School leaders: who sits at your table? And four more questions for the new year

Zachary Walker. 

Every generation brings new faces, new ways of thinking and new challenges into our classrooms. In order to prepare students for the dynamic, exciting world they are entering, it is important that we understand and honour this generation of learners. We can do this, in part, by questioning our own ways of thinking. As school leaders prepare for 2019, I’d like to propose you ask yourselves the following five questions:

Are you acknowledging reality?
The number of unique mobile users (individuals owning a mobile device) was up again in 2018 and now 75% of the UK population owns a mobile phone. We use mobile phones for social activities, directions, work, entertainment, shopping, and countless other activities. But schools are often the one place we do not allow the use of mobile devices.  Read more ›

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Posted in accountability and inspection, Evidence-based policy, Leadership and management

If young people are to change the world they need the knowledge, the global skills and the belief they can do it


Douglas Bourn. 

The impact of globalisation on economies, societies and communities is one of the major issues of today. It can be seen in Trump’s emphasis on “America first”, the rationale behind Brexit and recent social events in France.

There are a range of educational initiatives in the UK and internationally to equip learners with the knowledge and skills to respond to these challenges. These include the new UK government funded programme on Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning, the OECD PISA initiative on global competencies and UNESCO’s programme on Global Citizenship  Education.

As someone who has promoted learning about global issues for over 25 years, for the last decade at IOE (see the Professorial Lecture I gave this week here), I am however Read more ›

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

70 years on from the UN Convention on genocide, we must continue to learn the lessons of the past

Yesterday, Sunday 9 December 2018, marked the 70th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (writes Nicola Wetherall). As we formally recognise this important milestone, the UCL Centre for Holocaust Education believes it provides an appropriate moment to consider the legacy of the Convention and its forefather, Raphael Lemkin, as well as the challenges and opportunities it presents us with in the present day in terms of prevention and education.

Professor Stuart Foster, the Centre’s Executive Director, commented: 

“Genocides occur because perpetrators place no value on the rights and humanity of ‘others’. So, it is imperative that we educate for a world in which understanding overcomes ignorance and empathy prevails over brutality.”

Teaching and learning about genocide – be it the Holocaust, or those that came before or after it – is not an easy endeavour. The Centre work’s on daily basis with teachers, helping to support those who wish to develop their practice and make their students’ encounters with the Holocaust and the phenomena of genocide as meaningful and productive and possible. 

Read more ›

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Posted in Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

There’s more than one way to get a PhD: enhancing women’s career opportunities in HE


Ginny Brunton. 

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that women in academic careers earn on average some 16% less than men. The Times Higher Education reported that 30 institutions had mean average pay gaps in excess of 20 per cent per hour, noting that  more men than women occupy higher-paying senior roles. While the gap has gradually been decreasing, there substantial questions about career advancement for female research staff remain.

Many of these challenges are well-known: women take breaks to have children, and often return part time. When women do pursue higher education to advance their career, they report doing it later in life, for intrinsic satisfaction, and not usually as part of a research group. So women’s trajectories and motivations for undertaking a PhD may not fit in with the standard paths currently on offer at higher education institutions. This situation is not helping to narrow the gap.

Since researchers without a PhD lack the necessary qualifications to apply for more advanced faculty positions, one question we should be asking is: Read more ›

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Posted in Further higher and lifelong education, Research matters

Europe: educators across the continent have always worked together

Hugh Starkey.

While politicians and pundits tear themselves apart over the Brexit negotiations, it’s worth bearing in mind that European cooperation in education precedes UK membership of the European Union.

As the UK transitions to a new political and diplomatic relationship with Europe, the London Review of Education (LRE) is planning a special feature and has put out a call for papers that reflect on, celebrate and critically appraise ways in which education has evolved in the UK and in mainland Europe in response to opportunities offered by European cooperation.

The Council of Europe, which the UK played a leading role in founding in 1950, now includes 47 member-states. It promotes educational and cultural Read more ›

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Posted in Research matters
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