Children’s experiences of classrooms: drawing on the authority of their own voices

 

Eleanore Hargreaves

I was advising my daughter about her education when she remarked, ‘Well, I’m not like you!’

Children may experience classroom teaching in ways that, as teachers (or parents), we have not imagined. By finding out from children themselves what is making them tick, we can adapt teaching to make it supportive of both their formal attainment and, crucially, of the social factors that facilitate their higher attainment as well as their personal flourishing.  These are the ideas explored in my new book, Children’s Experiences of Classrooms. The book is contextualised within Michael Schiro’s framework of four common purposes for state-funded schooling. Classrooms are explored in relation to which purpose seems to be emphasised in each different Read more ›

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Posted in Childhood & early education, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Slow down you move too fast, you got to make the meaning (sic) last

‘Slow’ human intelligence must be valued more holistically if we are to really benefit from the power of AI, says Rose Luckin. 

The end of 2017 brought some worrying observations about the progress of Artificial Intelligence with respect to UK Education. It illustrated that many people are far too willing to equate speed and reduced cost with success. We are in danger of missing what really matters in education; in danger of missing the meaning of what education should about. This is dangerous for education and for the progress of learners and educators of all ages.

First came the publication of the first report from the Data Science Behavioural Insights Team (BIT); this stressed the value of speed. Second came the 19th evidence session of the House of Lords select committee on AI, which focused on AI and education.[1] This revealed the potential for machine learning AI to reduce the cost of delivering the current school curriculum, and at the same time reduce the value of human intelligence.

The BIT report marks the first anniversary of the data science team and is the demonstration of its raison d’être and the value of data science for policy. In the report, Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, ICT in education

Six reasons why Baseline the Sequel will be a harder sell

Alice Bradbury. 

Last week the government announced details of their latest attempt to introduce Baseline Assessment into Reception classrooms in England. As widely reported, this policy will cost £10 million, with the sole aim of producing data on children aged four which can be compared with their test results seven years later. The return of Baseline, after an unsuccessful foray into testing four-year-olds in 2015, is based on the idea that the best way to judge schools is to measure their ‘value added’. The outcome of the Primary Assessment Consultation was that the best place to establish this starting point was in the first weeks of school in Reception.

There is a certain logic to this, and the resultant possible downgrading of Key Stage 1 Sats to non-statutory in 2023 (as they will no longer be needed as a starting point) may be popular. But, the findings from my research on the previous version of Baseline (with Guy Roberts-Holmes), suggest that Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Language and literacy, Teachers and teaching assistants, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Britain’s endless skills problems: why academics and policy wonks need to communicate

Francis Green. 

The OECD and the Institute for Public Policy Research came together this week to launch complementary reports on Britain’s long-term skills problem and what should be done about it. The event unfurled in august surroundings, at the offices of JP Morgan, in the old hall of what used to be the City of London School. Both reports were looking at an uphill task. Britain’s productivity has stagnated for the last decade, while wages have been coming down in real terms. Britain’s skills problems have been around for much longer. The government’s policy for addressing this is embodied in its Industrial Strategy, of which skills policy is one of ten ‘pillars’. This is where schools, FE colleges and universities come in.

The IPPR report identifies three problematic aspects of Britain’s skills system:

  • skills produced are insufficiently valued and utilised in the workplace;
  • the lack of high-quality vocational training and education provision; and
  • a failure to tackle regional and social inequalities.

It is not hard to substantiate these claims. For example, Britain has one of the most Read more ›

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Posted in Employment and skills, Further higher and lifelong education

Sexual harassment at school: What can young people’s gender based activism tell us?

Jessica Ringrose and Hanna Retallack. 

To teachers, students and researchers in the field of gender and education, the findings in the recent report “Sexism in Schools: ‘It’s just everywhere’ were not surprising. The study, commissioned by the National Education Union and the campaign group UK Feminista, found that more than a third (37%) of female students had personally experienced some form of sexual harassment at school and one in three teachers (32%) witnessed sexual harassment in their school on at least a weekly basis.

The study, from Warwick University, also reported that 66% of female students and 37% of male students in mixed-sex sixth forms have experienced or witnessed the use of sexist language in school and a quarter of all secondary teachers say they witness gender stereotyping and discrimination on a daily basis. Only 14% of students who experienced sexual harassment reported it to a teacher; less than a quarter (22%) of female students at mixed-sex schools think their school takes sexism seriously enough and 78% of secondary school students are unsure or not aware of any policies and practices in their school for preventing sexism.

Last year, the government’s first Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry and Report into sexual harassment and violence in schools concluded that children and young people’s experiences of sexual harassment in British schools had reached a crisis point and said Read more ›

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Posted in Leadership and management, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Lesson study: new evaluation did not do this valuable type of teacher development justice

Sarah Seleznyov, with members of the Collaborative Lesson Research Group*.

“If there is no impact on teaching and learning, then that (intervention) is not lesson study”.  (Akihiko Takahashi at a workshop in London, 7 December 2017)

Having looked forward to the Education Endowment Foundation’s evaluation of lesson study for some time, we are disappointed by the outcome. This disappointment is not about the low effect size, but because this narrowly-focused review of just one fairly basic model could discourage schools from using a very valuable approach to teacher development.

We would challenge the EEF study’s methodology and argue that the conclusions (e.g. no evidence of improved maths and reading at KS2) are misleading. Our own conclusion is that the version of lesson study used in the project was a ‘first step’ version, which most teachers and schools new to the practice need to go through, but certainly not Read more ›

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Posted in Leadership and management, Teachers and teaching assistants, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

How can research truly inform practice? It takes a lot more than just providing information

Jonathan Sharples. 

The Education Endowment Foundation’s latest evaluation report, the ‘Literacy Octopus‘, provides plenty of food for thought for anyone interested in improving the way research evidence informs practice, not just in education, but across sectors.

This pair of large, multi-armed trials evaluated different ways of engaging schools with a range of evidence-based resources and events. The common focus was on supporting literacy teaching and learning in primary schools.

The findings make it clear that our notion of ‘research use’ needs to extend beyond Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, Language and literacy, Leadership and management, Research matters, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment
This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.


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