HEA Fellowship – an opportunity for cross-cultural pedagogical reflection

Giselle Tur Porres photo

In the HEA Fellowship blog, we’re continuing to measure the impact that HEA Fellowship has on teaching practices, on students and on the practices and approaches of peers. We’ve also asked for some suggestions when teaching/supporting learning online!

In this post, Gisselle Tur Porres from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science shares her story of reflecting on both pedagogical and cultural differences in supporting learning helped frame her claim for HEA Fellowship (FHEA).

“As a reflective practitioner myself, the Fellowship recognition process has allowed me to reflect, rethink learning and teaching experiences and work towards further development of my teaching practices, with cultural pertinence

My Background

My name is Gisselle Tur Porres. I have a BA in Psychology from the State University of Uruguay (UdelaR). I obtained my Master and PhD in Education at KU Leuven (Belgium). I joined Swansea University in October 2020 but I have been teaching in higher education since 2015.

At present, I work at the Department of Education and Childhood Studies that sits in the School of Social Sciences. I am lecturer and programme director for the BA Early Childhood Studies and teach various modules in the programme, e.g. Exploring creativity and critical thinking; The social construction of childhood; Pedagogy in action; Professional reflective practices.

My research interests focus on supporting learning and teaching practices in the early years from emancipatory pedagogical perspectives and participatory research approaches, including children, families, teachers/practitioners and communities.

Why did gaining Fellowship matter to you?

Gaining Fellowship recognition is a reflective and learning process from the very beginning. My journey into higher education teaching began in a different country and culture, and hence it was very important for me to gain understanding of areas of activity, core knowledge and professional values in a new context, in Wales and the UK. As a reflective practitioner myself, the Fellowship recognition process has allowed me to reflect, rethink learning and teaching experiences and work towards further development of my teaching practices, with cultural pertinence. Therefore, applying for the recognition has been an amazing opportunity, first to become familiar with teaching in HE in the UK. Second, it represents a continuous professional development opportunity that has helped me to map challenges and good practices. And more, it has been inspirational to think on further links between teaching and research.


How have you continued to apply the standards of the UK PSF in your work since gaining that recognition – especially in an online mode?

I gained recognition in April 2022. I joined Swansea in October 2020, thus far, online teaching was in place. I was motivated to learn new ways of supporting online learning. The learning process included learning from good practices of colleagues, having peer observations in place, listening to students’ feedback and taking it seriously to further develop my learning and teaching practices. The application for the Fellowship recognition helped me to become familiar with other colleagues’ reflections, practices, challenges, and innovative ways of assessing students. Reading examples of other colleagues’ Fellowship applications, not only was helpful for applying recognition but also for reflecting on my own practices.

Your Top tips from supporting learners in an online mode

  • Keep the learning experience interactive!
  • Be inspirational!

What words of encouragement could you offer to someone thinking of gaining recognition?

It will help you to step back, reflect on your teaching practices, and think of what can be further developed. You can become fully aware of meaningful ways to assess students, and the relevance of your research into your teaching and vice versa.

What would be your top tips in preparing a claim for HEA Fellowship?

  1. Follow the module on Canvas, and come back to it when needed.
  2. Schedule your planning time and map practices and examples you will be elaborating on your application.
  3. Think of examples that are meaningful to continue improving your practice.
  4. Consider this application as a learning journey and reflect on the feedback you receive from your plan and draft.

For Further Details

Visit SALT’s webpages for details of the internally accredited programme leading to Associate, Fellow or Senior Fellow and for links to Principal Fellow resources.

Leave a Reply