In this captivating, and passionate, interview, William Rowlandson, Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Kent, talks about growing up in the West Country and the roots of his love for teaching. William identifies a 'binding thread' which runs throughout our lives from school through to retirement and offers his personal view on what he considers to be one of the inadequacies of the educational system.
What emerges strongly in our conversation is the role that passion plays in William's life, and how he prefers to see himself not as a lecturer but as a facilitator who is able, through dialogue and interaction, to elicit from students what it is that 'floats their boat'. William discusses the influence of Sartre and Graham Greene and the impact that 49p Penguin books - which kickstarted his belief that a book is 'a friend, a teacher and an antagonist' - that were sold in a bookshop near his school had a particular influence on him when he was growing up. The difference between his and his children's apprehension of music is divulged, and William speaks about the way The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Orbital have the power to transport, and how The Beatles have played a seminal role in family road trips.
My final question then catapults the interview down an unexpected path, and, although this interview is about 30 minutes longer than was originally planned, I was spellbound by the conversation that emerged on the problem across many spheres of life with simplistic and disingenuous binary models.
Please note: Opinions expressed are solely those of Chris Deacy and William Rowlandson and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the University of Kent.