Tim Saunders PhD

Lecturer in Education and Initial Teacher Training

Religion and Worldviews Education


Prioritising Spirituality and Sustainability

for a Better World

Education for Sustainable Development


Prioritising Sustainability Education

for Regenerative Futures

Educational Leadership and Management


Prioritising Sustainable Leadership

for Planetary Flourishing

Welcome to EduSynthesis Mentoring

Dr Tim Saunders 


EduSynthesis Academic Research in Integrative Education

I created EduSynthesis Academic Research for two reasons. Firstly as a way of mapping out my own personal philosophy of education as part of my own lived inquiry and commitments as a teacher. Secondly as a guide to the journey of life and love of learning in support of co-operative inquiry with others. It is thus a provisional map for my own path in providing 1:1 support, teaching classes, distributed leadership and engaging in planetary sustainability. It is also thus an invitation to explore the world of education using my map as a guide, in the hope that you construct your own better map as you navigate your own path.


I first came to live in the north west of England as a student at Manchester University in 1985 and having lived and worked nomadically here ever since, I eventually settled in Liverpool, a stone’s throw from the Mersey estuary.  I count both city regions home and it is the living waterways of the Mersey rivers, many streams one river, that define this bioregion and ground my one planet thinking and living theory.


I have taken a BA Hons in Theology and Religious Studies (Manchester University),  MA in Educational Management (Open University), PhD in School Leadership (Liverpool University). My teaching qualifications include a PGCE Primary (Manchester University), PGCert ODE Online & Distance Education (Open University) and PGCTHE (Edge Hill University).

Educational Experience

I have a wealth of experience that includes Primary School teaching (7 years), Headteacher (14 years), University lecturing (7 years), Thinking Skills training in schools (10 years), and Organisational Development Consultant (6 years).

Philosophical Influences

I do not adhere to any particular school of philosophy but support the revival of philosophy as a way of life  and have affinities with the traditions of American Pragmatism, Russian Personalism, Nordic Metamodernism, English Pluralism and Andalusian Sufism. Those who have most inspired the educational thinking that informs the EduSynthesis map include John Heron, Walter Watson, David Dilworth, Matthew Lipman, Kieran Egan, Michael Schiro, David Cooperider, Bruce Tukcman, Daniel Goleman, Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn, Tony Bush, Mike Bottery, Annick de Witt, Tony Hodgson, JG Bennett, Hanzi Freinacht, and Arnim Wiek. The design and graphical presentation of the map owes most to Nash Popovic and his Personal Synthesis project.

EduSynthesis @ Edge Hill University

I currently teach and research at Edge Hill University Research Profile in the Faculty of Education, Department for Primary and Childhood Education, supporting students and trainee teachers on the PGCE, BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS and BA (Hons) Children and Young People’s Learning and Development Teaching Profile I am also a member of SustainNet @ EHU working to develop and nurture trans-disciplinary collaboration on sustainability research and other forms of academic-related work at EHU, integrating sustainability into curriculum programmes, including continuous professional learning and in-service learning and build ever stronger partnerships with local and other external stakeholders to improve the sustainability of the local region SustainNet


Riverine locations where Tim has lived, studied and worked in the Manchester-Mersey bioregion

Musing on the Mersey : Diary Fragment: November 2020

Fate would have it that the Mersey and all her tributaries have claimed me, not me the river; channelling this liquid-modern nomad from source to sea. Many streams I once dimly thought disparate but now realise to be one living river, connect me to the places I’ve lived and people I’ve loved over my working life.  As teacher, headteacher, now lecturer. From the River Sett to Goyt and River Tame to Irwell. From the River Bollin running eventually, unimagined by locals, to the mouth of the Mersey. Afon Merswy, as those with longer memories  remember her in the tongue of the Old North, on whose banks I’ve washed up for now, somewhere muddy between worlds. A confluence of otherwise coincidences. From here she flows out to Liverpool Bay and into the Irish Sea of joined-up shores and isles of shared humanity before nations were, urging in the surging of wave more mingling than enmity. As far as the Liver bird flies out beyond Eire or the worker bee dances inland. Here before me in the moonlight is Mǣres, ‘boundary river’ in Anglo-Saxon, blatantly misnamed because she’s the lifecourse, of course, that connects us more than any border she once marked. Gazing across to the Wirral from Aigburth I wonder, are we more lost than we think if we don’t happen to know the current whereabouts of her nearest waterway to us right now. Does our sixth sense harken to her Sat Nav free navigation? Do we feel for her flow? I find I get my bearings better when I’m mindful of her presence and less absent when I remember she’s near. Grounded by water. Variously known in different parts, merely as Otters’ pool by some or Atlantic gateway more grandly, both slave-market docks and mill-town sewage, cloud-clad brook and seafarer’s haven. I sense both the pure spring and upland drain in our archipelago vein. Whether we’re on the frayed coastal edge of her effluence or hale from the high moorland hills of her rising in Pennine drizzle, some of us minded her rivercide by poisoning and tend her birthing still. To think is to thank, for the life-giving sustenance of this great water-dwelling we take for granted, without whom this life-place is a wasteland, as fond to wayward hearts abroad as the hearth-path home, upstream or down.

Tim Saunders, Aigburth, 2nd Lockdown 2020

© 2023 Tim Saunders PhD : EduSynthesis : The Way of Mindful Integration : Integrative Counselling, Coaching, Tutoring and Mentoring


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