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We need more research about the South, from the South

Blog Editor, IOE Digital4 August 2022

Colombian vice-president Francia Márquez, justiceforcolombia.com

Mainstream media barely reported the election of Francia Márquez, an Afro-Colombian woman from the bottom of the economic hierarchy, as Colombian vice-president.

Leda Kamenopoulou.

If we are serious about decolonising education, we must prioritise research from the South, and fund it properly.

Decolonising’ academia means challenging the dominance of knowledge produced by historically privileged contexts and groups, and it is a trend that has taken higher education by storm. In the last year alone, I noticed numerous conferences, workshops, seminars, projects and reading groups, all focused on decolonising education, psychology, curricula and reading lists, research methods and ethics, teaching and learning.

At IOE’s Department of Psychology and Human Development, we have just set up an ‘epistemic justice working group’ to help us address the power imbalances between North and South in knowledge production and sharing, by reflecting on our curricula, teaching practice, and research. It is important to clarify that ‘North’ and ‘South’ do not necessarily denote geographical location. Instead, the ‘South’ is a metaphor for spaces historically characterised by inequality, poverty, and economic, political and cultural disadvantage.

In this post, I argue that these decolonisation-themed activities will remain empty rhetoric until we are prepared to see the South as of equal value (more…)

Left out in geography lessons: let’s tackle the subject’s diversity problem

Blog Editor, IOE Digital18 February 2020

Hafsa Garcia and Alex Standish.

The outcry over Professor Danny Dorling’s suggestion that geography was for ‘posh’ but ‘dim’ students has furthered the discussion in the community about the lack of diversity within its student and teaching body. However, it is disingenuous to dismiss his claims as ‘entirely anecdotal and unsubstantiated’, as a group of colleagues has done in The THE.

The geography community has long been aware of its tendency to attract likeminded individuals from more wealthy families. Here, we share some research that looks at the reasons for this and how geography needs to change if it is going to become more inclusive.  

(more…)

Should prison officers be recruited to support behaviour in schools?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital19 October 2018

Amelia Roberts.
Last month The TES revealed that prison officers are being sought by recruitment agency Principal Resourcing to deal with ‘behaviour issues and disruptions’ in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Wakefield.
The image this conjures up is rather unfortunate, and one can’t help but wonder what some prison officers would do without the customary tools of the trade, such as lockable cells, handcuffs, tasers and solitary confinement. As Mary Bousted, joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, says in the TES story: ‘…the set of skills you learn as a prison officer are not necessarily transferrable to schools.’ Moreover, there is an unspoken implication that these young people are unruly and incorrigible, incapable of being helped and merely prison fodder on a predetermined pathway to incarceration.
On the other hand, some prison officers could carry out the behaviour support role in schools with aplomb. Recent research looking at prison education found that:
‘Most prison educators felt that, in addition to achievement, it was important to be able to develop the learning skills and self-image of those they worked with. As one said: ‘I would like learners to gain self-confidence and work on release and be able to network … Teaching has to reach the whole person’.
Our whole school Knowledge Exchange programme: Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning (SWERL), takes (more…)