Skip to main content

Associate Professor Virna Rossi

Virna Rossi has led staff development at Ravensbourne University London (RUL), an art and design specialist university, since 2016. She has developed her own ‘roots-to-shoots’ approach to more inclusive learning design and has written a book about it. A passionate part-time teacher and involved mother, her motto is ‘learn to thrive’.
Ravensbourne University London
Job Title
PGCert Course Leader

Virna Rossi champions inclusive learning design in her work at Ravensbourne University London (RUL) and in external networks. Her childhood passion for languages and culture led Virna to graduate in and then teach foreign languages – the start of her deep professional involvement with multiculturalism and related inclusivity. Virna has been a teacher since 1999 and has taught in all educational settings: primary, secondary, college (FE), adult education, higher education (university).

As she really enjoyed the role of assisting colleagues improve their practice, her languages teaching gradually gave way to more teacher education roles, first at Westminster University, then at the IoE, and currently at RUL where she is the Course Leader of the PGCert in Creative Courses. This role allows her to combine the areas she is most passionate about: interculturalism (due to the highly diverse student and staff body) and helping teachers teach better by being more inclusive (to cater for their highly diverse students), in a creative setting which fosters innovative practice.

Virna is passionate about her job, and she would like each student to have a chance – the best chance of success. Hence, her interest and research around ‘inclusive learning design’ which is the title of her book (Routledge) and explains in detail her signature pedagogy, the ‘roots-to-shoots’ approach to learning design. Drawing from the contributions of over 80 experts and colleagues alongside her own extensive experience, in her book Virna explores how to embed inclusivity at the point of course design and how to set up, run, assess and evaluate inclusive learning environments and experiences.

Virna is a very active public speaker, has given keynotes and run many international workshops about this innovative, inclusive approach, involving many colleagues from the Global South, to walk the walk when it comes to inclusivity. Virna works part-time as she also enjoys being an involved mother: she likes birdwatching, cycling along the canal, and going to Kew Gardens with her two boys. Her motto is ‘learn to thrive’. 

Advance HE recognises there are different views and approaches to teaching and learning, as such we encourage sharing of practice, without advocating or prescribing specific approaches. NTF and CATE awards recognise teaching excellence in a particular context. The profiles featured are self-submitted by award winners.