Dr Alexander I. Griffiths

Higher Education Specialist & Applied Psychologist

 

Introduction

Alexander I. Griffiths is a Higher Education Specialist & Applied Psychologist based at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK.  He is currently the Academic Policy Officer (Taught Degrees) in the Office of the Principal & Vice-Chancellor where he supports the work of the Vice-Principal Education (Proctor). 


In this role, he is primarily responsible for the development and implementation of educational strategy and policy, as well as developing and supporting pedagogical initiatives to continuously innovate in the area of educational standards.


Alexander is also a Warden within the University's residential setting, where he is responsible for supporting students through various social and pastoral transitions. 


Education & Fellowships

PhD (St And.), Social Psychology

University of St Andrews (2010-2014)


MPhil (Cantab.), Social & Developmental Psychology

Darwin College, University of Cambridge (2009-2010)


MA (Hons) (St And.), Psychology & Theology

University of St Andrews (2005-2009)


AFHEA, Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Higher Education Academy (Admitted 2011)


Educational Research Interests

Pedagogy


The Higher Education context within the United Kingdom has consistently evolved and expanded over the last two decades. Universities have had to diversify in not only the way in which they reach out to and interface with students, but also the way in which they deliver learning and teaching to students. Whilst traditional teaching methods such as lectures and seminars remain a significant part of the higher education landscape in the UK, universities have focused on developing new approaches to engaging students in their learning and teaching. Our focus has become driven by placing the learner at the centre of their journey, developing within them a departure from traditional forms of student-staff engagement. Alexander is therefore currently working with colleagues on developing aspects of pedagogical research that address these new approaches to educational engagement within the sector. 


Student Identity & Experience

Alexander has a significant interest in the Social Identity Approach (SIA) to understanding how individuals identify with groups and engage in group behaviour. Whilst his previous research work has examined the SIA within the areas of gender, religious, and political identification, Alexander's focus has become orientated towards examining the potential role SIA can play in understanding student-based group identification and its impact on the student experience. 


Resilience


A key area of research focus in Alexander's career has been on understanding how resilience and coping function in particular populations. Initially this work was developed at Cambridge University where Alexander explored the use of faith and religion in resilience and coping processes. Since working within services that seek to support students at a Higher Education level, Alexander has started to develop interests in exploring the nature of resilience within the university setting. Particular interests focus on the role of the university residential setting in boosting resilience, the ways in which students cope with the various crises they face both at an academic and personal level throughout the course of their studies, and examining methods through which we can promote resilient behaviours in the university setting in order to prevent students arriving at crisis point.



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