Paula is an experienced teacher, teacher educator, course director, researcher, external examiner and writer of educational materials. Over the past five years she has been an active member of the National Advisory Group for Initial Teacher Training [ITT], convened by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), formerly the Teacher Training and Development Agency [TA] for England, and Chair of the London South East 1 regional network for ITT providers. This forum provides the platform for all providers of ITT, offering diverse routes into the teaching profession to work with government agencies in shaping the direction of future educational policy and practice.
Paula currently supports two other Higher Education Institutions through her quality assurance roles as: (i) Chief External Examiner for the Teach First programme [Institute of Education, London] and (ii) External Examiner for the Postgraduate Professional Development Programme [Manchester Metropolitan University]. She is also a member of the Steering Group and Strategic Management Group within the Thames Valley Schools Partnership, an organisation that evolved through the collaborative work and shared vision between Buckinghamshire County Council and Brunel University, to secure the license awarded by the National College for School Leadership to deliver Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the National Professional Qualification of Headship [NPQH].
As Course Director for Secondary Initial Teacher Education at Brunel University [former role of responsibility] Paula steered multi-disciplinary teams of colleagues in the design, development, dissemination and evaluation of a suite of Post Graduate Certificate in Education programmes for trainee teachers in English; Information & Communication Technology; Mathematics; Physical Education; and, Science as well as a four-year undergraduate BSc Secondary Education and Physical Education course with Qualified Teacher Status. In so doing, she worked collaboratively with Course Leaders across the School of Education at Brunel University as well as Course Directors from three other Higher Education Institutions [HEIs] within the South West London Teacher Education Consortium [SWELTEC] to promote high quality pedagogical outcomes in teaching, learning and assessment.
Paula has undertaken the role of acting course leader for the MA in Education and currently is the Programme Leader for a new and innovative MA in Teaching which she steered from inception through to its successful validation and pending launch from September 2014. For the MA in Education she leads the Specialist pathway in Inclusion and Special Educational Needs, the Independent Study and Research Methods in Education modules and supervises dissertation students.
She has also recently assumed the role of acting course leader for the Doctor of Education [EdD] programme and currently contributes to the teaching, supervision and viva voce examinations of PhD and EdD national and international part-time and full-time research students, pursuing an eclectic blend of topics/subject areas. Paula is a member of the Pedagogy and Professional Practice (PPP) Research Group, which involves working with colleagues on such projects as Models of Teacher Education and Pathways to Learning as well as the use of ICT to support professional development and practice. She regularly attends and supports the research seminar series run by the School as well as those offered across the wider University.
Prior to joining Brunel University Paula was: Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies degree course at De Montfort University, Bedford [now the University of Bedfordshire] and her book entitled Childhood and Youth Studies reflects the substantive content of this programme; Head of Professional Studies for the BA (Hons) Secondary Physical Education Initial Teacher Education course with Qualified Teacher Status; module leader and dissertation supervisor on the MA in Education programme; and, Lead researcher in Mentoring within the Institute of Education. She was instrumental in training new and experienced mentors for their support roles and responsibilities within university-based and school-based ITT partnerships. A major component of this mentor training has been to focus on the outcomes of different models of partnership working with trainees e.g. the impact of single, paired and multiple placements within a range of educational settings on the respective institutions, practitioners and learners as well as the setting of clear, specific, measurable goals both to enable and monitor progression.
Paula has steered a large-scale research study across five counties in England to investigate how continuity and progression from primary to secondary school is facilitated, and contributed toward the publication of research outcomes to national and European audiences. She is currently working with colleagues from 7 other HEIs to investigate the knowledge, skills and understanding of trainees, mentors and tutors in relation to Lesson planning. Other research interests include: Reflective Practice; Models of effective Partnership working in ITE; Mentor training, support and accreditation; Removing barriers to achievement; Interpersonal relationships and Communication skills; Management and Leadership skills; Continuing Professional Development; Links between ICT Advanced Skills Teachers’ [AST] and ITE as well as harnessing the use of new technologies and resources both to scaffold and accelerate learning. Her recently published book commissioned by Routledge and entitled The Teacher’s Reflective Practice Handbook: Becoming an extended professional through capturing evidence-informed practice consolidates much of the work generated from her own PhD research.
Before entering the Higher Education sector, Paula gained considerable experience through teaching a diverse range of learners and assuming numerous leadership roles and responsibilities in management and senior management at urban [Inner London], rural and suburban secondary schools in and across the East of England. She has particular interests in assessment for learning, creativity, emotional intelligence, the psychosocial and emotional aspects of behaviour and development, interpersonal relationships, communication skills, independent learning, personalised learning and the co-creation of new knowledge. She values difference and diversity, promotes potential and entitlement, and wholeheartedly supports the inclusive agenda.
Universities Council for Teacher Education [UCET] – Vice Chair of the CPD committee
Training Managers National Advisory Group [NCTL]
Chair for Initial Teacher Training Regional network: London SE1 [NCTL]
Thames Valley Schools Partnership: Steering Group and Strategic Management Group committee member
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy [FHEA]
General Teaching Council for England [GTC – until its recent closure]
International professional development association [iPDA]
Bedford College of Physical Education Old Students’ Association [BPEOSA]
Education Management Research Group
Education Appeals Officer
Teaching and Learning Committee
Secondary Initial Teacher Education Partnership Management group
Research Ethics Committee
Internal PhD and EdD Examiner
Post Graduate Research progression panel
Quality Assurance across the Thames Valley Schools Partnership
School Governor for a local Academy – Curriculum Development Committee
Book reviewer for Routledge and Sage publications
Article reviewer for the Health Education Research journal
Newest selected publications
Strangwick, R. and Zwozdiak-Myers, P. (2013) 'Communicating in PE', in Capel, S. (ed.) Learning to Teach Physical Education in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Second Edition. London : Routledge Falmer. pp. 61 - 78. ISBN 13: 9780203421536.
Zwozdiak-Myers, P. (2013) 'Action research', in Capel, S. and Breckon, P. (eds.) A Practical Guide to Teaching Physical Education in the Secondary School. Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge.
Zwozdiak-Myers, P. and Capel, S. (2013) 'Communicating with pupils', in Capel, S., Leask, M. and Turner, T. (eds.) Learning to Teach in the Secondary School. Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge.
Zwozdiak-Myers, P., Whitehead, M. and Capel, S. (2013) 'Your wider role as a PE teacher', in Capel, S. (ed.) Learning to Teach Physical Education in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Second Edition. London : Routledge Falmer. pp. 239 - 258. ISBN 13: 9780203421536.
Capel, S., Whitehead, M. and Zwozdiak-Myers, P. (2013) 'Developing and maintaining an effective learning environment', in Capel, S. and Whitehead, M. (eds.) Learning to Teach Physical Education in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Second Edition. London : Routledge. pp. 102 - 119. ISBN 10: 0203848527. ISBN 13: 9780203421536.