Skip to main content

James Snook

BSc (HONS), GDP, GTP (QTS), Pg. Dip.,Pg. Dip., MA.,MSc, RSci,

Lecturer in Social Science (Education)

School of Social Sciences

+44(0) 29 2087 5040
Room 0.69, Glamorgan Building
Available for postgraduate supervision

James is a Lecturer in Education and Academic educational mentor, with research interests in teacher professional learning, teacher training and development, coaching and mentoring, project management, science education, STEM, and medical pharmacology. 

His lecturing and supervision spans professional learning programmes such as the Master's in Educational Practice (MEP), PGCE and undergraduate courses.  He is a lecturer and supervisor on the Master's in Education Practice; the  practice based bilingual national programme for beginning teachers in Wales.   As an experienced module convenor at undergraduate and postgruaduate level, he is adept and desingin and delivering programmes that respond the to the needs of learners. (see teaching).

James is also heavily involved  in the practice development of teachers across Wales, supporting them to develop their praxis, reflection and teacher inquiry skills through co-constructive techniques,coaching and mentoring.  With significnant expertise in teaching and learning,profesioanl devleopment and professional learning he has supported novice and expert practioners to develop themselves professionally.

He has held responsibility roles within the School of Social Sciences:

  • Student support leader for the MEP (leading a team of academics to support 1500 beginning teacher nationaly and bilingually)
  • Year 3 year tutor:
  • Study abroad and international coordinator
  • Educational Mentor

As a previous ESTYN rated excellent chartered Science teacher, with specialism in Biology and Chemistry, James was responsible for teacher professional learning, and has much experience in supporting novice and expert teachers in their development and learning.  He was previously  a PGCE Science mentor and visiting lecturer on the PGCE programmes at Cardiff Metropolitain Univeristy.

James is also the external examiner for MA in Education at Bangor univeristy  

James' current role as lecturer in education and educational mentor, predominantly on the MEP allows him to support teachers in their practice development and practice experimentation  in their classroom.  Working with teachers in a variety of phases from special, foundation phase, primary and secondary (all subject disciplines), James  mentors the teachers to consider reflection on their  practice, critically unpicking values, dispositons and practices with the teachers, to reframe how they see themselves as teachers, the beliefs they have about teaching, and support teacher inquiry. Through undertaking professional dialogue opportunities, observations and co-teaching events, during which the beginning teachers consider their practice critically in the classroom context, while engaging critically with theory, but also through inquiry processes develop local knowledge and theory for their own learners, that is bespoke and suited to their own context.

His wider role includes lecturing across undergraduate and postgraduate educational programmes in the school of social sciences, including supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

James prior to this, was a Chemistry and Biology teacher and acting head of Chemistry.

James originally trained as Medical Pharmacologist/ Toxicologist, and still holds a passion for medical science.  Completing his training, he left this career to retrain to become a Construction project Manager after wanting greater career development prospects. After becoming a chartered builder, and completing his postgraduate course in Construction and Engineering, and then a further postgraduate qualification in  Professionall development and management, he quickly excelled in the role of project manager.  It was during this period his interest in the professioanl  learnign and development were ignited as he utilised practical methods and theoretical persectives to motivate and develop staff to ensure his projects were a success.  After a successful career as project manager, James wanted to develop his passion around supporting other's learning and development  and he returned back to Cardiff in order to train as a teacher in a role on the Graduate teacher programme.  James' experience meant he was able to teach Science, and more specifically Chemistry and Biology.

Professional memberships

Qualified teacher status

Member of the General Teaching Council for Wales

Registered Scientist

Chartered Science teacher

Member of Association of Educational Assessors

Member of Association for Science Education

Master in Eduational Practice:

Module convenor of the following modules:

  • Introduction to teacher's professional enquiry
  • Behaviour Management
  • Child and adolescent learning and behaviour (0-19)
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Additional learning needs and Impact of poverty on attainment
  • Leadership

Educational Mentor on the MEP

Professional learning module:

  • Leading professional learning

Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PCET)

  • Module Convenor: Digital technologies

Undergraduate  teaching:

Year 1

  • Developing Scholarship in Social Sciences

Year 2

  • What really happens in Education: Assessing impact of policy on practice

Year 3

  • Reflections on teaching and learning, practice, theory and experience
  • Research Placement in social sciences ( Module convenor)

James' research interests are related to  the professioanal learning of beginning teachers, with consideration of  identity formation as a form of professional learning and consideration of learning as a sociocultural phenomena.

His research interest consider the role of teacher inquiry, and collaborative mentoring in supporting identity formation in novice teachers, and the role of formal and infromal learning and  communities of practices in disrupting the cultural norms of schools, on which his doctorate draws upon.

Recent Papers

Connolly, M. Hadfield, M. Snook,J., Barnes, Y. 2018. The accommodation of contested identities: The impact of participation in a practice-based Masters Programme on Beginning Teachers’ professional identity and sense of agency.. Teaching and Teacher

Hadfield, M. Connolly, M., Barnes. Y., Snook, J. 2017. Developing the capacity to support beginning teachers in Wales: Lessons learnt from the Masters in Educational Practice. Welsh Journal of Education 19(1), pp. 90-106. (10.16922/wje.19.1.5)

Welsh Government evaluation of the MEP

James was an integrral member of the Welsh Government commisioned evaluation project of the Masters in Education Practice.  Involved in the design and delivery of the evaluation and the writing of three yearly Evaluation reports to Welsh Government, including future recomendations to inform policy and practice on professional learning.

Conference presentations:

  •  BERA (Budapest, 2015) Tackling educational inequality and under achievement through a national programme of professional learning – The Masters in Educational Practice
  •  BERA (UK, 2016) Transitions in Beginning Teachers Professional Learning
  •  EERA (Ireland, 2016) A systemic approach to enhancing the professional learning of Beginning Teachers in Wales


I am interested in supervising students with an education or porfessioanl learning  interest, in relation to STEM, professional learning, professional development, or taking a specific action inquiry/reseearch approach.

Past projects

Master's in Education Practice Supervision

I am a supervisor for the Masters in Educational Practice, and have supervised 70 beginning teachers to completion of their Master's.

Master's in Education, Policy and Society

I have supervised 5 students who successfully competed their Masters in Education, Policy and Society

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising the Phd candidate Sophie Bartlett with her project that considers the evaluaton of Astronomy Outreach teaching resources, and their impact on engagement of learners of Physics.