Accessibility statement

Dr John Issitt



I hold the following qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Biosciences
  • PGCE in Post 16 Education
  • PhD in Science and Radicalism 1780-1820
  • National Teaching Fellowship in Cross Disciplinary Collaborations in Writing and Learning

I have a life long commitment to learning. I am married with grown up children. I work half time for the University and I am an aspiring author when I can get to it. I am also a dedicated windsurfer.


I left school at 15 with no qualifications. I returned to education as a mature student at the age of 26. Since then teaching, learning and scholarship have constituted my working life. I have taught in schools, prisons and a range of HE and FE institutions. I am more of a survivalist than a careerist.

Departmental roles

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and doctoral supervision
  • I teach in the departments of Education, Electronics and Life-long Learning

University roles

  • Lecturer
  • PGCAP supervisor
  • Treasurer of the York UCU branch

In the past I have fulfilled a wide range of university roles - College Provost, Chair of PGCAP Board of Studies, Chair of the Teaching and Learning Forum, sat on University Teaching Committee and a range of different committees and functions over 15 years.



I am not contracted specifically to do research although I do do research beyond my contract.


  • The operation of the discourse of ‘intelligence’ in learning
  • Living with uncertainty
  • Finding new ways to learn and survive


Over the last ten years I have been involved in international collaborations attracting over £23m of research funding. These are largely Marie-Curie EU research training grants in which my role has been to facilitate and nurture cross-disciplinary writing projects by international doctoral students working in different universities and countries. Examples are Palaeo (Palaeo Archo-Biology), Leche (Emergence of lactose dependency in early modern Europe), Eurotast (History, Archeology and genetics of the slave trade) and Real (Land use in Kenyan National Parks).

Currently I have no grants or live applications for funding having decided to focus on teaching and writing.

Available PhD research projects

Topics include philosophy and politics of learning, topics in HE management and support, the use of new technologies in learning, problem based learning, collaborative learning and cross cultural learning. I am particularly interested in topics trying to develop new ways of learning to meet the demands of a changing and challenging world.


Currently I have doctoral students from the UK, Oman, Libya, Uganda but I have had students from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, China and Greece. Basically I interested in anyone from anywhere who has a good project.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD