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Social and emotional skills: how early childhood living conditions can support or undermine equality of opportunity

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 7 May 2021

Ingrid Schoon

Children need certain social and emotional skills in order to adapt well to school and later life. This has become increasingly recognised in recent years, most notably by policy-makers. They have focused growing attention on how potential ‘character’, ‘non-cognitive’, or ‘soft’ skills can be developed in children and young people.

Social and emotional competences refer to a set of attitudes and behaviours, including motivation, perseverance, self-control, social engagement and collaboration (See here for more details). There is however no consensus about a key set of core social and emotional competences, and how these are defined and operationalised. Nor is there sufficient understanding of how social and emotional competences develop over time and in context.

New research from the IOE’s Social Research Institute (SRI) published in the British Education Research Journal suggests that some children need more support than others in developing socio-emotional competences, and that they need it at a young age. The support they need Read the rest of this entry »

The time has come to overturn neoliberalism’s hold on early childhood education

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 4 May 2021

Peter Moss and Guy Roberts-Holmes.

Our last blog highlighted neoliberalism – what it is and where it came from. We argued that it has penetrated all aspects of everyday life, yet many people neither recognise what it is nor understand its huge influence. Education is no exception, as a Canadian course tutor vividly illustrates: ‘My students have asked: “Why should we bother studying this?”; “Why should we bother with neoliberalism when we have to learn how to teach children?”’

Compulsory and higher education have been well served by studies of neoliberalism. They have detailed how this philosophy has circulated since the 1980s via the ‘Global Education Reform Movement’. GERM’s common symptoms have included the spread of market logic, business management models and test-based accountability, and a narrowing of curricula to focus on literacy, numeracy and science.

Less attention has been paid to early childhood education. This is the subject of our newly published book, Neoliberalism and Early Childhood Education: Markets, Imaginaries and Governance. Though Read the rest of this entry »

Thirteen insights into teacher wellbeing and mental health

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 30 April 2021

John Jerrim.

Today, with my colleagues Becky Allen and Sam Sims, I have published a major new analysis of teacher mental health and wellbeing in England. Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, it is the culmination of two years of work and is, we believe, the most comprehensive analysis on this issue to date.

In this blogpost, we’ll take you through a whistle-stop tour of some of our results.

1. Teachers in England are more likely to perceive their job as causing them stress – and having a negative impact upon their mental health – than teachers in other countries

In spring 2018, teachers in more than 40 countries were asked whether they felt their job caused them stress and had a negative impact upon their mental health.

As the chart below illustrates, teachers in England were very clear in their views. Lower-secondary teachers in Read the rest of this entry »

Neoliberalism: what’s it all about?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 28 April 2021

Peter Moss and Guy Roberts-Holmes.

In his foreword to our new book, Neoliberalism and Early Childhood Education, published today, Professor Stephen Ball offers a stark assessment: ‘neoliberalism now configures great swathes of our daily lives and structures our experience of the world – how we understand the way the world works, how we understand ourselves and others, and how we relate to ourselves and others.’

Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were the movement’s standard bearers

It has reached, as we will describe in our next blog, deep into all sectors of education – and far beyond. Whether it’s schools or bus services competing for custom, or the privatization of public utilities and the sub-contracting of public services to big business, or the marginalization of trade unions and the vaunting of a ‘flexible’ labour market, or the turning over of care for older people to private providers, neoliberalism has become the normal backdrop to life, appearing natural and self-evident. How else, we might ask, could things be?

Yet despite its enormous influence on all aspects of our lives, many people today can neither name nor describe Read the rest of this entry »

Everyone’s Invited: Why we’re not surprised about the #MeToo movement in UK schools

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 27 April 2021

Jessica Ringrose, Ruth Eliot, Sophie Whitehead, Amelia Jenkinson, Kaitlynn Mendes & Tanya Horeck.

In recent weeks, allegations of peer-on peer sexual violence in schools, colleges and universities across the UK have been hailed as a ‘#Metoo’ moment for young people. The scale and severity of survivors’ testimonies has sparked shock and outrage amongst the commentariat, news media, parents and many education professionals.

We are a feminist consortium of sex educators – who spend a lot of time talking about sex, relationships, consent and intimacy in school – and academics who have been researching gender, education and social justice for decades. We are not surprised by the testimonies submitted to Everyone’s Invited, and really, no one should be. Not just because teenage girls everywhere have been demanding change for years. Or because just back in 2016, a Women and Equalities Committee inquiry revealed endemic sexual harassment in UK schools. But also because we must recognise that schools are a microcosm of society, including rape culture.

Part of the reason for the shocked response, we believe, is because listening to survivor testimonies forces us to Read the rest of this entry »

Questions about PISA 2018, part 1: In Scotland, were key changes taken into account?

By Blog Admin, on 22 April 2021

John Jerrim.

How much can we trust government reporting of key statistics? Not just the headline findings, but the basic details underpinning them? Those things that it’s important for consumers of data to know if they want to form their own independent judgement about the strength of the evidence available?

In my new paper released today, and forthcoming in the Review of Education, I report what I consider to be a worrying lack of transparency surrounding some aspects of the reporting of the PISA 2018 data for the UK.

This blog is the first in a series posted today looking into some of the Read the rest of this entry »

Questions about PISA 2018, part 2: Did certain schools select out of the study in England and Northern Ireland?

By Blog Admin, on 22 April 2021

John Jerrim.

In my new paper released today, and forthcoming in the Review of Education, I report what I consider to be a worrying lack of transparency surrounding some aspects of the reporting of the PISA 2018 data for the UK.

This blog is the second in a series published today looking into some of the issues. Here I focus upon the non-response bias analysis conducted in England and Northern Ireland – but that didn’t get reported. Read the rest of this entry »

Questions about PISA 2018, part 3: How representative is the data for England and Wales?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 22 April 2021

John Jerrim.

The second blog in this series discussed how a non-response bias analysis had to be undertaken for England’s and Northern Ireland’s PISA 2018 data.

The interpretation of the aforementioned bias analyses (by the OECD and the Department for Education) was that the PISA samples for these countries were ‘representative’ and ‘not biased’.

But is this really the case?

This blog presents evidence Read the rest of this entry »

Leadership: how schools can build on their creative, community-based responses to the pandemic

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 15 April 2021

annawaldl / Pixabay

Peter Earley.

The pandemic has brought schools’ vital role at the heart of their communities into sharp relief, says visiting professor and former Chief HMI Christine Gilbert in the first of a series of Thinkpieces published by the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership (CEL). The paper will be followed by a public online forum on Tuesday 27 April from 5-6-30pm.

Gilbert’s ThinkpieceComing Back Stronger: Leadership Mattersargues that the pandemic provides an excellent opportunity for the education system to build our learning from the crisis into collaborative thinking, planning and action. Schools’ creativity in managing the disruption and complexities of the pandemic provides important lessons. It is now essential for school and other educational leaders to find time for reflection on that learning.

Her Thinkpiece identifies five leadership opportunities for building a Read the rest of this entry »

Schools urgently need to tackle rape culture by educating pupils about online world

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 12 April 2021

Lopolo/Shutterstock

Tanya Horeck, Jessica Ringrose, and Kaitlynn Mendes.

After weeks of national discussions about women and girls’ safety, the term “rape culture” has made headlines again. This time it relates to widespread reports of sexual violence against teenagers in secondary education, some of which include Britain’s most prestigious fee-paying schools.

The revelations came after Everyone’s Invited, a website and Instagram page dedicated to giving students a platform to report cases of sexual abuse and harassment, became inundated with testimonies in recent days.

Many girls who’ve spoken up have demanded that sexual violence and gender inequality be openly discussed and tackled by school leaders, while MPs have called for an inquiry. Yet it seems there’s an emerging argument Read the rest of this entry »