Iain Poole obituary

Other lives: Long-serving academic at Leeds Metropolitan University who helped improve the teaching techniques of lecturers

My mentor and friend Iain Poole, who has died aged 79, worked in various roles at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett University) and its earlier iterations from 1971 until his retirement in 2006. As the institution moved from being City of Leeds and Carnegie College, then to Leeds Polytechnic and finally into university status, he was head of history, principal lecturer (first in history and then in education and professional development) and then became deputy head and acting head of the school of education and professional development.

For much of that time he was at the forefront of the development of the university’s postgraduate certificate in higher education, which was created to equip lecturers to actually teach students rather than just lecture at them, and which greatly improved the quality of teaching across the university.

The oldest of three children, Iain was born in Jerusalem to Scottish parents, John Poole, who served in the Palestine police service, and Grace (nee Purves), who was in the Queen Alexandra’s nursing reserve as part of the army. In 1951 the family settled in Broughton in the Scottish borders.

Iain attended Peebles high school and, following a family move south, King Edward VI grammar school in Chelmsford, Essex. After gaining a degree in history at University College London and then a postgraduate certificate in education at the London Institute of Education, in 1967 he became a teacher at Harold Hill grammar school in Essex, where he met an English teacher, Margaret Aagaard. Iain moved to Leeds in 1971, when he began working at City of Leeds and Carnegie College, and Margaret followed after they married in 1972.

At Leeds Iain was a popular and well-respected teaching academic, generous with his time, considerate and funny, and a progressive thinker. His teaching and research interests were augmented by a master’s from the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia, where he engaged with Lawrence Stenhouse’s ideas about teachers gaining a better understanding of their craft through research-based teaching.

After finishing work in 2006 he and Margaret enjoyed their retirement by cooking for family and friends, playing snooker and lawn bowls, gardening, going to the theatre and travelling to Europe.

He is survived by Margaret and his siblings Jean and Tom.

Lori Beckett

The GuardianTramp

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