Browsing Education by Department
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Busting the myth of gender bias: views from men and women primary-school trainees and teachersWe explore the ideology associated with gender equality that despite primary schools and initial teacher education (ITE) institutions doing all they can to recruit men into primary education, a huge gender imbalance still exists. We frame our study around the notions of gender equality and professional responsibility. Using a multi-case study approach, this inquiry examined views of men and women from 12 English primary schools and one ITE institution regarding the cause and effect of gender bias. Findings show a differentially large gender gap in the sample schools and that there is good practice where schools are successful in attracting and retaining men teachers. Implications of these findings suggest that leaders in primary schools need to take a more active role to help change and shape the perceptions of men teachers in education. We conclude that leaders also need to help close the teacher gender gap in schools and ITE institutions through collaborative dialogue.
How can the skills of Early Years leaders support other leaders in a primary school setting?This study investigated the leadership skills Early Years leaders demonstrated through their daily practice of teaching, assessing and teamwork within their setting. It explored how revealing the potential of Early Years leaders could have a positive impact on the leadership practice of other leaders in the same setting to improve pupil outcomes. A qualitative approach using interviews with Early Years leaders in 20 primary settings from the East Midlands and Bedfordshire areas was undertaken by two academics from two different UK based universities. Ethical guidelines ensuring anonymity and trustworthiness were followed. Using verbatim comments, data were analysed in themes against contemporary Early Years literature. Findings showed the skills of Early Years leaders could support pedagogy and practice but some of these skills were not utilized beyond this age phase. Our conclusion suggested that Early Years leaders had a range of leadership skills which were deemed specialist as they were unique to the success of the age phase, but needed to be exposed beyond Early Years for wider success and impact.
Permeating the social justice ideals of equality and equity within the context of Early Years: challenges for leadership in multi-cultural and mono-cultural primary schoolsThis paper explores the ideology of social justice through links between equality and equity within Early Years and what remain the challenges for leadership. Questionnaires and interviews in English multi-cultural and mono-cultural schools with Early Years age phases were conducted. The findings showed that the ideology of social justice, equality and equity was interpreted differently in each Early Years setting. The multi-cultural schools used a variety of activities to embed social justice principles that involved their diverse communities more to enrich the curriculum in contrast to the mono-cultural schools. In mono-cultural schools however, leadership had to be more creative in promoting equality and equity, given the smaller proportion of their diverse pupil and staff population. Our conclusions suggest that most schools are struggling initially with implementing the current changes in Early Years, therefore their vision for permeating this curriculum with an equality and equity focus is at the early stages.