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IOE at 120: how philosophy of education addressed ideas and values at the heart of the debate – 1962-1972

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 July 2022

A 'child-centred' primary classroom from the 1960s

Progressive educational ideas and practice were highly influential : ‘child-centred’ primary classroom in the 1960s

This blog is the seventh in a series of 12 exploring each decade in IOE’s history in the context of the education and society of the times. Find out more about our 120th anniversary celebrations on our website, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up with everything that’s happening. 

Judith Suissa.

John Dewey argued that philosophy could be understood as “the general theory of education”, and philosophy has always played a central role in teaching and research at IOE. Indeed, IOE is regarded as one of the leading centres for Philosophy of Education in the world.

The decade from 1962-1971 is often regarded as the heyday of British philosophy of education, when what came to be known as ‘the London school’ was crystalised at IOE. This was a period when teacher training courses included lectures and seminars in the ‘foundation disciplines’ of (more…)

Belonging part 2: from alienation to connection and calm

Blog Editor, IOE Digital1 July 2022

Kathryn Riley.

‘I belong when I drift through the wind, peaceful and calm when I belong’ is the opening chorus of a ‘belonging’ song, written and performed by children from an International School. Their belonging experiences include ‘acts of kindness in the playground… friends who keep you above the water… pride in my work … people who are willing to find out something new… being included in things everyday… a sprinkle of joy and acts of trust…’

This blog is the second in a five-part series which tracks the impact of exclusion and the power of belonging. It’s linked to the podcast series, Let’s hear it for school belonging and the UCL Press book, Compassionate Leadership for School Belonging.

In these difficult times, we all need to have a place where we feel we belong. Whether young people experience a sense of school belonging and agency will not only influence (more…)

Belonging part 1:  the ‘red card’ of exclusion

Blog Editor, IOE Digital22 June 2022

Kathryn Riley.

‘You must shun (this girl) .. avoid her company, exclude her from your sports, shut her out of your converse… (she) is a liar’.  So pronounced Mr Brocklehurst, proprietor of Lowood School. His venom was directed against Jane Eyre, the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Bronte’s novel.

Some time ago, I interviewed young people who had been excluded from school. They drew pictures of how they felt. One image has long haunted me. At the center is a small child looking distraught. The caption around the drawing reads:

      You’re thick..  You’re stupid..  You don’t belong here..  Get out of my school… (more…)

Balancing honesty with hope: new centre will help teachers build-in climate change education

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 June 2022

Alison Kitson.

Few can doubt that the climate emergency is the defining issue of our time.  The most recent IPCC report confirms that without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach with potentially profound implications for life on our planet.

In this context it is no surprise to read in research commissioned by UCL’s new Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education (CCCSE) that climate change – and education about climate change – is an important issue to parents, teachers, school leaders and young people. What is more surprising is how many of the students and teachers participating in the research feel that schools are not always doing enough to educate young people about all aspects of climate change and the possibilities of more sustainable lifestyles.

Public First, who carried out this research, polled more than 1,000 parents, the first time we believe parents have been asked (more…)

Family? Factory? How metaphors help make sense of school life

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 May 2022

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Melanie Ehren.

When we use the word ‘school’ we expect all of us to have a similar view of what this means. In its most basic form, it’s a building with classrooms of students and a teacher. This ‘grammar of schooling’ has been in place for decades and tends to include the grouping of students for purposes of instruction, with teachers’ work defined vis-à-vis groups of students and how they are progressed through school on the basis of assessment outcomes and age.

So far, so obvious. But underlying these visible structures, we find a vast variety in practices and views of what it means to educate children, how to organize a school and the meaning of a school. Those involved in schooling – students, parents, teachers and leaders – may have different views of their school, conceptions of their role in the school, and of  the values of schooling. Such views, often expressed in metaphors, provide an important means to access what people think, but also to understand their actions. Mills et al, for example, argue that how we choose to act is (also) a function of how we construct conceptions of what we are and what we are trying to do; and when certain metaphors gain prominence in the minds of a (more…)

Financial literacy part 3: Are there socio-economic differences in how parents interact with their children about money?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 February 2022

John Jerrim.

In the previous blog in this series I investigated socio-economic differences in young people’s financial skills. This focused upon the types of financial questions that young people from advantaged backgrounds can successfully answer, that their peers from disadvantaged backgrounds can’t.

In this next blog, I start to consider socio-economic differences in one of the key inputs into the development of young people’s financial skills – the role of their parents. Are there certain things that higher-income parents do with their offspring to nurture their financial skills, that lower-income parents do not?

Lets take a look (with further details available in the academic paper here). (more…)

Financial literacy part 4: Do disadvantaged children receive enough financial education in school?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 February 2022

John Jerrim.

In the third blog in this series I started to investigate socio-economic differences in the inputs into young people’s financial skills, focusing upon the role of parents.

Schools, of course, also have a key role in helping to develop children’s financial skills. Therefore, in this final blog of the series, we turn to socio-economic gaps in the provision of financial education within primary and secondary schools.

Big gaps in primary schools

Let’s start by looking at what happens in primary school. Figure 1 illustrates the percent of primary pupils who say they have been taught various financial skills at school, stratified by socio-economic background.

There are two striking results. (more…)

Levelling up education and skills: a recipe for success?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital3 February 2022

Claire Crawford, Laura Outhwaite, Sam Sims and Gill Wyness.

It’s finally here: an answer to the question of what the government means by ‘levelling up’. On the education and skills front, it seems to involve some seriously ambitious targets: a massive increase in the percentage of children achieving the ‘expected’ level in reading, writing and maths at age 11 over the next eight years across all areas, with more than 50% rises needed to meet the target in most local authorities. Alongside these national targets, a set of 55 ‘Education Investment Areas’ – roughly the poorest performing third of local authorities in terms of primary and secondary school results – were identified, in which some new (and some re-announced) policies would be targeted.

It is good to have specific, measurable and stretching goals, but given the scale of ambition involved, there was very little detail of how we will actually get there – and no evidence of significant new resources to do it. Complex issues, like inequalities across the life course, require holistic solutions and joined up thinking across all aspects of the journey – things that simply cannot be delivered without appropriate funding. There was also little evidence of the embedding of new announcements within existing strategies – certainly in terms of the plans for educational technology, with the white paper championing the creation of a new online UK  (more…)

Expertise in being a generalist is not what student teachers need

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 December 2021

Caroline Daly.

The Government response to the initial teacher training (ITT) market review report is deepening the muddle about what is meant by ‘expertise’ in teaching and initial teacher education (ITE). The new requirements to become a provider of ITE are based on a distorted view of subject specialist expertise as something to be added to an extensive generalist preparation for teaching. It is for this reason that subject specialists in ITE need to be heard and taken seriously, while the sector digests the new guidance to become accredited providers of ITE programmes.

Our new IOE Blog series will provide insights by subject specialists in ITE, highlighting the specific expertise required to develop excellent teachers across disciplines and phases.

The ITT Core Content Framework (CCF) places the development of generic knowledge and practice of teaching at the heart of ITE and is the centrepiece of the new requirements. Yet it is a fundamental flaw to suggest that teaching is first and foremost a generalist practice. Instead, there is a need to scrutinise what it takes to make a (more…)

The 2021 Autumn Budget and Spending Review: what does it mean for educational inequalities?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital29 October 2021

 Claire Crawford, Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities.

The pandemic has disrupted life for everyone, but children and young people have seen perhaps the biggest changes to their day-to-day lives, with long periods spent away from school and their friends leading to significant rises in mental health difficulties and a substantial reduction in learning. Moreover, these challenges have not been felt equally: the evidence suggests that the pandemic has also led to a rise in inequalities between children from different socio-economic backgrounds, from the early years through to secondary school and beyond.

A budget and multi-year spending review delivered against a backdrop of the highest peace-time borrowing levels ever, and by a chancellor on a ‘moral’ mission to limit the size of the state, was unlikely to deliver the sort of investments in education that Sir Kevan Collins hoped to see when he took the role of ‘catch-up tsar’ earlier this year. But what did it deliver for education? And is it likely to help roll back the rises in educational inequalities that the pandemic has generated? (more…)