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Archive for the 'Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment' Category

Climate change education: what happened at COP27 and what happens next?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 November 2022

Photo: UNFCC via Creative Commons

Kate Greer and Nicola Walshe, Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability Education (CCCSE).

So, how was COP?

Good…? Exhausting…? Productive…? Challenging…?

It is difficult to sum up the experience of attending the annual UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP. COP can be heartwarming and heartbreaking. It can leave you feeling determined and despairing. Motivated and overwhelmed. Fearful and hopeful. All at the same time. Intertwined with the tangle of feelings that we bring home from our experience at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, one thing is (relatively) clear. This year, COP27 resulted in good news for education. Through an immense collaborative effort of Member Parties and Observers, progress was made towards implementing an internationally coordinated educational response to climate change. Here, we briefly reflect on this achievement and its implications for climate change education in England and further afield.

Of foremost importance for education is that at COP27 countries agreed to a new global Action Plan on Action for Climate Empowerment, or ACE. ACE is the term used to describe a broad area of work set out in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) and the Paris Agreement (2015) which includes education alongside five other elements: (more…)

What does the National Reference Test tell us about achievement in maths and English over time?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital25 August 2022

John Jerrim.

Congratulations to all the young people who got their GCSE results today.

While the mainstream media attention will likely be showing lots of pictures of Year 11s hugging or other such images (Teacher Tapp bingo anyone?) I am going to give my first impression of results from the latest National Reference Test – which were also published today.

What is the National Reference Test?

Since 2017, Ofqual has tested a large sample of Year 11s in English and mathematics around February/March time – just a few months before their (more…)

Did independent schools really ‘fiddle’ their A-Level grades more than other schools in 2021?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital23 August 2022

John Jerrim.

It’s August. And that can mean only one thing – results season is back!

Of course, when A-Level results were released last Thursday, one specific thing grabbed the headline – the sharp fall in 2022 grades compared to 2020 and 2021.

This was entirely predictable. And, actually, wasn’t that newsworthy. Ofqual told us that that 2022 grades would sit midway between those awarded in 2019 and 2021 almost a year ago.

But what also caught a lot of people’s attention was how the fall in grades differed between different groups and, in particular, (more…)

IOE at 120: knowledge, power and social class – a closer look at the Sociology of Education, 1972-1982

Blog Editor, IOE Digital17 August 2022

Basil Bernstein, Professor of the Sociology of Education, 1967-90; Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, 1983-90.

Basil Bernstein, Professor of the Sociology of Education, 1967-90; Karl Mannheim Chair of Sociology of Education, 1983-90.

This blog is the eighth 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. 

Michael Young.

The 1970s was a period of change and excitement but ultimate disappointment for sociologists of education. Internal divisions within the field and external political developments would change the discipline irrevocably. This meant that the work of IOE’s most eminent scholar, Basil Bernstein, would only later enjoy the influence it deserved.

In 1965 Basil Bernstein was promoted to be the first Professor of the Sociology of Education at IOE, and those of us who subsequently joined his department hoped that his highly original research on social class and language codes might be the basis for how the discipline would develop. However, for all its theoretical sophistication, his early work on language became, at best, an outrider to the peculiarly English obsession with the educability of working-class children and its correlation with their persistent low attainment at school. Despite Bernstein’s own powerful (more…)

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…)

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…)

Do teenagers who feel anxious about testing achieve worse GCSE grades?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 June 2022

John Jerrim.

Before all our lives were turned upside-down by the coronavirus pandemic, there was much concern over how GCSE examinations were affecting young people’s mental health. For some young people, the stress and anxiety induced by these examinations can be severe. This could then become a vicious circle, whereby anxiety about the exams can lead young people to achieve lower grades on them.

I explore this issue in my new academic paper, investigating whether GCSE grades are indeed lower amongst Year 11 pupils who suffer from high-levels of test anxiety. (more…)

‘How do you assess that people have become more tolerant?’ and other challenges of teaching ‘difficult’ histories  

Blog Editor, IOE Digital25 May 2022

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mary Richardson,  Becky Hale, Tom Haward and Kwaku Adjepong.

We concluded our Holocaust Memorial Day blog about teaching ‘difficult’ histories with the proposition: ‘We could assess these kinds of knowledge, but is it appropriate to do so?’ Since then, we have been exploring this idea further.

Our current focus on assessing how students understand and learn about ‘difficult histories’ arose from research (2019-20), led by the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education,to explore teaching about the Holocaust in English secondary schools, which surveyed more than 1,000 teachers. The original study was not about assessment, but we found that teachers were keen to explore ways to reflect on their teaching and their students’ experiences of learning about the Holocaust. However, some noted that care is necessary when considering how assessment could happen, as this interviewee stated:

…we need to give them the emotional space to actually realise what the topic’s about, and the impact it has on people, and I think if we start bolting on assessments to it we lose some of that ability for them to actually self-reflect. (more…)

Ukraine invasion: how history can empower people to make sense of Russia’s war

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 May 2022

Stéphane G. Lévesque, L’Université d’Ottawa/University of Ottawa and Arthur Chapman, IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society 

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered, in the words of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “the greatest threat to European stability since the Second World War.”

Since then, not a single day has passed without powerful stories and shocking images of bombardments and casualties circulating online.

In a recent CBC interview, Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan examined how history has become “an instrument of war” (more…)

Is there is a link between Year 11s’ wellbeing and their GCSE grades?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 April 2022

John Jerrim.

The 2021/22 academic year is due to see the return of GCSE examinations after a Covid-enforced two-year hiatus. Before the pandemic hit, there was much concern about how these high-stakes examinations may be affecting young people’s mental health.

At the same time, it was recognised that those Year 11s who were struggling with their wellbeing could see their GCSE grades suffer as a result. Yet we actually know relatively little about this key issue – how strong is the link between the wellbeing of Year 11 pupils and the GCSE grades they achieve?

This blog takes a look at the evidence, drawing upon work I have published today in a new academic paper. (more…)