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Institute of Education Blog


Expert opinion from academics at the UCL Institute of Education


Archive for the 'International development' Category

If young people are to change the world they need the knowledge, the global skills and the belief they can do it

Blog Editor, IOE Digital20 December 2018

Douglas Bourn. 
The impact of globalisation on economies, societies and communities is one of the major issues of today. It can be seen in Trump’s emphasis on “America first”, the rationale behind Brexit and recent social events in France.
There are a range of educational initiatives in the UK and internationally to equip learners with the knowledge and skills to respond to these challenges. These include the new UK government funded programme on Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning, the OECD PISA initiative on global competencies and UNESCO’s programme on Global Citizenship  Education.
As someone who has promoted learning about global issues for over 25 years, for the last decade at IOE (see the Professorial Lecture I gave this week here), I am however (more…)

Rebuilding trust in a context of suspicion: South Africa’s failing education system

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 May 2018

Melanie Ehren. 
In his first speech as President, South Africa’s Ramaphosa promised to ‘turn the tide of corruption’, vowing to end the ‘plunder of public resources’ and to ‘put behind us the era of diminishing trust in public institutions and weakened confidence in our country’s public leaders.
With a new President and the promise of a new era in South African democracy, there may be an opportunity to rebuild trust, accountability and capacity across the country. A new ESRC/DfID-funded study on ‘Accountability, trust and capacity to improve learning outcomes’ led by researchers at University College London aims to do just that.
South Africa has a long history of oppression and apartheid which has led to great inequalities, despite South Africa’s classification as an upper-middle income country (more…)

Migration: it will be up to the next generation to change the picture

Blog Editor, IOE Digital8 May 2017

Kathryn Riley. 
There is a photograph called ‘Migrant Mother’. It is an arresting black and white shot. The woman is centre stage and gazes sideways on. She is beyond exhaustion: every line etched in her face tells its own story.
At first glance, she appears to have two children. Look more closely and you will see she has three: a child asleep on her lap and two other children, faces averted from (more…)

Ending gender violence in schools: what works and what does research tell us?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 October 2016

Jenny Parkes. 
Every day, girls around the world face physical, sexual and psychological violence in and around schools. A male teacher may seek to exchange grades for sex; a member of the community may abuse a girl on her way to school; a boy may taunt or molest a classmate against her will.
Today is the International Day of the Girl Child. Its aim is to highlight the importance of addressing the social, economic and political barriers faced by adolescent girls. UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) are marking the day – and examining the ways in which the sustainable development goals (SDGs) address these barriers – with the launch of A Rigorous Review of Global Research Evidence on Policy and Practice on School-Related Gender-Based Violence, by a UCL IOE research team including Jo Heslop, Freya (more…)

Jolie’s appointment does not change fundamental gender relations in universities

Blog Editor, IOE Digital27 May 2016

Miriam E David
No it’s not her latest movie role – Angelina Jolie is to become ‘professor in practice’ at the London School of Economics. And this appointment illustrates the argument of my new book Reclaiming Feminism: Challenging Everyday Misogyny perfectly.
It is clear that female [celebrity] status is now enmeshed with academia in contradictory ways. Many have dismissed Jolie’s appointment as a visiting professor at the LSE from September 2017 as marketing and branding, arguing that it has nothing to do with scholarship, research or teaching. I think it is no accident that the appointment of a high profile female celebrity is to a course about women, gender equality and sexual violence. These gender questions have become causes célèbres of neoliberalism, although they do not change fundamental gender relations.
The film star’s many roles have led to her ‘teaching a course on the impact of war on women’. This will be part of a new MSc on Women, Peace and Security and the first of its (more…)

Education and peace-building in the Somali region

Blog Editor, IOE Digital12 November 2015

Tejendra Pherali
On the afternoon of 1st Nov, we were having lunch in a Yemeni restaurant in Hargeisa, Somaliland when I heard the news about deadly attack in Mogadishu that morning.
The Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu was stormed by Al-Shabab militants, killing 15 people including a Member of Parliament and Somali general who had led the military campaign that drove Al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in 2011.
When my colleague Abdi Zenebe from the University of Hargeisa received a call, it did not take me long to realise that the person on the other side was asking about me. It was my wife who had been terrified by the news and confused about whether I had travelled to Mogadishu or Hargeisa.
My UK mobile network would not work in Somaliland and I had not yet managed to obtain a local SIM card or perhaps, I had not prioritised it. I can empathise with the stress that is caused on families of individuals who work in conflict-affected or other humanitarian situations. For some, career choices in challenging situations are serendipitous whereas for others, these are professional adventures. It is probably a combination of both in my case. READ THE FULL BLOG

The challenge of uniting a country: Myanmar's momentous election day

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 November 2015

Marie Lall
On Sunday – 8th November – Myanmar will go to the polls. In essence this is the first ‘real’ election since 1990. It is only the second time since 1960 and the third if you count 2010, which has seen Myanmar move from a military junta led government to a civilianised parliamentary system. More than 90 parties will be contesting seats for the two houses of parliament as well as the 14 state and regional assemblies.
Given the fact that the elections in 2010 were neither free nor fair, many worry that these elections will also be tampered with. This is of course a possibility, but the fact that international observers, including British and EU observers as well as American NGO the Carter Centre, are on the ground, will mean that any ballot box stuffing will be documented. What is more important are the issues that lie beneath the surface of these elections.
Firstly, there has been an ongoing controversy with regard to voter lists. Citizens were asked to check and (more…)

Low fee private schools in developing countries: separating ideology from evidence

Blog Editor, IOE Digital27 May 2015

Carolina Junemann and Stephen Ball
It was 15 years ago that James Tooley first drew attention to the significant number of very disadvantaged children in developing countries attending private, low fee schools rather than the free (or otherwise cheaper), public alternatives. But even now, nobody knows exactly how many of these so-called Low Fee Private Schools (LFPS) are out there – largely because so many of them remain un-recognised and uncertified by governments.
However, Annual Status of Education (ASER) Pakistan estimates that 59% of children in urban areas and 23% in rural areas were enrolled in private schools in 2012; Pratham estimates that in India 28.3% of children in rural areas were enrolled in private schools in 2012.
Advocates of low fee private schools tend to blame the public sector for their proliferation, arguing that parents are voting with their feet. (more…)

A New Year's message of hope? Martin Luther King’s dream to ‘end racism today’

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 January 2015

Heidi Safia Mirza
This Christmas marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s sermon at St Paul’s Cathedral on his way to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. On 6 December 1964, when I was just six years old in Trinidad, Dr King shared his mighty wisdom on what it is to be human in a racist world. Fifty years on, on a bright, crisp winter night 1,300 people gathered under the same magnificent dome of St Paul’s to reflect on Martin Luther King’s ‘Dream’ of an equal society, free from discrimination, intolerance, prejudice and extremism.
It was a momentous occasion to be asked to stand in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, and a great honour to be one of the speakers together with Baroness Doreen Lawrence of Clarendon, and Hugh Muir, Diary editor at The Guardian. The three of us were challenged by the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, to consider the legacy of Martin Luther King and look forward to the possibilities of ‘Ending Racism’ in the next 50 years. (more…)

Learning from the Roma: sometimes communities themselves can tell us more than statistics

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 October 2014

David Mallows
At the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC) we are working with colleagues in Dolný Kubín, Slovakia to develop and evaluate family literacy schemes with the Roma community as part of a project called Literacy Cubed.
The data on the Roma in Europe are poor, but the EU estimates that 6m Roma live within its borders, the majority in Eastern Europe. Often described as Europe’s biggest ethnic minority, the Roma, of course, are not one people. Instead, Roma is a commonly used term, encompassing diverse groups.
Recent years have seen migration of many Roma to Western Europe as they flee discrimination  (more…)