Dr Keith Stonier

Position: University Principal Tutor in Special Needs Education Practice

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I retired, in July 2016, from my post as a Lecturer in the L4LW/Learning Support Department at the University of Derby, Buxton, where I taught Functional Skills and other educational programmes. I specialised in the teaching of adults with learning difficulties and disabilities. I worked in the above Department (known previously as Step Two) from April 2004 to July 2016. The main Certificate and Diploma courses which I taught included: Full Cost Recovery (FCR), Functional Skills (Maths., Eng. & ICT), AIM, Edexcel, NPTC and ASDAN.

I have retained my post as a Lecturer (part time, temporary / as required) at the University of Derby Online (UDOL), supporting students completing 'Independent Studies'/MA Research Dissertations in Education.

I have retained the honorary title 'Principal University Lecturer'.

Previously, I worked in mainstream primary and middle schools for 33.5 years, including 18.5 years as a primary school headteacher.

Teaching responsibilities

Lecturer for students completing 'Independent Studies' / MA Research Dissertations in Education online (UDOL). I have supported seven students successfully in completing MA Dissertations between the years 2012 and 2016. I remain available to support further students in this area.

Professional interests

  • The embedding of Basic Skills (Maths, English & ICT) into vocational curricular programmes.
  • Have supported colleagues in their professional development: mentoring on the LTW, BA (Hons) and MA degree programmes.

Research interests

  • Two recent papers for journals (September 2013 and December 2013) reflect my interest in:
    • the history of national identification strategies for adults with special needs
    • the problems faced by 'older' (24+) adults with learning difficulties and disabilities in gaining wider, liberal opportunities for study in a further educational system geared to progression and employability
  • The general academic and reading development of adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.
  • Regular peer reviewer for the British Journal of Learning Disabilities.
  • Occasional peer reviewer for the British Educational Research Journal.

Membership of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the College of Preceptors (F.Coll.P.)
  • Fellow of the Society for Education and Teaching (FSET)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)


Undergraduate qualifications

  • Cert Ed, Nottingham University/Matlock College of Education May (1969)
  • BEd, Nottingham University/Matlock College of Education (June 1970)

Postgraduate qualifications

  • MEd: The ethical and educational implications of Karl Popper's 'functionalism', Manchester University, Department of Education (April 1979)
  • MPr/Master of Practice in Education: SfL Development, University of Derby, Faculty of Education, Health & Science (July 2011)

Research qualifications

  • PhD: Some implications of recent educational legislation for the teacher's role, Keele University, Department of Education (November 1996)

Recent publications

  • Some Comments on Primary Practice, Newsletter of the College of Preceptors, Aug.1984
  • Prescriptions, Standards and the Teacher's Role, Education Today 1997
  • Changes to Guidance on Pupils' Behaviour and Exclusions, second trial volume of Primary Digest, Nelson Thornes, May 2004
  • The School Partnership Programme: Evaluation of Phases 3 and 4, Issue 2, Primary Digest, Nelson Thornes, Sept., 2004
  • Excellence and Enjoyment: learning and teaching in the primary years, Issue 4, Primary Digest, Nelson Thornes, Oct., 2004
  • Problem Solving : a CPD pack to support the learning and teaching of mathematical problem solving, Issue 6, Primary Digest, Nelson Thornes, Nov., 2004
  • Religious Education, the Non-Statutory National Framework, Issue 8, Primary Digest, Nov., 2004
  • Ofsted Subject Conference Report : physical education (self-evaluation curriculum design and assessment in physical education), Issue 12, Primary Digest, Nelson Thornes, February, 2005
  • A Review of Pupil Participation(DfES publ., March 2005), Issue 17, Primary Digest, Nelson Thornes, May 2005
  • Book: Inspirational Ideas, A Book of Stories and Prayers for Worship-Times in Schools and Children's Church, First Edition, publ. UPSO 2006 (ISBN : 1-84375-207-7), Second Edition, publ. Authorhouse 2009 (ISBN : 1-9781-4389-1114-4)
  • Article : Changes ahead! Adult curricular reading development, UDB RESPONSE Journal, Issue 4, Autumn, 2008
  • Adult 'Readability' Book: Our friendship by Kathleen Blase and Yvonne Salt (students), edited by Keith Stonier for New Leaf Publications, 2010 (publication suspended due to the closure of New Leaf Publications)
  • A century of national identification strategies for adults with special needs, Education Today, Vol. 63, No. 3, Autumn 2013 (pp.18-24)
  • Learning for progression and employability or learning for learning's sake? (the paradox of 'older, 24+ adults with learning difficulties and disabilities in a further educational system geared to progression and employability, with reduced possibilities for continuing and wider, liberal education), Guest Editorial, British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41 (pp.249-255), December 2013, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • Book / NOVEL : Concerto, publ. Authorhouse 2016 (9/9/16)      [Paperback ISBN : 978-1-5246-6337-7 (sc)]  [Hardback ISBN : 978-1-5246-6335-3 (hc)]  [Electronic Copy ISBN : 978-1-5246-6336-0 (e)]

Recent conferences

Several presentations to staff in my Department:

  • Diagnostic Assessment, M1-M6 Paper-based Systems (October 2006)
  • Diagnostic Assesment, M7-L2 Interactive/Electronic Systems (September 2007)
  • Diagnostic Assessment, M1-L1 and Individual Learning Plan Targeting (September 2008)
  • The New Learning Gateway Materials (September 2009)

Additional interests and activities

My book, Inspirational Ideas (Authorhouse 2009, Second Edition) was the subject of a review in Education Today, Vol. 61, No.4, Winter 2011 (p.31) by Antony Luby and contained the following comments :-   

This second edition of Inspirational Ideas is a worthwhile addition to the bookshelf of anyone who has responsibility for assembly in either primary or secondary schools. It is easy to picture hard-pressed colleagues being grateful to the author for distilling his years of practical inspiration into this work.

My novel, Concerto (Authorhouse 2016) is a human story with a musical context. The first part is based on the historical facts surrounding the contrasting arrivals in New York, over a century ago, of two of the finest performers of their day (Mahler as conductor and Rachmaninov as concert pianist and composer) and a celebrated performance of a Concerto. This is a fictional account of what might have occurred, based on the known historical facts. The remainder of the book consists of an imaginary account of the marathon journey of a fictitious character, named Kenneth Evanson, as an aspiring conductor. The climax is the centenary performance of the Concerto, together with the resolution of dilemnas concerning other people in his life. Two, shadowy figures provide commentary on the unfolding events of this tale.

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