• "First meetings": constructive first encounters between pre-service teachers and their mentors

      Connolly, Steve M.; Bates, Gareth; Shea, James (Emerald, 2020-07-01)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report the findings from an action research project in which the researchers sought to develop a set of questions for use by mentors (experienced teachers) and mentees (pre-service teachers) on a course of initial teacher education (ITE) when they first met – the “initial encounter”. Design Methodology/Approach: The researchers used an action research approach to address the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers from different backgrounds, such as Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), and the issues around mentoring which may exacerbate this problem. Discussions between the course team and participating mentors and mentees suggested that the initial encounter between mentor and mentee was significant, and an action research methodology would allow for developing questions that might structure such encounters. Findings: The researchers found that a useful and effective set of questions could be developed and used by mentors and mentees. Additionally, this process gave researchers insights into the nature of the first encounters between mentors and mentees on an ITE course and how both groups see their roles. In several cycles of action research, the participants produced a number of iterations of such questions, which were refined across a two-year period. Research Limitations/Implications: While it is too early to tell if the issues leading to the lower retention rate of pre-service teachers that prompted the project have been reduced in any significant way, the researchers suggest that thinking about these initial encounters can impact the way a mentor and mentee goes on to build a relationship. Originality/Value: The authors found very little research in the field of teacher education which looks at initial encounters between mentors and mentees and thus make an original contribution to the mentoring literature.
    • The challenge of achieving transparency in undergraduate honours-level dissertation supervision

      Malcolm, Mary; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis (Routledge), 2020-06-11)
      The undergraduate honours-level dissertation is a significant component of many UK undergraduate programmes, as a key stage in the longer-term intellectual and career development of potential researchers and knowledge-workers, and also a critical contributor to immediate award outcome. This study aims to identify how dissertation supervisors balance and deliver on these expectations. Qualitative analysis of twenty interviews conducted with supervisors at two post-1992 UK universities identifies how supervisors construct supervision as a multi-stage process. Supervisors describe how their individual supervisory practices enable them to maintain initial control of the dissertation, to extend supervisee autonomy at a central stage, and to distance supervisors further from the written output at a final stage in the process. This study questions whether this approach is satisfactory either in an institutional context where the supervisor is also first marker of work they may have shaped substantially, or as a pedagogic approach to developing research skills.
    • Towards an epistemology of media education: confronting the problems of knowledge presented by Social Realism

      Connolly, Steve M.; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-04-29)
      Recent debates about the status of knowledge in the school curriculum have seen the emergence of attempts to connect curriculum reform to the ideas about "powerful knowledge" articulated by Michael Young and other sociologists. This article argues that for the case of media education, and specifically its application in secondary schools - in the form of Media Studies - these ideas are not adequate to explain the epistemological principles upon which the project of media education is built. The paper takes a threefold approach to developing an epistemology of media education; firstly, by outlining existing work on the nature of knowledge in media education; secondly, by examining social realist arguments about the way that knowledge is manifested in things like school subjects and canonical knowledge and arguing that media education does not fit these manifestations; and finally by offering some alternative ideas upon which an epistemology of media education may be built
    • Creating connections to weather the storm of marketisation

      Rainford, Jon (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-17)
      Viewpoint
    • Networks of knowledge, students as producers, and politicised inquiry

      Carmichael, Patrick; Tracy, Frances; Dohn, Nina Bonderup; Jandrić, Petar; Ryberg,Thomas; de Laat, Maarten; University of Bedfordshire; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Southern Denmark; Zagreb University of Applied Sciences; et al. (Springer, 2020-03-22)
      This chapter explores the potential for the development of new learning opportunities in higher education, through students being conceptualised not as consumers, recipients or commodities, but rather as co-researchers and co-producers of knowledge. It discusses the implications of new forms of networked knowledge enabled by the emergence of semantic web and linked data technologies, and the reconceptualisation of the Internet as a ‘global data space’. These approaches have the potential to allow students to engage critically with existing data and data practices, generate new data and, perhaps more significantly, to participate in local or global knowledge networks. These activities involve not only the development of specific techno-literacies, but also broader critical digital literacies of which we offer examples and propose a number of dimensions. A critical digital literacies perspective, particularly when combined with the idea of students as co-researchers and co-producers, provides a basis for student to undertake critical and politicised inquiry as part of a broader reframing of the purposes of higher education.
    • Review of Relationships and Sex Education 3-11: supporting children's development and well-being [book review]

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor & Francis, 2020-03-15)
      Review of Relationships and Sex Education 3-11: supporting children’s development and well-being by Sacha Mason and Richard Wolley, London, Bloomsbury, 2019, 233 pp., £24.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978 1 350 08071 3
    • Constructive friction? charting the relation between educational research and the scholarship of teaching and learning

      Larsson, Maria; Martensson, Katarina; Price, Linda; Roxå, Torgny; Lund University; University of Bedfordshire (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) / University of Calgary, 2020-03-15)
      While educational research and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) are overlapping fields, over time there has appeared considerable friction between the two. There are claims that educational research has been tainted by SoTL’s emergence and that those engaged in SoTL lack adequate training. They maintain that those engaged in SoTL would benefit from a better understanding of educational research theories and methods. Some engaged in SoTL perceive educational research as too distanced from practice. What underpins these perceived differences between the two fields? How might this friction be explained? The study described in this article explored empirical, interview-based viewpoints from new and experienced educational researchers and SoTL scholars, respectively. Participants were purposefully drawn from attendees at two European conferences specializing in educational research and SoTL. The data was examined using thematic analysis and focused mainly on the perceived differences between these communities. The central themes that emerged where differences occurred are community membership and governance, scope and purpose of inquiry, and intended recipients of inquiry results. Some differences include what and who determines the value of the contribution to the field and why it is valuable. This article provides an empirically based understanding of the relative attributes of both communities. We hope that it leads to future discussions about further developing fruitful and constructive interrelationships.
    • Creating sites for education and democracy: Henry Morris and the Cambridgeshire village colleges

      Hopkins, Neil (Wiley, 2020-03-11)
      This article investigates the work of Henry Morris (1889–1961), in particular his ideas on the Cambridgeshire village colleges. It is now 90 years since the first of these was founded in Sawston in 1930, and the article aims to address the issue of whether Morris’s views on education and democ- racy encapsulated in the village colleges still have relevancy in the early twenty-first century. An overview of Morris’s career and the creation of the village colleges is investigated, using the work of Paul Hirst and associative democracy as a theoretical lens. It is argued that the Cambridgeshire village colleges do have some attributes of associative democracy, particularly their original emphasis as sites of local democracy and participation from voluntary bodies and private individuals. How- ever, Morris’s role as Cambridgeshire’s Chief Education Officer (1922–1954) meant that the local state (in the guise of the County Council) played a more significant role in the village colleges than Hirst advocates for his version of associative democracy. As English primary and secondary schools turn from local authority control to academy status, Morris’s vision for local schools of and for local people is becoming increasingly compromised. The article ends with the work of Allen and Gann, both influenced by Morris, who argue for a revitalised form of comprehensive schooling and lifelong learning that again sees educational institutions as sites of grassroots democracy.
    • Assessment or referral tool: the unintended consequences of a dual purpose common assessment framework form

      Nethercott, Kathryn; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2020-02-03)
      The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) was designed to facilitate early intervention through multi-agency working and the active involvement of families. The underlying principle was to move away from a risk-focused, needs-led or service-led culture to assess need and match needs to identified services. It was anticipated that services and assessments would become more evidence-based, and a common language between professionals and agencies would evolve. Taking a social constructionist approach this study explored professionals’ experiences of the use of the Common Assessment Framework form. Forty-one professionals from four different local authorities and a variety of agencies took part in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed utilizing thematic analysis. Findings suggest the unintended consequences of the use of the CAF were influenced by local authority policy. As the local authorities adopted the policy of utilizing the CAF as a referral mechanism, rather than to assess needs, profes-sionals unintentionally perceived the CAF form as a referral tool, to refer families to existing service provision. Further to this, professionals referred to the CAF form itself, as a ‘means to an end’, implying that this was a step that had to be overcome in order to access services.
    • Review of To turn the whole world over: Black women and internationalism

      Maylor, Uvanney (Taylor & Francis, 2020-01-31)
      Book review: To turn the whole world over: Black women and internationalism edited by Keisha N. Blain and Tiffany M. Gill, Urbana, Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2019, 288 pp., $26.00 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-252-08411-9
    • Review of Subject teaching in primary education

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor & Francis, 2020-01-19)
      Book review: Subject teaching in primary education edited by Patrick Smith and Lyn Dawes, London, Sage, 2014, 275 pp., £21.28 (paperback), ISBN 9781446267899
    • Can we fix education? living emancipatory pedagogy in Higher Education

      Clack, Jim (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-26)
      This paper discusses a 12-week, 15-credit module taught to second year undergraduates during semester 2 of 2017–18 academic year. The module, entitled ‘Deschooling’, aimed to explore notions of emancipatory and critical pedagogy, control and coercion in the education system. Rather than ‘teach’ these concepts as abstract academic theory, I aimed to provide students with ‘lived’ experiences of them. That is, the aim was to provide a ‘deschooled’, ‘unoppressed’ experience for students by facilitating, so far as possible, democratic decision-making amongst the group. Subsequent reflection on the successes (or otherwise) of the module threw up numerous points. This paper reports on one particular aspect – assessment. As part of the module, students were offered choice over not only how they might be assessed, but also whether or not they should be assessed. This paper then discusses the challenges surrounding critical pedagogy in the HE classroom and considers implications for future practice.
    • Teacher education and the development of democratic education in England

      Hopkins, Neil (Routledge, 2019-12-17)
      England presents an interesting and complex situation with regards to teacher education and democratic citizenship in relation to other European contexts. These challenges can be encapsulated in the debate over national identity in the midst of Brexit. This chapter will explore how and if fundamental British values accord with the Council of Europe’s conceptual model of 20 competences for citizenship and democracy. Discussion of how and whether teacher education in England is able to encourage trainers and trainees to explore identity within the context of Brexit will also be explored. Teacher education in England has become increasingly fragmented and complex in recent years. The government’s drive towards more school-centred teacher education and the removal of state schools from local authority control has left a situation where trainees can opt for a range of ‘pathways’ into school and college teaching. The debate here is whether investigation of citizenship, democracy and identity is in danger of being further marginalised by the pressure to get trainees ‘classroom ready’. This chapter will adopt a philosophical approach to the literature, focussing on some key texts in the field to draw out implications for the main concepts and how they are interpreted.
    • Education for democratic citizenship in Ireland

      Butler, Cathal (Taylor and Francis, 2019-12-17)
      This chapter explores the complex historical, political and religious context that frame discussions around citizenship and democracy within education in Ireland, as an independent nation, and as a member of the European Union. What it means to be a citizen in Ireland will be explored.The focus is primarily on the Republic of Ireland, though issues that arise in Northern Ireland will also be covered. The chapter will focus on curriculum subject areas that touch on citizenship and democracy, past and present. The extent to which policy and practice can map onto the key concepts set out in the Council of Europe's framework of competences for democratic culture will be explored, with a specific focus on the extent to which teachers are trained to be able to teach these subjects.
    • Postdigital possibilities: operaismo, co-research, and educational inquiry

      Carmichael, Patrick; University of Bedfordshire (Springer International Publishing, 2019-12-13)
      There are parallels between the post-Marxist traditions of operaismo (workerism) and autonomism and emerging ideas about the ‘postdigital’. Operaist analyses and approaches, and particularly the work of Romano Alquati on co-research, have the potential to contribute to discourses as to what might be involved in postdigital inquiry in educational settings, and to better understand of critical data literacies. For such educational inquiry to evolve into a comprehensive strategy of ‘co-research’, it is argued that what is needed are models of teacher inquiry with the potential to challenge dominant rhetorics, to support emancipatory research and development, and to establish the postdigital as a counter-hegemonic educational programme.
    • Review of Children's transitions in everyday life and institutions

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor & Francis, 2019-11-28)
      Book review of Children’s transitions in everyday life and institutions edited by Mariane Hedegaard and Marilyn Fleer, London, Bloomsbury, 2019,253 pp., £90.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-350-02145-7
    • Trends in higher education (England)

      Nethercott, Kathryn (Bloomsbury, 2019-11-27)
    • Seeing through the eyes of a teacher: differences in perceptions of HE teaching in face-to-face and digital contexts

      Jensen, Lise; Price, Linda; Roxå, Torgny; Lund University; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2019-11-13)
      Studies of how contextual factors influence teachers’ approaches to teaching have chiefly focused on face-to-face teaching in physical campus contexts. This study advances understanding of how applicable this knowledge is in digital contexts. The study explores how university teachers perceive the differences between teaching in physical campus contexts and the digital teaching contexts found in online courses. Interview data were collected from 15 university teachers and analysed using thematic analysis. The results show that respondents perceived digital teaching contexts to be changeable. Changes were attributed to technology development and influences from students and teachers. The respondents varied in how close or anonymous they perceived their online students to be compared to their campus students. The variation was related to the type of teaching-learning activities prioritised by the respondents. However, no relationships were found between respondents’ perceptions of their student-teacher relationship and class size, time invested, or type of communication.
    • Put teachers back in control of the classroom'

      Thompson, Carol (2019-10-24)
      A culture of trust is essential if teachers are to feel comfortable taking risks in the classroom