‘Can’t flip the bus stop over’: researching gender and public advertising in London

Kaitlyn Regehr and Jessica Ringrose

We met Sierra, a single mother of two, at Kennington tube station in South London. Sierra identifies as Black British, and walks using two sticks, due to limited mobility. On this rather windy day, she moved slowly but deliberately across the street to meet us before gesturing to the bus stop.

The advertisement situated on the bus stop, pictured here, was for American Apparel and featured a large-scale image of a woman in Caucasian flesh coloured underwear and the tagline ‘We’re Back. To Basics.”

Sierra stopped in front of the advert stating she was quite “shocked” and further:


I thought they [American Apparel] really couldn’t be so bold to put something like that on an advert for children to see, for adults to see, and I find sometimes that adverts can be quite sexual and it seems like they seem to be advertising more for sex than actually for the actual product…

Sierra was one of the women we met because, as part of the Mayor of London’s 2018 #BehindEveryGreatCity gender equality campaign, Professor Jessica Ringrose had been commissioned to conduct research on women’s experiences of London’s public advertising. The research report launched this summer, was entitled The Women We See: gender and diversity in advertising, and drew upon Read more ›

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Posted in Social sciences and social policy

It’s time to ‘open up physics’ if we want to bring in more girls and shift the subject’s declining uptake  

Rebekah Hayes. 

Despite numerous campaigns over many years, getting more students to study physics after GCSE remains a huge challenge. The proportion of students in the UK taking physics at A level is noticeably lower than those studying other sciences. This low uptake of physics, particularly by girls, has implications not only for the national economy, but for equity, especially as it can be a valuable route to prestigious, well-paid careers.

The latest research from ASPIRES 2 explores why students do or do not continue with physics by focusing on students who could have chosen physics, but opted for other sciences instead.

ASPIRES 2 is a 10-year longitudinal study, tracking children’s science and career aspirations from ages 10–19. This briefing focuses on data collected when students were Read more ›

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Posted in Employment and skills, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Degree subject matters more than university status if you want to become rich, new research shows

News from the UCL Institute of Education. 

Choosing the right field of study is more important than attending an elite university for those aiming to become a top earner by middle age, according to new findings from the UCL Institute of Education.

Researchers analysed data on more than 6,000 people born in England and Wales in a single week in 1970, who are taking part in the 1970 British Cohort Study.

The research looked at who made it into the top 5 per cent of earners at age 42 –those on salaries of around £80,000 or more. They found that, after taking into account a wide range of factors, including school level educational attainment, childhood cognitive scores and social background, there were clear differences in the advantage gained from degrees in different subjects and from different institutions.

Degrees in Law, Economics and Management (LEM) were the most likely tolead to top salaries. A LEM degree from an elite university was the most rewarding of all, with graduates having a 6.5 times greater chance Read more ›

Posted in IOE news

Until the DFE understands curriculum its well-meaning pilots will run off course

Arthur Chapman and Sandra Leaton Gray. 

Colleagues at the UCL Institute of Education were very excited a few weeks ago to see that the Department for Education had announced funding for a number of school-centred Curriculum Programme pilots worth £2.2 million.  These grants aim to support teachers in developing curriculum programmes in science, history and geography. We always like to see practitioner research encouraged, and thinking through curriculum issues is a good way of building a strong basis for professional practice. We were disappointed to see, however, that the DfE in this instance didn’t seem to have done its homework properly in drafting the specifications, which leaves them wanting from an educational point of view.

The main thing that seems to be lacking is a proper understanding of what teacher knowledge means. This is rather  Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment

Why haven’t we progressed further on supporting children’s speech and language needs?

Amelia Roberts.

Ten years on from the Bercow Review (2008) and we are still hearing that it is a ‘scandal’ that children are even now starting school with impoverished language skills. Education Secretary, Damian Hinds MP, spoke this week at the Resolution Foundation’s headquarters in Westminster.

He identified the gap in language abilities of children from lower socio-economic backgrounds as a major factor in the challenges towards creating greater social mobility.

So what exactly isn’t working?

Highlighting a report released Read more ›

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Posted in Education policy, Language and literacy, Special educational needs and psychology
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