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

A man on stage showing promoting a new piece of technology on stage

UCEN Manchester lecturer Wayne Steven Jackson shares his adult learning experience

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.