Why IOE and UCL have decided to merge

why IOE and UCL are merging

Chris Husbands and Michael Arthur

Higher education is changing – and at a dizzying speed. Universities now operate on a global canvas, and reputations are made (and lost) on a worldwide scale. Around the world, measures of quality – however imperfect, flawed and downright misleading they may be – drive student preferences, funders’ decision-making and government strategies. At the same time, local impact remains equally important: all universities exist in communities, but as those communities become more diverse and demanding, the pressures on universities intensify. It’s easy to despair at the pace and scale of these challenges, but adapting to change can be bracing too. New challenges bring new possibilities and new horizons. It’s against this background that after a good deal of thought and careful planning we have decided to merge the IOE and UCL, creating academic opportunities for both partners. The merger will take effect from 2 December.

About the IOE

The IOE was established at the beginning of the 20th century. Initially set up to train teachers for the rapidly developing schools of London, it was from the very beginning international in outlook. Over the next hundred years it expanded its role and remit enormously, so that at the beginning of Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education

Upbeat about Sistema-inspired music programmes: how they are raising the bar for children in deprived areas

Picture credit: Kimberly Warner/BRAVO Youth Orchestras

Andrea Creech

El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education programme that claims to transform lives through intensive participation in orchestra and choir, has again been in the news. In a preview to his forthcoming book based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork in Venezuela, Geoff Baker questions whether the social change claims can really be supported with evidence and critiques the pedagogy that underpins El Sistema. Baker’s book promises to add a critical perspective to a growing body of research, evaluation and theoretical critiques reviewed and summarised in our recent international review of evidence relating to El Sistema and Sistema-inspired programmes. Read more ›

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Posted in curriculum & assessment, Education policy, learning, Teaching

The London effect did not just happen without hard work

Chris Husbands

For several years, the outstanding success of London Challenge has been a beacon for school improvers across the nation and beyond. The marked improvement in the performance of London secondary schools in the decade after 2002 has been a clear indication that school systems can be significantly improved for all young people, given commitment, imagination, investment and collaboration.

London schools significantly out-perform schools across England and the best of London’s boroughs – Camden, Tower Hamlets, Hackney – perform outstandingly well. In recent months, this narrative has been unpicked. The Institute for Fiscal Studies argued that the success of London’s secondaries was an illusion caused by earlier improvements in primary schools.

Now, in a more direct assault, Simon Burgess from the University of Bristol argues that it’s not the schools’ success of schools at all: London’s Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Leadership and management

Education and the tyranny of numbers

education and the tyranny of numbers

Stephen J Ball 

We are now, as Jenny Ozga aptly puts it, ‘governed by numbers’. Numbers in different aspects of our lives rate, compare and allocate us to categories. Numbers define our worth, measure our effectiveness, and in a myriad of other ways work to inform or construct what we are today. We are subject to numbers and numbered subjects. We also subject ourselves to numbers –  numerous apps are now available to monitor ourselves in real time in numerical terms – the mappiness app measures when we are happy. As the website explains: ‘The hedonimeters on the right display mappiness users’ happiness in real-time, compared against the all-time average’. From these data we can create a file, a case-history, make ourselves into an object of gaze and subject for improvement.

This is a relatively new form of governing which nonetheless has a long history. The word ‘statistics’, the representation of the social in numerical form, means literally, from its German origins, state numbers – the systematic collection of demographic and economic data by states. In the 19th century the state established its relation to and monitored ‘the population’ using numbers likes censuses (who, how many and where) and epidemiological records (Death Certificates – who died of what where). These were critical tools in the Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Social sciences and social policy

Your vocabulary aged 40 depends on how much you read as a teenager

Originally posted on The Conversation

Alice Sullivan

Reading for pleasure as a child has been powerfully linked in research to the development of vocabulary and maths skills up to the age of 16. But does reading still have a part to play in the breadth of our adult vocabulary? Does it matter what kind of books you read, or is it just the amount of reading that counts? Read more ›

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Posted in Childhood & early education, Social sciences and social policy
This blog is written by academics at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Our blog is for anyone interested in current issues in education and related social sciences.
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