What have longitudinal studies ever done for us? A beginner’s guide is here

Alison Park.

Earlier this year the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) launched its Longitudinal Studies Strategic Review – commissioned to assess the value and future needs of longitudinal research in the UK.

The review clearly recognised the importance of the UK’s portfolio of longitudinal studies, highlighting some of the key insights that have been realised through research using their data. It also rightly asked questions about how we can best promote the use of longitudinal data, and what training and capacity building can best help ensure that these valuable resources get used as much as possible.

The review recognised that, although individual studies can (and do) do a great deal to help their data users, there is considerable value in resources that apply to a range of longitudinal studies rather than just one.

This is an area we have been working hard on at CLOSER, a centre at the IOE that brings together eight world-leading longitudinal studies. We could see that, although there is existing provision for more experienced students and researchers, there is little available for those who are new to the studies. So we have focused our efforts on materials aimed at this group – which includes students early in their studies or researchers outside academia.

These discussions led us to develop CLOSER’s Learning Hub. The Hub provides Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, Social sciences and social policy, young people

Are Emoji a ‘universal language’? Today is World Emoji Day so let’s 🤔 about it

William Gibson

What does heart ❤️ followed by ghost 👻, robot 🤖 and LOL mean? What about googly eyes 👀 followed by the peace sign ✌🏻? This is a trick question really because the answer is… it depends. It depends what was said (or typed) before, who said it, who is replying and what the context is that they are saying it in.

The incredibly rapid take up of emoji as a form of communication – symbolised by World Emoji Day – has led researchers to wonder what status to give emoji as a type of language. Is it a new language, or even a universal one?

Our paper, entitled ‘Emoji and Communicative Action’ – argues that the study of emoji Read more ›

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Posted in Language and literacy, Social sciences and social policy

Don’t let your cookies leave a trail of crumbs for someone else: why you should care about digital data privacy

Kim Nguyen and Romasha Sanyal

Ever thought about how when you use the fingerprint sensor on your Android, you’re actually just uploading a digital print of your biometrics? Or that your Facebook news feed isn’t just confirming what you believe about the sugar tax, but actually shaping it based on prior political activity (be it memes liked, pages visited or blog posts shared)? Or even that the first page of your Google search results is different from what your fellow Candy Crush-devoted tube commuter might find for an identical string of keywords?

Data privacy might have hogged the limelight in recent times because of the ubiquitous GDPR that purged subscribers’ mailing lists nationwide, not to mention the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but not nearly enough is discussed with respect to how it affects the group most vulnerable to its invasion – children. Enter defenddigitalme, an organisation led by Jen Persson, which has been working steadfastly since 2013 to spread awareness regarding the collection of data on school children for the National Pupil Database by the Department for Education. With their recent #MyRecordsMyRights campaign, their mission is not only to raise awareness Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education, Social sciences and social policy

Never has there been such an urgent need for educational research that tackles our understanding of global forces

Douglas Bourn.

The impact of Globalisation on societies, economies and political systems has never been greater than it is today. Brexit, the rise of xenophobia and extreme forms of nationalism in Europe and the Trump phenomenon are in part due to the influence of global forces and people’s sense of powerlessness.

Globalisation has enabled instant access to knowledge for millions of people around the world but has also resulted in the rise of ‘fake news’. Therefore, there has never been a greater need for educational institutions around the world to address these global influences.

The IOE’s Development Education Research Centre has been at the heart of responding to this need, with its research, initiatives and publications.

One of the most important of these has been the International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning which this year celebrates its 10th Read more ›

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Posted in International development, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

The tensions between economic and educational choices for schools have never been sharper

Toby Greany and Rob Higham.

The economic and regulatory incentives facing state schools in England are increasingly in tension with an inclusive, broad and balanced education for pupils.

Since 2010 the Government has used the language of a ‘self-improving school-led system’ to characterise its reforms, arguing that these are ‘moving control to the frontline’. Our research shows that this is a partial and idealised account: while some higher performing schools are benefitting, the system as a whole is becoming more fragmented and less equitable.

Schools have been strongly encouraged (and sometimes forced) to become academies, which are independent of local government, on the premise that they will be freed from red tape.

Yet schools and academies have faced greater regulation… read the full article on guardian.com.

See our new report here.


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Posted in accountability and inspection, Leadership and management, Uncategorized
This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.

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