary Arts (Performance) from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2008 and since then I have been working as an independent theatre practitioner. This has included national and international performances, a real highlight for me was a three week run at Tehran City Theatre in Iran! What an experience that was.

In 2015 I attained a PGC in Academic Practice from the University of Salford and became a fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA). I am currently studying for a PhD with London South Bank University and continue to use my professional work as the basis for teaching practice.

What appealed to you about adult learning?

I have always want to develop my ideas. I am a very creative person and learning, for me, goes hand in hand. I don’t necessarily see what I do as ‘adult learning’, but simply learning – and I don’t think I would ever want to stop doing that.

What benefits have you experienced?

There are a number of benefits. Firstly, I am able to provide the students I teach with a contemporary learning experience, because what I learn feeds directly into my teaching. I also believe that I am more empathetic. As a learner myself, I know what students are going through.

How has the experience helped you?

Above and beyond the benefits I have already listed, my profile has also risen and as a result I have delivered conference papers about my work at high profile universities and submitted a chapter for a forthcoming publication.

What are/were your favourite elements of the course?

The most enjoyable part of the course is the moment that everything starts to come together. When you’re studying towards a PhD for a long time your research feels unconnected, uncertain, and that’s when self-doubt creeps in. The moment things clicked and I understood what I was doing there was a sense of achievement that I had not experienced before.

What advice would you give to someone considering adult learning?

Be confident! Learning is a collection of experiences and you already have so many to draw upon that will add richness to any learning you undertake.

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