Nick Bailey

Topic: Courses
Subject: Professor of Urban Regeneration
Status: Staff
Time period: 1970s; 1980s; 1990s; 2000s

Nick Bailey joined the staff of PCL as a research assistant in 1977 and went on to become a lecturer in Town Planning and Urban Regeneration. Town Planning has been taught at the University since 1930 when it was introduced as a 3 year course. In this excerpt he discusses the changes to the syllabus and teaching methods over time.

I: Can you tell me a bit about when you became a lecturer, what sort of thing that involved, was it mainly teaching lectures or was it tutorials, how involved were you with the students?
R: In many ways it’s remarkable how little things change in terms of teaching methods.  It was then and still is now I suppose mainly lectures, seminars, but of project work in our case in studios, group working, individual research by students doing dissertations for example, so in that way things haven’t changed enormously.  I guess one thing that was kind of a fairly common experience was there was very little if any training in actual teaching methods, you know, you walked into the classroom and it was assumed that you could do what you said you could do and no-one sort of gave you much guidance or you certainly didn’t have to do any courses in PGCEs or anything like that.  So you learnt on the job I suppose and I think one of the advantages of our school was that we tended to do a lot of team teaching, we tended to teach in groups of three or four possibly doing project work or teaching large groups of students.  I suppose the numbers were not that great actually then either, so it was a bit easier, so it was very easy to make personal contacts I think with students, you know, to get to know them as people rather than just walking into a vast lecture theatre and talking at them for an hour and then walking out again.  So it was more personal, more interpersonal in that sense and therefore more job satisfaction, but at the same time very little training.

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