Migration: it will be up to the next generation to change the picture

Kathryn Riley. 

There is a photograph called ‘Migrant Mother’. It is an arresting black and white shot. The woman is centre stage and gazes sideways on. She is beyond exhaustion: every line etched in her face tells its own story.

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At first glance, she appears to have two children. Look more closely and you will see she has three: a child asleep on her lap and two other children, faces averted from Read more ›

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Posted in International development, Social sciences and social policy

Priorities for a new government: advice from our academics

The IOE blog has asked colleagues from across the Institute what’s at the top of their wish list. Their replies will appear over the next few weeks.

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Posted in Childhood & early education, Education policy, Special educational needs and psychology

Bridging the story and children’s unique worlds: researching digital personalised books

Natalia Kucirkova

Personalisation is a buzzword in the business world, especially now that adverts can follow us all over the Internet. But personalisation – or ‘personalised learning’ – has also been a recurring trend in education, with the aim of providing a more tailored education for every child.

With the advent of customisable hardware and algorithmic recommendation systems, differentiated and individualised learning have taken on new dimensions in the form of digital personalised learning.

Research needs to identify the pros and cons of digital personalised learning, but so far, there are two sides to the story. On one hand, technology supports individualised learning that can be motivational for students and encourage their own contributions and Read more ›

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Posted in Childhood & early education, Literacy, Parents, Research matters

Disadvantage and worklessness: a longitudinal perspective

Rob Davies is Public Affairs Manager for CLOSER, the UK longitudinal studies consortium funded by the ESRC and the Medical Research Council. CLOSER brings together eight biomedical and social longitudinal studies, with participants born as early as the 1930s to the present day.

Before I worked for CLOSER I helped run a charity supporting vulnerable people with different needs, including addictions, mental health problems, debt or homelessness. I saw first-hand the damaging effects of these complex issues and the barriers people face in their attempts to get back to work and take advantage of opportunities many of us take for granted.

Read more on ESRC Blog: Disadvantage and worklessness: a longitudinal perspective

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

Can we joke about cancer?

Zsofia Demjen.

For some, joking about cancer is completely out of bounds. Cancer, after all, is no laughing matter. The problem is that, sometimes, it has to be. Now, during Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, is a good time to talk about why.

At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (both in 2015 and 2016) comedians like Beth Vyse and Alastair Barrie were among those who based their comedy routines on their own or their partner’s cancer experiences. ‘It is a way of coping’, they said. ‘You can’t not laugh’. And it is a way of coping for the lay comedians among us too.

Our analysis of half a million words on one particular thread of an online forum dedicated to cancer[1] revealed that humour helps – at least for those who want to engage in it. It helps people talk more easily about potentially embarrassing side-effects and helps to reassert autonomy and reduce anxiety by reframing experiences. The particular style of Read more ›

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Posted in Language and literacy
This blog is written by academics at the UCL Institute of Education.


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