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Archive for the 'young people' Category

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…)

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…)

Rethinking assessment: is the ‘oral essay’ a realistic alternative to the written essay in HE?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital31 May 2022

Students prepare for oral exam

© MINES ParisTech / S. Boda 2020 via Creative Commons

Katia Dowdle.

‘I own the words I speak more than I own the words that I write’. (student’s sentiment recorded by Joughin)

Higher education students in the UK are predominantly assessed through the medium of writing, with essays being the most common type of assignment. As an academic writing tutor, I have been ‘part of the system’ for several years now, preparing foundation students to understand and appropriately address essay tasks in their university studies.

The mere existence of my job has depended on the long-lived and cherished tradition of essay writing as a means to facilitate learning, diagnose students’ progress and assess understanding. I have always admired the format of academic essay that has an inherent potential to give learners space for expressing new and original ideas and, at the same time, demonstrating their deep understanding of the existing knowledge.

Students have not always shared my enthusiasm though. Moreover, the combination of independent thought and experts’ (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…)

Does it matter if you don’t get a C (or 4) grade in GCSE mathematics?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital10 March 2022

John Jerrim.

To Year 11s, GCSEs can seem the be-all and end-all of life. Having worked hard throughout secondary school, many young people put themselves under great pressure to do well in these exams.

While many will get the grades they hope for, some will inevitably end up feeling disappointed. This is likely to include those who fail to achieve a C/4 grade in a key subject such as mathematics, given the emphasis placed upon this high-stakes grade threshold within our education system.

But what impact does missing a C/4 grade in GCSE mathematics really have? When young people receive their GCSE results, are they right to feel despondent if they have missed this grade? Or does it not really matter that much, in the grand scheme of things?

This blog – drawing upon evidence from my recently released paper – takes a closer look. (more…)

How has the pandemic affected young people’s job skills?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 December 2021

Francis Green, Golo Henseke and Ingrid Schoon.

With skill shortages widely reported, you may be wondering what’s been happening to the learning of job skills among young people during Covid. It is already obvious that, following Brexit, we in Britain cannot rely as much on the skills of migrants – and this doesn’t just mean for picking apples or driving lorries. Across the board it is widely accepted that we are going to need to step up the training of Britain’s young people, our future workers for decades to come, if standards of living are to be sustained while the economy adjusts to post-Brexit realities and to climate change.

But hasn’t the pandemic put a large damper on hopes of an upturn in our skills? How could Britain’s youth get on with their education when so many schools were closed, and how could they train for careers when they (more…)

How do mental health problems vary during secondary school?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital5 November 2021

John Jerrim.

Much has been written over the last couple of years about how the Covid-19 pandemic – through a combination of lockdowns, home schooling and self-isolation – has affected the mental wellbeing of young people.

Yet, even before Covid hit our shores, there was growing concern over young people’s mental health. Amongst educationalists, there was particular interest in how this might be linked to their experiences at school.

In this blog, drawing upon data from the pre-Covid era, I take a closer look into the link between schooling and mental health. Specifically, I consider how the treatment of mental health issues varies during children’s time at secondary school, teasing apart the impact of being in a more senior school year group from the effects of age.

Some basic facts

The data I use are drawn from appointments made with primary and secondary healthcare providers in (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…)

Why dyslexia support for university students can feel ‘like going to a sexual health clinic’

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 October 2021

Charlotte Hamilton Clark.

The week of Oct 4-10th is Dyslexia Awareness Week, when organisations promote public engagement with dyslexia, often on a specific theme. In 2021 the focus is on invisible dyslexia, including overlooked dyslexia among adults in higher education.

My new study highlights how UK university students experienced dyslexia as an often unrecognised and invisible phenomenon. The study contributes fascinating insights into students’ decisions regarding disclosure and concealment of dyslexia as an invisible identity at university and the impacts of these decisions on their self-esteem.

In the qualitative project I explored the lived experience of dyslexia from the perspective of students who had registered for dyslexia support at four UK universities. The study used both email and phone discussions to investigate students’ views and theorised the impact of universities’ approach (more…)

We’re in the same storm but not the same boat’: lessons for the future from our FE Rapid Evidence Review

Blog Editor, IOE Digital15 September 2021

Ken Spours and Paul Grainger.

‘There will be a K-shaped recovery with winners and losers: we are all in the same storm but not in the same boat.’ (FE college leader)

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event in the globalised world. In terms of a health emergency, there has been nothing on this scale since the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919 – and we now live in a much more connected world, of course, that is also experiencing an even greater threat from the climate emergency.

The pandemic bears all the symptoms of a wicked problem, due to our incomplete knowledge of its effects and interdependencies as it impacts on a vulnerable Further Education (FE) sector. The UK’s FE colleges include provision for the more deprived sections of the community, and specialise in preparing young people for working life. Both aspects have (more…)