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Archive for the 'COVID-19 and education' Category

Cutting through the noise: mobilising data and generating impact during a global pandemic

Blog Editor, IOE Digital8 June 2021

A father, wearing a face mask, hugs his young daughterRob Davies.

In May 2020, I highlighted the need to harness the power of longitudinal population studies to help understand the immediate and long-term impacts of the pandemic on individuals, families and communities and called for the creation of a new national birth cohort study to ensure that valuable data from a generation born during a global pandemic is not lost.

As the UK moves into a new phase of its COVID-19 response I explore what happened over the past year and how our work ensured that longitudinal data and research will remain at the forefront of the country’s response (more…)

Let’s talk! What support do people need to thrive and recover from the pandemic?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital7 June 2021

Kimberly Loke and Keri Wong.

Pandemic fatigue is now a global phenomenon. Close to a third of workers in the Asia-Pacific region and 75% in the US arereporting symptoms of burnout and a February Ipsos MORI survey found that 60% of people were finding it more difficult to stay positive every day compared to pre pandemic times. While news of effective vaccines brings hope, many people will continue to struggle in months to come.

The latest on-going wave of data collected by the UCL-Penn Global COVID Study helps us understand what support participants and their family members need to thrive and recover from the pandemic (n= 336). While a small minority (9%) reported needing “nothing in addition to what they already have” and “would love to contribute to the local community”, we identified five key areas where people need support. These are: (more…)

Year 6’s: ‘ready, strong and brave’ for the transition to secondary in the time of Covid

Blog Editor, IOE Digital2 June 2021

Katya Saville and Sandra Leaton Gray.

Since the second lockdown lifted in March and all students were able to return to school, much attention has been placed on the need for schools to help students ‘catch up’ on lost learning. However, our research this year found that the pandemic’s impact on the learning of students in England who were moving from primary to secondary school (Year 7) varied widely.

While many teachers in our study reported that a reasonable degree of learning continued during the first lockdown, almost a third found a wide variation between students. For instance, in interview, one teacher contrasted the difficulties for students in large families with little technological access with the accelerated learning which occurred for other vulnerable students who were able to access in-school provision.

One of our key recommendations, therefore, is to invest heavily in technological infrastructure and training, particularly as our survey findings indicate that, even (more…)

GCSEs: is the basket beyond repair, or just overloaded?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 May 2021

IOE Events.

The case for high-stakes exams at age 16, in the form of GCSEs, has felt precarious at times, especially so since the education and training participation age increased to age 18.  However, as we heard in both our latest public debate, on GCSEs, and our previous event on closing the attainment gap post-Covid, the GCSE system retains many supporters, even though some are surprised to find themselves taking that position.

For this  debate, were joined by IOE colleagues Mary Richardson (chair), Tina Isaacs and Gill Wyness; Tim Oates of Cambridge Assessment; and campaigner on reliability in exam marking, Dennis Sherwood.  Read more about our panellists here.

We also heard how in some cases the calls to disband GCSEs hide ulterior (more…)

‘I’m okay, just scanning proof that my leg is still amputated’: how can academia become less ableist?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital26 May 2021

geralt / Pixabay

Nicole Brown.

If the pandemic has taught us all one thing, it is that disabilities come in many forms. Covid-19 has meant that personal experiences of mental health issues, long-term fatigue and persistent pain have become more prevalent.

Although awareness of the difficulties that disabled, chronically ill and neurodivergent staff and students face in academia has increased over the past few years, few attempts have been made to share, theorise and learn from these experiences. My new books Ableism in Academia: Theorising experiences of disabilities and chronic illnesses in higher education and Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for inclusion in higher education do just that.

Unfortunately, the reality of being disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodivergent in academia means that many highly talented individuals drop out. This is because the structures of academia are built on the productivity, efficiency and (more…)

Open book exams: open season for cheaters or a better form of assessment?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 May 2021

Gwyneth Hughes.

The start of the pandemic in March 2020 caused universities to do a rapid pivot from the well-entrenched invigilated, timed, unseen exams to online tests mostly taken at home.

Software can monitor students taking exams in their own homes by using video or proctoring methods, or by locking down the examinee’s computer. But by far the most straightforward option is open book exams with extended timescales. This is mostly what happened at the University of London. But does this mean better assessment or more cheating?

For an open-book exam, students can search online and access books, notes, and other available resources online or in print. If the exam writing window remains (more…)

Mental Health Awareness Week: listening to young people’s voices

Blog Editor, IOE Digital13 May 2021

chezbeate / Pixabay

Bea Herbert, Chris Bagley, Vivian Hill, Jaspar Khawaja.

As part of Mental Health Awareness week, the Government has announced £17 million to increase training and resources in schools and colleges to support children and young people’s mental health. However, without addressing the broader social circumstances that cause poor mental health, it is unlikely that such policies will resolve the growing mental health crisis.

Furthermore, to be effective, these interventions must be informed by young people’s perspectives about issues affecting their mental health and well-being.

The mental health charity States of Mind and the IOE’s Doctoral programme in Educational Psychology (DEdPsy) have been working together to elicit the voices of children and young people about how their educational experiences influence their mental health and well-being in a project called Education Futures in Action. We believe that understanding the causes of psychological distress, rather than just treating their symptoms, requires much greater attention, and must include young people’s perspectives in order (more…)

Will we have a Beveridge Report for ending the attainment gap?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 May 2021

IOE Events.

Just as one can’t out-exercise a bad diet, education policy and the efforts of schools and teachers can’t out-run societal inequalities.  But they can serve to exacerbate or  alleviate those inequalities.

The socio-economic attainment gap has been a long-standing focal point of education policy and debate, albeit not as long-standing as the attainment gap itself. It’s a gap that seems in some respects inevitable and intractable (and on that point it is sobering to remind ourselves that 14m people in the UK, around a fifth, live in relative poverty; that’s a third of children).  It is an aspect of education systems that leaves optimists fatalistic, and new teachers surprised to find themselves defending elements they never thought they would, such as high-stakes exams.

For our debate What if… we really want to close the attainment gap ‘post-Covid’? we were (more…)

Thirteen insights into teacher wellbeing and mental health

Blog Editor, IOE Digital30 April 2021

John Jerrim.

Today, with my colleagues Becky Allen and Sam Sims, I have published a major new analysis of teacher mental health and wellbeing in England. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, it is the culmination of two years of work and is, we believe, the most comprehensive analysis on this issue to date.

In this blogpost, we’ll take you through a whistle-stop tour of some of our results.

1. Teachers in England are more likely to perceive their job as causing them stress – and having a negative impact upon their mental health – than teachers in other countries

In spring 2018, teachers in more than 40 countries were asked whether they felt their job caused them stress and had a negative impact upon their mental health.

As the chart below illustrates, teachers in England were very clear in their views. Lower-secondary teachers in (more…)

Leadership: how schools can build on their creative, community-based responses to the pandemic

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 April 2021

annawaldl / Pixabay

Peter Earley.

The pandemic has brought schools’ vital role at the heart of their communities into sharp relief, says visiting professor and former Chief HMI Christine Gilbert in the first of a series of Thinkpieces published by the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership (CEL). The paper will be followed by a public online forum on Tuesday 27 April from 5-6-30pm.

Gilbert’s ThinkpieceComing Back Stronger: Leadership Mattersargues that the pandemic provides an excellent opportunity for the education system to build our learning from the crisis into collaborative thinking, planning and action. Schools’ creativity in managing the disruption and complexities of the pandemic provides important lessons. It is now essential for school and other educational leaders to find time for reflection on that learning.

Her Thinkpiece identifies five leadership opportunities for building a (more…)