My name is Jodie Pinnell and I grew up in Portsmouth, Hampshire. I currently work at a Welsh Further Education college as a lecturer in Outdoor Adventure, and I am in the final dissertation stages of a Master’s programme in Outdoor Education through UWTSD.
I completed my undergraduate degree at Trinity- achieving a first class honours in 2013 in Outdoor Education. I then went to Cardiff University and graduated with a distinction in a Post Graduate Certificate of Education with a view to move into an educational job role, inspiring others and passing down my experiences. I am passionate about teaching and learning, implementing reflective practise and new approaches to make an effective and engaging experience for my students. I feel that my academic journey thus far has truly shaped my career and given me the tools I need.
It is difficult to say where the journey started as my current path was not clear from the beginning. Following school, I was always unsure of which direction to take in life but always enjoyed writing, and at one time considered journalism. With the need to explore however, it was through a love for sailing as a teenager that I enrolled on to a college course studying Outdoor Adventure. My love for sailing then developed into teaching, and passing down my experiences of the sport fuelled a passion to follow a career in the same direction. After a valuable two years at college, and with a taste of a career in the outdoors, university presented itself as a logical next step. I have always had the desire to explore the outdoors in a deeper and more meaningful sense- investigating the multi- faceted ideas of why people go into the outdoors, and ways to facilitate and explore experiences. For me, UWTSD offered a unique approach that was not evident in other universities: The philosophical and non-scientific nature of the Outdoor Education course allowed for the development of a teaching paradigm of my own and this has directly influenced my career.
The university in general creates a friendly and personal atmosphere- you are definitely a person and not a number when studying. The Carmarthen campus is within easy reach of the coast (with stunning beaches, climbing venues and picturesque landscapes) and close to the Brecon Beacons also for developing mountain skills. This did not compare to the natural environments in Portsmouth where I grew up- the accessibility to natural spaces from the campus was a definite decider in choosing where to study. With this in mind, it was on the course that I experienced leadership in the outdoors, expeditions and challenged myself in ways I never thought possible. To add to this, I met friends that I will treasure for life. In terms of interesting experiences, working with international students and exploring Wales from a ‘sense of place’ perspective rates highly. This reflects the main lesson learned at UWTSD; the culture of people in Wales differed greatly from where I grew up and this is something I have continued to enjoy.
My hopes for the future are shaped by where I am now: I hope to continue teaching and to possibly move into Higher Education, lecturing at a higher level than I currently do at present. With a love for writing, I also hope to publish some work of both an academic and non-academic nature. If I were to achieve a job role in Higher Education, I have a goal to write a programme of study and allow education to be more learner focused; forging degree pathways in a less prescriptive and constructive way; offering an alternative to traditional learning journeys and exploring the potential of such. Alongside this, I continue to work and learn every day, travelling to broaden my experiences and live a rich and fulfilled life.