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What kinds of activities will encourage more students from disadvantaged backgrounds to keep studying science?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital29 March 2018

Tamjid Mujtaba
I have worked on a range of projects as a mixed-methods researcher over the years although none as quite exciting as  Chemistry for All,  a longitudinal project funded in 2014 by the The Royal Society of Chemistry. Why is it exciting? Because I am confident that both the research design along with the sentiment of  The Royal Society of Chemistry to tackle inequality in post-16 Chemistry participation will produce well-grounded evidence based policy recommendations.
The Royal Society of Chemistry have funded a £1 million five-year project with the main purpose of finding ways to widen participation in chemistry. Colleagues at the IOE and I are collaborating with partner universities to determine the effectiveness of a number of long-term innovative activities developed for schools with low (more…)

We need to talk about subjects – and to know what great subject-specific professional development looks like

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 February 2018

Philippa Cordingley and Toby Greany.

We need to talk about how teachers become expert – not just at teaching, but at teaching across different subjects.

All too often in education we get side-tracked by debates about issues such as high stakes accountability systems, assessment reforms, recruitment and retention, anxiety about the breadth of learning experiences and funding.  Even when we do remember that it is the quality of teaching that matters most, we tend to focus on the challenges, such as teacher recruitment shortages.  Yet, as Professor Dylan Wiliam has argued, the biggest priority should be to ‘love the teachers we have’ by investing in their professional development and learning. (more…)

Here is what makes some writing 'world leading'

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 April 2017

 
Dominic Wyse.
There is a wonderful scene in the film Amadeus that depicts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dictating, from his death bed, the words and music of his Requiem mass – a piece thought of as a requiem for the composer’s death which is now regarded as one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. Mozart dictates to the rival composer Salieri, who in equal measure admires and hates Mozart. A central theme of Peter Schaffer’s original play, which the film is based on, is the originality of genius versus “mediocrities everywhere”.
Building on my recent work on the philosophy and history of writing, I’ve been trying to work out what constitutes “world-leading” writing, and effective writing more generally. Over the past three years I’ve analysed interviews with the world’s greatest writers as well as examined renowned guides to writing styles and standards of language. I’ve also been studying young people’s creativity and writing. And, throughout my work, the composition of music has been compared with the composition of written text.
World leading is a big claim. Perhaps we would agree, just as the Nobel Prize committee (more…)

Engaging with policymakers – some tips to help you on your journey…

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 March 2017

Higher education – The key to greater freedom

Blog Editor, IOE Digital6 March 2017

Simon Marginson
This is a crucial time for the United Kingdom, Europe and higher education, in an extraordinary landscape in the Atlantic countries and Western Europe that no one saw coming a year ago. Matters are different in East Asia and Southeast Asia and Latin America, where education and science are rising; and in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, which have more severe problems. But the big changes in this region affect politics, economics and
Read the full post at: Higher education – The key to greater freedom – University World News

Give it time

Blog Editor, IOE Digital31 October 2016

Alissa Goodman and Alice Sullivan.
Recent political events have focussed minds on society’s deeply rooted inequalities and their long-reaching consequences. The gap between the rich and poor is growing as is the gap between generations – a recent IFS report found that people born in the 1980s had only half the wealth by their early 30s that the generation born ten years earlier had had at the same age. Social mobility is stagnant at best, causing concern across the political spectrum. Problems such as depression and obesity grow apace. How can we best understand and solve these social challenges? (more…)

Changing the subject: why pushing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to take more academic subjects may not be such a bad thing

Blog Editor, IOE Digital24 July 2016

Becky Allen
Today, Sutton Trust published our report on the 300 secondary schools who transformed their curriculum between 2010 and 2013 in response to government policy, achieving a rise in the proportion of pupils entering the EBacc from 8% to 48%. Understanding the experiences of pupils in these schools gives us a little window on
Source: Changing the subject: why pushing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to take more academic subjects may not be such a bad thing

Superman was a foundling: art that draws on childhood

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 April 2016

Heather Elliott
Superman was a foundling.  Ann Shirley was adopted. James Bond was fostered. The poet, Lemn Sissay, who spent some of his teenage years in care, has covered the walls of the cafe of the Thomas Coram Foundling Museum with the names of fictional heroes who grew up outside nuclear families. This work is the starting point for the museum’s current exhibition, Drawing on Childhood, which explores why literature’s most beloved sons and daughters are all alone in the world. The show is bookended by illustrations of foundlings Tom Jones and Jacqueline Wilson’s Dustbin Baby, taking in along the way Rapunzel and Snow White, Jane Eyre and Peter Pan, Roald Dahl’s  James Trotter  and Harry Potter.
The Foundling Hospital was established by Thomas Coram in 1739 as a home for London’s abandoned children and the museum is the perfect setting for this exhibition. It also has a special connection with the Institute of Education. Our Thomas Coram Research Unit has been researching children in the city and the institutions and families who care for them for 40 years. We focus, in particular on the marginalised and displaced and how their lives are storied, children who are migrants and who are in care, for example, or living in poverty. 

The Foundling Museum Cafe featuring Lemn's Sissay's mural 'Superman was a Foundling' (c) The Foundling Museum

Lemn Sissay’s mural Superman was a Foundling


Coram’s campaigning concern for London’s children is reflected in the exhibition, too.  (more…)

Ask A Professor: is there an alternative to Ofsted?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital18 December 2015

Ask A Professor is an occasional blog by UCL IOE academics. From now on it will appear as part of the IOE London blog.
 
A teacher at the London Festival of Education this past Autumn asked about the Green Party’s plans to abolish Ofsted. What would replace it or could we do without an inspection system?
In this audio clip Dr Melanie Ehren describes the work of Ofsted and explains why some teachers have called for its abolition. She compares it to other quality assurance systems in Europe and elsewhere, and discusses the impact of Ofsted on national policy making and on parental decision making. She is enthusiastic about the increasing sophistication of inspection in understanding the contribution of school networks to excellence in education.
https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/files/2015/11/ehrenedit.mp3

Learning together: crossing the language barrier with bilingual pupils

Blog Editor, IOE Digital11 September 2015

Li Wei
“What do I do when all my pupils speak different languages that I don’t understand myself, even though I speak several languages already?” This is a question I was once asked by an experienced teacher who was getting ready for a trip to Sierra Leone as a volunteer teacher. She taught history and geography in an inner London school and spoke English, fluent French, and had a good knowledge of German and Spanish. We talked about the possibilities of having many different languages and dialects amongst the children she would be teaching, and the purpose and objective of her trip. She concluded that the only feasible way was to allow the children to use whatever language or dialect they felt most comfortable in and to ‘co-construct’ knowledge with her. So rather than teaching them directly, she would learn as much from the pupils as they would from her. They would be learning together.
This is the idea behind ‘Translanguaging’, a dynamic process of knowledge building and meaning making that employs (more…)