Steven Curtis


Steven Curtis  

Steven is Head of Student Experience and Academic Outcomes in the School of Social Sciences, Associate Professor of International Relations, and course leader for the BA programmes in Diplomacy and International Relations and Diplomacy and Law.

Steven has a national reputation for innovation and research in learning and teaching and has been awarded a number of teaching prizes and titles. In 2010 Steven was awarded the Political Studies Association’s Bernard Crick Award (New Entrant) for Outstanding Teaching and in 2011 he received the prestigious award of a National Teaching Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

In 2014 he was awarded, along with his co-authors, the inaugural Politics Learning and Teaching Prize for the best pedagogical article published in the journal in the preceding two years. But the titles which mean the most to Steven are the two awards from students at London Met: Overall Best Teacher at London Met (2012) and Outstanding Academic in the School of Social Sciences (2017).

Between 2011 and 2014, Steven was the national Discipline Lead for Economics, Politics and International Studies at the HEA, building on his previous roles as Discipline Associate for Politics and International Relations and chair of the Politics Reference Group at the former HEA subject centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP).

Steven graduated with a BSc in Economics and Politics (with first class honours) and an MSc in Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy (with distinction) from the University of Bristol in the early 1990s. He taught at Brunel University and Coventry University before joining London Met in 2007. 

Steven lectures on the following modules:

  • GI5005 Approaches to International Relations and Foreign Policy
  • GI5006 Diplomacy Old and New
  • GI6007 Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

 

Although he has written on the subject of diplomacy and world politics more generally, over the past decade Steven’s main research activity has been in the area of innovations in the learning and teaching of politics and international relations. He has been project leader or team member on projects totalling almost half a million pounds in funding.

Between 2005 and 2008 he worked on The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which developed new models of placement learning for the disciplines of politics and international relations, and between 2009 and 2012 he was the London Met lead on the HEA-funded project It’s Good To Talk: Feedback, Dialogue and Learning, which explored more effective modes of providing constructive feedback to students of international relations, politics and history on their essays, presentations and examinations.

Steven’s research in education feeds directly into his teaching at London Met. For example, he makes extensive use of practitioner engagement in his teaching, both on and off campus, while students on his diplomacy modules record their reflections and support each other’s learning on publicly accessible group blogs and through Twitter. 

Books

  • S Curtis and J S Rofe (eds), Does the Medium Matter? IT-Assisted Learning and Teaching in International Relations and Politics (Birmingham: C-SAP/Higher Education Academy, 2011).
  • S Curtis and A Blair (eds), The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics: Placement Learning, Citizenship and Employability (Birmingham: C-SAP/Higher Education Academy, 2010).
  • A Blair and S Curtis, International Politics: An Introductory Guide (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009).

 

Articles and book chapters

  • S Curtis, ‘Work Placements Don't Always Give Students the Best Chance of a Job’, commissioned blog post for The Guardian HE Network, 23 April 2015
  • A Blair, S Curtis, M Goodwin and S Shields, ‘The Significance of Assignment Feedback: From Consumption to Construction’, European Political Science, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2013.
  • A Blair, S Curtis and S Shields, ‘Is Peer Feedback an Effective Approach for Creating Dialogue in Politics?’ European Political Science, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2013.
  • A Blair, S Curtis, M Goodwin and S Shields, ‘What Feedback do Students Want?’ Politics, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2013.
  • S Curtis and C Jaine, ‘Public Diplomacy at Home in the UK: Engaging Diasporas and Preventing Terrorism’, The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2012.
  • S Curtis, ‘How Relevant Are Other Ways to Learn?’ in C Gormley-Heenan and S Lightfoot (eds), Teaching Politics and International Relations (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012).
  • S Curtis, ‘Politics Placements and Employability: A New Approach’, European Political Science, Vol. 11, No. 2, 2012.
  • S Curtis, ‘Learning in Public: Connecting Politics Students with Practitioners in “the Edgeless University”’, Political Insight, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2010.
  • S Curtis and A Blair, ‘Experiencing Politics in Action: Widening Participation in Placement Learning and Politics as a Vocation’, Journal of Political Science Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2010.
  • S Curtis, S Bharvaney-Daswani, H Fajembola and E Putik, ‘Writing in Public: Reflective Blogging on the New Diplomacy’ in G Pleschová (ed.), IT in Action: Stimulating Quality Learning for Undergraduate Students (Opladen and Farmington Hills, MI: Barbara Budrich Press, 2010).
  • S Curtis and A Blair, ‘The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics’ and ‘Rethinking Placement Learning for Politics and International Relations’ in S Curtis and A Blair (eds), The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics: Placement Learning, Citizenship and Employability (Birmingham: C-SAP/Higher Education Academy, 2010).
  • S Curtis, B Axford, A Blair, C Gibson and P Sherrington, ‘Placement Blogging: The Benefits and Limitations of Online Journaling’, ELiSS: Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2009.
  • S Curtis, B Axford, A Blair, C Gibson and P Sherrington, ‘Making Short Politics Placements Work,’ Politics, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2009.
  • P Sherrington, B Axford, A Blair, S Curtis, R Huggins and C Gibson, ‘Research-Led Placements in Politics: A New Approach?’ European Political Science, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2008.
  • A Blair, A Bromage and S Curtis, ‘Teaching Politics in UK Universities: A Survey of the Profession,’ LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 2, 2007.
  • M Lee and S Curtis, ‘British Aid to Overseas Legislatures: A Report on the Adaptations Made Since 1989 to Events in the Former Eastern Bloc,’ Birkbeck College, University of London, Sociology and Politics Research Paper, No. 5, 1993.

 

Selected conference papers and presentations (since 2010)

  • ‘Twitter and Authentic Assessment in IR’, at the British International Studies Association Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 15-17 June 2016.
  • ‘Teaching with Twitter: Sharing, Assessing, Networking’, at the 8th Annual Political Studies Association-British International Studies Association Learning and Teaching Conference, University of the West of England, 8-9 September 2015.
  • ‘Impact and the Teaching of IR: The Missing Dimensions Explored’ (with John Craig), at the BISA Annual Conference, London, 16-19 June 2015.
  • ‘Teaching Diplomacy with Twitter: Extending Communities of Learning and Training Twiplomats’, at the BISA Annual Conference, London, 16-19 June 2015.
  • ‘Critical Factors in the International Competitiveness of Universities: The UK Experience’ (with Pat Gray), at conference on Internationalisation and Competitiveness in Higher Education, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Moscow, 20 February 2015
  • ‘Impact and the Teaching of IR: The Missing Dimensions Explored’ (with John Craig) at The Impact of IR as a Social Science conference, Coventry University London Campus, London, 23rd January 2015.
  • ‘“Now I Know What My Degree is For”: Towards the Teaching of Practice in Political Science’, invited keynote address at Teaching Politics and IR, seminar in honour of lecturer Tarja Seppä, Tampere, Finland, 20 August 2014.
  • ‘Academic Study and Practical Skills Acquisition in Political Science: The Case of Diplomatic Studies’ at Teaching Politics and International Relations to the Next Generation of Students, The 1st European Conference on Teaching and Learning Politics, IR and European Studies, Maastricht, 26-27 June 2014.
  • ‘Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Debating Relational and Integrative Models of Diplomacy’, roundtable panellist at the British International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Dublin, 18th-20th June 2014.
  • ‘Convening a BA in Diplomacy with Practical Intent’ at the British International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Dublin, 18-20 June 2014. 
  • ‘Teaching the Practice of Diplomacy: Five Interventions and their Evaluation’ at the American Political Science Association Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Philadelphia, 7-9 February 2014.
  • ‘Diasporas, Diplomacy and Security: The Securitisation of Migrant Populations in Theory and Practice’, invited speaker at Workshop on Security and Diasporas: Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Meaning of Securitization for Diasporas in the 21st Century, University of Kent, 6 December 2013.
  • ‘Teaching International Relations as if it was a Practically-Relevant Subject’ at the 6th annual Political Studies Association-British International Studies Association Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Westminster, 9-10 September 2013.
  • ‘Writing in Public: The Benefits of Blogging for Assessment in Diplomatic Studies’ at the European Consortium for Political Research General Conference, Bordeaux, 4-7 September 2013.
  • Invited speaker on panel on ‘Internships, Social Mobility and Employability for European Studies Students and Graduates’ at European Studies: Teaching and Learning with Impact workshop, UACES annual conference, University of Leeds, 1 September 2013.
  • ‘Evaluating the Dimensions of Practitioner Engagement in Teaching International Studies’ at the British International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Birmingham, 20-21 June 2013.
  • ‘New Dimensions of Experiential Learning in Politics: Revisiting The Scholarship of Engagement for Politics Five Years On’ at the Political Studies Association’s Annual Conference, Cardiff, 25-27 March 2013.
  • ‘Working for Peace in Situations of Conflict: Embedding Practical Experience in the Study of Conflict Resolution’ at the American Political Science Association’s annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Long Beach, California, 8th-10th February 2013.
  • ‘Feedback on Assessment: An Issue for the US?’ (with Carolyn Shaw) at the British International Studies Association-International Studies Association joint conference, Edinburgh, 20-22 June, 2012.
  • (Chair) ‘Addressing the Employability Agenda in International Studies’, roundtable at the British International Studies Association-International Studies Association joint conference, Edinburgh, 20-22 June, 2012.
  • ‘Learning About Public Diplomacy in Public: Web 2.0 and Sustainable Assessment and Feedback’ at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Diego, 1-4 April, 2012.
  • ‘Web 2.0, Dialogue and Learning on The New Diplomacy: Blogs, Wikis and YouTube’ at the American Political Studies Association annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington DC, 17-19 February, 2012. 
  • ‘Preparing Graduates for the Changing World of Work: British Perspectives on Addressing the “Employability” Agenda in Political Science’ (with A Blair, J Craig, J Parker and M Wyman), workshop at the American Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington DC, 17-19 February, 2012.
  • ‘Securing the State through Dialogue at Home: The Foreign Office’s Outreach Initiatives to Counter Islamist Extremism’ (with C Jaine), invited paper at the ‘Domestic Side of Public Diplomacy’ workshop, Clingendael: The Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague, 18 November, 2011.
  • Invited discussant at the Clingendael-University of Southern California workshop ‘European Public Diplomacy: Soft Power at Work’, Clingendael: The Netherlands Institute of International Relations, The Hague, 23-24 June, 2011.
  • ‘Feedback: A Teaching Circle’ at the British International Studies Association Annual Conference, Manchester, 27 -29 April, 2011.
  • ‘Supporting Learning and Teaching in Hard Times: Promoting Pedagogical Innovation in Politics and International Relations in the Twenty-First Century’ at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, London, 19-21 April, 2011.
  • ‘Learning and Teaching in the Community’, invited speaker at the HEFCE-sponsored conference 'A Pedagogy of Civic Engagement for Higher Education' at Royal Holloway, University of London, 15 April, 2011.
  • ‘Securing the State Through Dialogue at Home: The FCO’s Domestic Outreach Initiatives to Counter the Radicalisation of British Muslim and Pakistani Communities’ at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, Montreal, 16-19 March, 2011.
  • ‘It’s Good to Talk: Improving Feedback to Students Through Dialogue: A British Perspective’ (with A Blair), paper at the American Political Studies Association Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Albuquerque, 11-13 February, 2011.
  • ‘Programme Assessment: Lessons from the Literature and Practical Experience’ (with J Parker, A Blair and J Craig), workshop at the American Political Studies Association Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, Albuquerque, 11-13 February, 2011.
  • ‘Writing in Public: A Comparative Exploration of the Use of Web 2.0 in Developing Students’ Academic Writing’ at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) Annual Conference, Liverpool, October 19-22 October, 2010.
  • ‘Web 2.0, Dialogue and Learning in “the Edgeless University”’, paper at the 3rd Annual Political Studies Association Teaching and Learning Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, 14th-15th September, 2010.
  • ‘Research-Based Politics Placements and Employability’ (with Anna Walker), paper at the CETH conference Employability in the Curriculum: Beyond the Bolt-On?, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, 22-23 June, 2010.
  • ‘Differentiated Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences’, invited speaker at the Annual Learning and Teaching Conference, Birkbeck, University of London, 25 May, 2010.
  • ‘It’s Good to Talk: Feedback, Dialogue and Learning’ (with A Blair), paper at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Edinburgh, 29 March-1 April, 2010.
  • ‘Institutions that Support Teaching and Learning: A European View’ (with J Craig, J Parker and M Wyman), workshop at the American Political Science Association Teaching and Learning Conference, Philadelphia, 5-7 February, 2010.

 

 

Steven has generated income for London Met as a paid consultant on learning and teaching issues, including to the University of Warwick on the pedagogy of placement learning, and in the delivery of workshops on diplomatic practice, such as on contemporary consular diplomacy to visiting Chinese officials. Steven has organised numerous workshops on innovations in learning and teaching in higher education, including on ways of embedding employability in the curriculum and the pedagogical uses of social media.

Steven has sat on numerous course validation and revalidation panels at universities across the UK and abroad and is currently external examiner for the MA in International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS and the BA in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. He was previously external examiner at the University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Northampton University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Between 2010 and 2016 Steven was co-opted onto the Executive Committee of the British International Studies Association (BISA) as an expert on learning and teaching in the discipline and was the chair of BISA’s Learning and Teaching Committee. He was co-founder and co-convenor of the BISA Learning and Teaching Working Group from 2010 to 2017 and he sits on the editorial board of the journal Politics.

Steven Curtis
Head of Student Experience and Academic Outcomes
School of Social Sciences
E: s.curtis@londonmet.ac.uk