How well-off and healthy were my parents when I was little? Am I a hard-working high flier, or an advantaged one?

Gabriella Melis and Ingrid Schoon.

Our research looked at how inequalities amongst families in the 1970s in England have been passed on onto their offspring when they were adults themselves. We call the parent’s generation G1, and the offspring generation, born in 1970, G2.

Drawing on data from the British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70), we considered several measures of socio-economic and health-related risk factors for both the parents (G1) and their children (G2) ­at age 42. The data covered around 11,000 individuals and their families over a 42-year timespan, which makes our sample a very robust one for the study of transmission of inequality from one generation to the next.

We found that individuals who grew up in more disadvantaged families are significantly more likely to end up in disadvantaged socio-economic and health conditions by age 42 when compared to those from relatively more privileged families. This is true, in particular, for those from families where the parents were physically ill or depressed. There is however also a considerable degree of social mobility, for some Read more ›

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Posted in Research matters, Social sciences and social policy

How the trade union approach to learning helps workers overcome maths phobia

Beth Kelly.

The more collaborative style of learning led by trade unions in the workplace helps people to become more motivated and confident about learning and using mathemtics. Indeed, my new research shows that even long-held negative feelings towards mathematics can be overcome.

The study, published in Motivating adults to learn mathematics in the workplace: a trade union approach, finds a strong link between developing adult learners’ confidence and the support provided by local social networks and the particular pedagogic processes promoted by trade unions in the workplace. However, there is still much debate about the value of using trade union resources to support such skills development. This is despite evidence from government-funded research showing that it is one of the ‘few effective existing models of work-based support for mathematics and English’ and Read more ›

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Posted in Employment and skills, Further higher and lifelong education

Do people change their political ideology when they lose their job? If anything, they move to the left

Dingeman Wiertz and Toni Rodon.

What happens to citizens’ political preferences when they are confronted with economic hardship? This longstanding question has recently attracted renewed attention in the wake of the Great Recession.

Nonetheless, many matters remain unresolved. For example, which types of preferences are affected? Are we mainly talking about views on concrete policy issues and politicians’ approval ratings, or are more deep-seated convictions such as political ideology also influenced? And are all people equally affected by experiences of economic hardship, or do such events elicit a bigger response from some groups than from others?

In a recently published study, we take these questions to the data. We Read more ›

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Posted in Employment and skills, Social sciences and social policy

Counting the cost of a fragmented school system

Sara Bubb. 

In an effort to turn schools into academies too little attention has been given to constructing a middle tier oversight system that is fair and efficient for all.

This is an unescapable conclusion of our new study, Understanding the Middle Tier: Comparative Costs of Academy and LA-maintained Systems, which has uncovered the cost of England’s systems for overseeing academies and local authority (LA) schools. We found a complex and confusing picture that reinforces the Public Accounts Committee judgement that the Department for Education’s ‘arrangements for oversight of schools are fragmented and incoherent, leading toinefficiency for government and confusion for schools.’

The ‘middle tiers’ are the systems of support and accountability connecting Read more ›

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Posted in Schools

Rules of engagement: 5 takeaways for research impact from the award-winning ASPIRES project

 

Tatiana Souteiro Dias and Emily Macleod

Collaboration with individuals and organisations beyond academia for the benefit of society is an increasingly important part of research teams’ activities. But how can academics achieve this when there are so many competing priorities? For Professor Louise Archer, Principal Investigator of the ASPIRES/ASPIRES 2 project – who received the 2019 ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize Panel’s Choice Award this week – investing time and effort in building long-term relationships based on trust and respect is one of the answers.

The multiple award winning team of ASPIRES, a longitudinal research project studying young people’s science and career ambitions from age 10 to 19, shared their successful impact strategies as part of the first IOE Impact Meet-up, a new series of workshops bringing together experts, doctoral students and early career researchers from the IOE to discuss how to make authentic impact a key Read more ›

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Posted in Evidence-based policy, Research matters, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment
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