The University of Stirling invites applications for a three year PhD Studentship (comprising UK/EU fees and a stipend to cover living expenses and research costs).
Deadline for Applications: 13 August 2012
Further information available here:
Roy Canning's book Fit for Business, co-authored with Matthias Pilz and Susanne Berger and published by Springer VS in 2012.
Within compulsory education, pre-vocational education is intended primarily to introduce students to the world of work. This book considers curriculum design and pedagogical practice in pre-vocational education during the last two years of compulsory education. The study focuses on seven European countries (Scotland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Austria and Latvia). The text explores the theoretical and policy dimensions of how curriculum is formulated and implemented within schools using a theoretical framework based upon the ‘prescribed’ and ‘enacted’ curriculum. The authors conclude with a discussion of policy issues and recommendations at a European level.
The School of Education has published some research findings relating to Scotland’s new Curriculum for Excellence. Dr Mark Priestley and Sarah Minty, of the School of Education at Stirling, carried out the research within a large local authority during 2011. Dr Priestley says: “Despite the far-reaching implications of this innovation, there has been little systematic research to date on the new curriculum. Our study partially fills this gap, primarily exploring teachers’ views of the new curriculum, and the nature and extent of implementation.” This research points to a number of implications both for school practices and for future curriculum policy in Scotland – nationally and within local authorities. It suggests that implementation has been less problematic where schools have been able to develop and articulate a clear vision for CfE.
A research report is available for download at: http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/research/projects/documents/StirlingCfEresearch-report_March2012.pdf
It has just been announced that Dr John I’Anson and Dr Ian Munday have been successful in a research proposal (£25000) to be funded by Creative Scotland.
"Aesthetic education and creative practice" is a partnership between University of Stirling School of Education, Stirling Council Creative Learning Network and the macrobert arts centre. The project draws upon insights and findings from the Moving Image Literacies project (2009-11) that was funded by Scottish Screen/Creative Scotland. However, the focus of this project extends beyond this in exploring how creative arts practice - whether dance, drama and/or film and media - afford new forms of continuing professional development for practising teachers. The intention is to explore diverse ways in which working creatively might be sustained within school contexts, inform a new Masters level CPD programme here at Stirling, whilst strategically opening questions as to how such practice might, in future, connect with programmes of initial teacher education here at Stirling and elsewhere. The project will run for one year and is likely to start in September 2012.
Professor Gert Biesta has just been awarded funding for the prestigious EARLI Advanced Study Colloquium 2013 of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI). The Colloquium will take place in the spring of 2013 and will focus on the roles of theory in research on learning and instruction. The Colloquium will be organised in collaboration with Prof Rupert Wegerif, University of Exeter.
We are pleased to announce that applications are now welcome for our ESRC-funded PhD studentships. Education is one of the pathways that forms part of the ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science Doctoral Training Centre. ESRC 1+3 and +3 studentships in Education are available at the Universities of Stirling, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde. The studentships will cover maintenance and fees for UK candidates, or fees only for EU candidates, starting from autumn 2012.
Dr Helen Lees appeared on BBC Radio Four Woman's Hour on 21 November to talk with the presenter Jane Garvey about silence in schools and how it can be a positive benefit for staff and students in school environments. Helen suggests that when silence is not forced upon children, but instead becomes part of a collectively agreed ethos for stillness, quiet and reflection through techniques such as meditation, mindfulness or simply pausing, this can improve schools in ways that are new and not part of an assessment-measurement agenda: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017cb07
Learning, Inequality, and Social Cohesion in Recession
Friday 4 November 2011, 10.00 am – 3.15 pm, Stirling Management Centre
For further information, please see attached the Press Release
The School is hosting the Eighth International conference on Researching Work and Learning. The conference, which takes place on 19-22 June 2013, will address the theme of The visible and invisible in work and learning. This regular international event has previously been held in such places as Leeds, Cape Town, Copenhagen and Shanghai, and has become a significant occasion for researchers in the field of workplace learning and related issues. It is intended for national and international researchers from universities, policy makers, practitioners of human resources/training/learning & development, trade union educators, teachers, health care practitioners, counsellors, and others interested in any aspect of the conference theme. We will issue our first call for papers in February 2012. In the meantime, please address any queries to Professor John Field (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Routledge, an international publisher with a large stable of prestigious journals, has published its list of most downloaded articles in each of its Education journals during 2010. This ‘Education Class of 2011’ includes two articles written by members of the School of Education.
Dr Christine Stephen’s article ‘Pedagogy: the silent partner in early years learning’ was the most popular download in Early Years. There is free access to the paper at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09575140903402881.
An article by Dr Mark Priestley and Visiting Professor Walter Humes, ‘The development of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu’, was the most popular download in the Oxford Review of Education, and is available from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03054980903518951.
Further details about Education Class of 2011 may be found at http://www.educationarena.com/journalPromotions/mostDownloaded/classof2011.
Four new posts at University of Stirling
Date released 12th October 2011
We are advertising four new positions in the School of Education, including one Chair and three at lecturer/sr lecturer level.
Date released 23rd September 2011
Professor Julie Allan has been participating in a High Level Forum on European Education in the 21st Century in Kiev, organised by Council of Europe and hosted by the Government of Ukraine. Attending this meeting were Ministers of Education and representatives of organisations from countries across Europe. Professor Allan gave a keynote address on 'Education systems in multicultural societies: Building a culture of living together' and was involved in drafting an agreement on actions, signed by the various participating countries. The meeting has been pronounced a great success in fostering European co-operation and in securing actions within countries to support intercultural dialogue.
Sarah Galloway won the 2011 prize for best research student paper at the SCUTREA conference. Held at Lancaster University in July, the conference brings together a range of international researchers on the education of adults. Sarah, a full-time PhD student in Stirling's School of Education, was awarded the Tilda Gaskell Award for her paper "Considering adult literacies education as empowerment or emancipation".
Date released 9th July 2011
Professor Lydia Plowman (Stirling) and Joanna McPake (Strathclyde) presented findings from the ESRC-funded project on Toys and Technology on 7th and 8th July 2011. More than one hundred delegates attended the session on ‘7 myths about young children and technology’ at the Children’s Media Conference. This event attracts commissioning executives, audience analysts, market researchers, directors and producers from the children’s content industries, including broadcasting, publishing, interactive media, and games.
Doctoral students from nine countries, including Israel, Iceland, Sweden, Estonia and Spain, are gathering this week for a Summer School in the School of Education. This is the second Summer School, and the third Doctoral School, to be hosted by the Laboratory for Educational Theory and students will take part in lectures and workshops on politics and ethics in educational theory as well as presenting their own work. Professor Julie Allan, who is leading the Summer School with Dr Ian Munday, said: “It is excellent to see so many doctoral students wanting to study educational theory and we hope that they will learn from each other and have a great experience at Stirling”.
Fifteen preschool children and their parents came to the MacRobert on Friday 13th May to take part in a Digital Childhoods event on playing and learning. They played with products including Kinectimals on the Xbox 360, Eyepet on the PlayStation 3, and a wide range of products from VTech, including play video cameras and electronic storybooks. Meanwhile, experts on children’s play from the BBC, Learning and Teaching Scotland and VTech described the products to participants, who included preschool staff and early years specialists from local authorities. Delegates also had the opportunity to observe the children playing and to learn more about emerging technologies such as multi-touch tables. Dr Christine Stephen gave the keynote and produced a research briefing on play and learning to complement one produced for the March event on children and parents. The events, organised in collaboration with Joanna McPake (Strathclyde), are funded by Scottish Insight and the last one, on creating and communicating, will be held in Glasgow on 16th June 2011.
Date released: Tuesday 26 April, 2011
The Times Education Supplement Scotland this week carries an article about research carried out on the reading of graphic novels in schools by Dr Shari Sabeti. Dr Sabeti has been looking at the kinds of pupils who read graphic novels, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of employing such texts in educational settings.
The article is available online from the following link: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6078817
Date released: Monday 4 April, 2011
Gert Biesta's book Jacques Rancière: Education, Truth, Emancipation, co-authored with Charles Bingham and published by Continuum in 2011 has won the Outstanding Book Award of Division B of the American Educational Research Association.
The Award Committee said the following about the book:
"Using Rancière's notions of education, equality, and freedom as the starting point, authors Bingham and Biesta do not simply reproduce Rancière's philosophy. Rather, they offer us an in-depth and sustained inquiry that is thought provoking, complex, and firmly positioned within the field of curriculum studies. Their reading of the Freirian model of education invites us to rethink educational practices based on philosophical ideas that ask questions such as, what is learning? Who is the Other? What is freedom? The authors create a space where subversion of these questions is necessary to configure new ways of thinking about learning and education and perhaps, change the very questions we ask. Education, Truth, Emancipation is an incitement to think and feel how education takes place in these dangerous moments of subversion when we teach against learning or when the received logic of learning is disrupted."
Date released: Wednesday 9 March, 2011
Skills Minister Angela Constance has given a formal response to the Donaldson Review of Teacher Education, accepting the recommendations and announcing the formation of a partnership group that will take the work forward.
Professor Richard Edwards, Head of School of Education, University of Stirling and Chair of the Scottish Teacher Education Committee (STEC), said:
"No-one doubts the challenges we face in realising the ambitious agenda set out in the Donaldson Review of Teacher Education.
"However, it is only with such ambitions that we meet the aspirations of pupils, parents, employers and the wider society. STEC welcomes the partnership approach being taken in response to Donaldson and the central role of universities in building on existing strengths, toward a new system of career-long teacher education."
A full report on the response can be found here: Teachers to be among 'world's best'
Date released: Wednesday 2 March, 2011
The School of Education is inviting applications for research studentships to commence in Autumn 2011. The studentships, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, cover fees and a stipend, and enable access to advanced doctoral training throughout Scotland. Further details are available at http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/courses/research-pg/esrcstudentships.php
The ESRC has made the awards available through the newly-formed Scottish Doctoral Training Centre. The DTC is a major new collaboration between the Scottish universities, with a total of 65 studentships available across the social sciences. It gives doctoral students the opportunity of working with leading researchers in education and related social science disciplines, as well as undertaking high quality training in a research-intensive environment.
Education is one of 24 disciplinary pathways accredited by the ESRC. The education pathway comprises four partners - ourselves and the education departments at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde.
Date released: Monday 14 February, 2011
About Canada: Immigration
Many Canadians believe that immigrants steal jobs away from qualified Canadians, abuse the healthcare system and refuse to participate in Canadian culture. In About Canada: Immigration, Gogia and Slade challenge these myths with a thorough investigation of the realities of immigrating to Canada. Examining historical immigration policies, the authors note that these policies were always fundamentally racist, favouring whites, unless hard labourers were needed. Although current policies are no longer explicitly racist, they do continue to favour certain kinds of applicants. Many recent immigrants to Canada are highly trained and educated professionals, and yet few of them, contrary to the myth, find work in their area of expertise. Despite the fact that these experts could contribute significantly to Canadian society, deeply ingrained racism, suspicion and fear keep immigrants out of these jobs. On the other hand, Canada also requires construction workers, nannies and agricultural workers — but few immigrants who do this work qualify for citizenship. About Canada: Immigration argues that we need to move beyond the myths and build an immigration policy that meets the needs of Canadian society.
Date released: Monday 14 February, 2011
An overview of publications of staff from the Stirling Institute of Education for 2010 has been published on the website. Please go to http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/research/publications.php to view.
Date released: Thursday 27 January, 2011
To mark the final months of Young Children Learning with Toys and Technology at Home (funded by ESRC 2008-2011), the team held a two-day doctoral symposium on ‘Exploring the Everyday Lives of Young Children’. The event brought together academics, practitioners and research students from the UK, Chile and Norway to discuss approaches to researching real-world issues in the lives of children who are five or younger. The keynote, given by Professor Pia Christensen (University of Warwick), addressed the methodological issues in gaining access to young children’s own perspectives, meanings and practices. Professors Pia Christensen, Alan Prout (Warwick) and Lydia Plowman (Stirling), formed a panel to provide feedback on doctoral presentations. Further information on the event can be found at http://www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/research/projects/toys-and-tech/Exploringeverydaylives.php
Date released: Friday 14 January, 2011
We welcome this report and its questioning of certain orthodoxies about teacher education. While it poses challenges to those of us involved in teacher education, many of the recommendations endorse the approaches we at the University of Stirling currently take. We welcome the breadth of vision in the report, which contrasts favourably with the approach being taken in England.
We recognise and welcome the challenges within the report. In particular:
Professor Richard Edwards, Head of the School of Education, University of Stirling said:
‘The report throws down a gaunlet to all those involved in teacher education. It is one we at the University of Stirling are happy to pick up. Many of the recommendations within the Donaldson Report support practices we already use within our concurrent degrees and certificated continuous professional development provision. There will be many challenges ahead, not least those caused by the reduction in funding to universities recently announced by the Scottish Government. However, we look forward to working with other stakeholders in teacher education to establish how best to support the ambitious aspirations for Scottish education that are articulated within the report.’
The School of Education was rated number 1 in Scotland for the quality of its research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and number 1 in Scotland in three Good University Guides for 2011.
Date released: Thursday 6 January, 2011
The linked report (in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland) refers to research done in Monifieth High School by School of Education Researchers Dr Eric Easton and Dr Mark Priestley. The research concerned the school's development of Curriculum for Excellence.
Date released: Tuesday 12 October, 2010
Professor Tara Fenwick is delivering two important lectures in South Africa this week.
At the University of the Western Cape she is delivering the Vice Chancellor's Annual Julius Nyerere Lecture on Lifelong Learning. The title of her lecture is "Lifelong learning through turbulent waters: going beyong the knowledge economy myth".
At the South African Qualifications Authority she is delivering the SAQA Chairperson's Lector. The title of this lecture is "Learning for decent work? Understanding and researching work and learning".
She is also delivering two seminars on Theorising work and learning: an evolving narrative, in Cape Town and Pretoria.
Date released: Tuesday 05 October, 2010
Professors Tara Fenwick and Lydia Plowman of the School of Education have been appointed to two committees of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Professor Lydia Plowman has been appointed to the ESRC’s Grant Assessment Panel. The role of the Panel is to appraise applications submitted under various ESRC funding schemes (including responsive mode, small grants, knowledge exchange and post-doctoral fellowships) and to make recommendations for funding. Lydia is also a member of the advisory group for the Technology-Enhanced Learning initiative of the ESRC’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme and has received ESRC funding for six research projects and a series of research seminars.
Professor Tara Fenwick has been appointed to the ESRC’s Research Evaluation Committee and the International Network. The International Network communicates across the committees to provide advice, insight and support regarding international activities undertaken by the ESRC. The Evaluation Committee is responsible for advising Council through a combination of policy, large investment, and project-level evaluations. The Committee also leads the Council's work on developing methods for the evaluation of impact, and oversees its programme of International Benchmarking Reviews. The Evaluation Committee provides Council with a comprehensive assessment of funded research as well as undertaking reviews in key policy areas; the evaluation results are incorporated into the ESRC's strategic planning and development.
Date released: Monday 04 October, 2010
The Times Education Supplement Scotland this week carries a profile of Laura Mackay, one of TSIOE's students, looking at her use of technology in the classroom to help tackle an environment that has been designed without the needs of all in mind, and how she has worked to improve services for future students.
Dr Mark Priestley, her advisor of studies, has also been interviewed for the article.
The article is available online from the following link: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6059681
Lydia Plowman and Christine Stephen, in collaboration with Joanna McPake (Strathclyde), have been awarded £25k for a programme of enquiry on Digital Childhoods by Scottish Insight. The funding supports three two-day events in 2011 on the themes of Childhoods and Parenting, Playing and Learning, and Creating and Communicating. Contributors and partners include the BBC, Nickleodeon, Learning & Teaching Scotland, Creative Scotland, Futurelab, the London Knowledge Lab and the Joan Ganz Cooney Centre in New York.
Some events will be open to members of the public. The programme will be made available at www.scottishinsight.ac.uk/.
The ESRC have awarded one of its highly competitive Open Competition Studentships to Mr Evgueni Chepelin. Mr Chepelin’s PhD will explore “Learning Cultures in Work-Based Learning: Mediation and Dialogic Construction of Identity” and he will be supervised by Professor Gert Biesta and Professor John Field. This is the second year running that SIOE doctoral students have received studentships in this competition, and is one of only 85 awards from 440 applications.
The School of Education had a strong presence at the European Conference on Educational Research 2010 held in Helsinki, 25-27th August. Under the conference theme “Education and Cultural Change” the following are some of the papers delivered by SOE staff and doctoral students.
I'Anson, J. (2010). Towards an ethology of children’s rights in educational spaces.
For more information please contact the appropriate author.
Richard Edwards and Clare Adey have pubilshed the results of a telephone survey investigating the preparedness of Stirling Education graduates for going on to teaching; to read their paper discussing the research please follow the link below.
How Prepared Are New Teachers for the Challenges of Schools? (Adobe PDF, 313KB)
The School of Education has been successful in attracting funding from the ESRC to run two Seminar Series. Only 41 Seminar Series were funded across all areas of social and economic sciences so it is notable two were awarded to the SOE.
Dr Mark Priestley’s and Prof Gert Biesta’s Seminar Series “Curriculum for the 21st Century: Theory, Policy and Practice” will comprise four full day seminars around the issue of curriculum development and it is envisaged that it will provide a forum for researchers, policymakers and practitioners to come together to discuss key aspects of the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence. The seminars will be held across Scotland between February and October 2011. For more information please contact Mark Priestley.
Professor Tara Fenwick , Director of ProPEL, in collaboration with the University of Leeds Institute of Medical Education, will host a total of 6 full day seminars, 3 seminars held at the University of Stirling, for researchers and practitioners interested in discussing “New Levels of Professional Responsibility: exploring workplace pedagogies in transitions”. With particular focus on policing, social work, medicine and psychotherapy, these seminars will examine transitions undertaken by professionals with the aim of identifying the major challenges and supporting professionals’ learning through these transitions. The seminars will be held in Stirling, Leeds and London between October 2010 and October 2012. Contact Tara Fenwick for more information.”
Routledge Education have announced Professor Richard Edwards, Head of the School of Education, as their Author of the Month for July 2010; please visit the Routledge Education Site for full details and for an overview of Routledge's catalogue of Professor Edwards' publications.
The University of Stirling has been ranked top for Education in all three of the main university league tables, the first time it has swept the board.
The Guardian, published today (8 June) has joined the Times and the Independent in their judgement that the number one place in Scotland to study Education is the School of Education.
The autumn intake of around 170 student teachers can look forward to the best possible experience as they prepare for a career in education, and Professor Richard Edwards, head of the School of Education, said: “I am delighted that the high quality of what we do here at Stirling has been recognised in the current round of university guides.
“It is thanks to the dedication and hard work of the staff that our programmes are so highly rated in Scotland and the UK. Both our research and teaching are now rated by external bodies as excellent and we try to ensure students are well prepared to face the challenges of professional life.”
The School provides high quality initial and in-service teacher education and continuing professional development programmes for primary, secondary and tertiary teachers.
It also engages in language teaching, the education of new researchers and research and consultancy services. With strong global research and professional networks, the School attracts students and academics from around the world to study and research at Stirling.
Among other accolades, Stirling is Scottish University of the Year 2009/2010 (Sunday Times), and is judged:
1st in Scotland for Communications & Media (The Independent and The Guardian)
2nd in Scotland for Psychology (The Guardian)
2nd in Scotland for Social Work (The Times)
2nd in Scotland for Sociology (The Independent and The Times)
2nd in Scotland for Philosophy (The Times)
Links for further information:
School of Education : www.ioe.stir.ac.uk/index.php
The Times Good University Guide: extras.thetimes.co.uk/gooduniversityguide/institutions/stirling
The Guardian University Guide:
The Independent Complete University Guide:
Professor Julie Allan is working with the Council of Europe to support The 23rd Session of the Council of Europe Standing Conference of Ministers of Education, “Education for Sustainable Democratic Societies: the Role of Teachers”, which will take place in Ljubljana in Slovenia, on the 4 and 5 June 2010.
The Conference will be an opportunity to explore the role of education and how teachers might find common, viable and effective solutions to the challenges facing European societies today. The Education Ministers will discuss questions regarding the status and conditions of teachers, the key competences they need in order to help build a sustainable democratic society, their professional development and partnership working.
The Times Education Supplement this week has a spotlight on a former Stirling student, now thriving in his new career.
The Times Good University Guide 2011 has ranked Education at the University of Stirling top in Scotland and third in the UK as a whole. The Times Good University Guide is recognised as the most authoritative assessment of its type and is used by university applicants, parents and even governments across the world.
The 113 universities in the main table are compared on eight well-established measures of importance to the undergraduate experience. They include the views of recent undergraduates, leading academics’ verdicts on the quality of research and the success rates of graduates in the employment market.
Click here to visit the Times Good University Guide (free Times Online registration may be required)
The University of Stirling is the leading Scottish university in Education as assessed by thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk in its 2011 tables produced in partnership with the Independent newspaper. Education at the University of Stirling was ranked third overall out of seventy-five Education departments across the United Kingdom.
The Complete University Guide ranks UK universities by assessing their performance in nine quality factors.
Bruce Milne, Chief Superintendent from Scottish Police College will be joining the School of Education on the 1 August 2010 as Senior Fellow of Education.
Bruce is a police officer of 30 years experience. From a broad operational policing background, more recent career choices have been focussed on human resource management and the development and quality of police training and education in Scotland and elsewhere.
In 2002 Bruce was seconded to the Scottish Police College for a second attachment. Over the period of his secondment he has become respected and recognised across policing and academic sectors, receiving the Scottish Policing award for service delivery ‘Outstanding Contribution’ and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Star awards for Lifelong Learning ‘Highly Commended’, amongst other. Bruce has been instrumental in many of the projects linking the University of Stirling and the Scottish Police College.
For 130 local schoolchildren, Wednesday 17 March promises a break from the usual morning routine. The University of Stirling is welcoming final year pupils from Dunblane, Newton and St Mary’s Episcopal primary schools, and first year pupils from Dunblane High School, who will team up to work out of doors on various science-based environmental projects on the University campus.
The pupils will spend the morning on three different activities: Maps, Traps and Baps. The first involves mapping skills, using space and learning how others view space. The second requires the trapping and counting of some of the campus bug population. The third consists of feeding wild birds to determine their feeding patterns and how the act of feeding affects their behaviour.
This is just one of over 130 events occurring in over 40 UK towns, to mark Festival of Social Science Week, organised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The numbers of students taking up science subjects is falling and of those who are interested in pursuing a science-based career, girls are very much in the minority. So the Festival’s aim is to encourage some of today’s school pupils to consider becoming tomorrow’s scientists.
Dr Allen Thurston, has been researching the issue and has found that both boys and girls learn science better when they have hands-on experience of it. Additionally, if learning takes place in an environment where they are working together in groups, children are more likely to remember the information.
“This is particularly the case when children make the switch from primary to secondary schooling,” Dr Thurston explains. “They lose their existing social networks and have to establish new relationships and bonds with their secondary school peer group. It can be an emotionally insecure time which often adversely affects their ability to learn. However engaging in cooperative groupwork helps children to network and, in group situations where responsibilities are shared, they become more motivated, take ownership of the project and tend to enjoy the experience more – which in turn usually results in better performances and higher attainment levels. “
Dr Thurston’s findings are the result of two research projects he has been running for the past four years, involving approximately 600 schoolchildren from eight different local authorities in Scotland. His research is funded by the ESRC which examines how social science research influences our social, economic and political lives. The first research project focused on cooperative learning in the final year of primary school and the second focused on what happened to these same children, during the next four years of secondary school.
Dr Thurston said: “Our research found that children who learned about science in cooperative groups at primary school demonstrated a strong ability to learn during their secondary experience, with no learning ‘sag’ during the period when they moved schools. These findings are now being passed on to teachers, to underline the importance of engaging pupils in collaborative work. “
Cooperation will definitely be at the heart of Wednesday’s Maps, Traps and Baps activities, which are all about allotting tasks, creating and agreeing group rules and giving individuals responsibility for collecting data, which will then be used by the whole group to complete the morning’s research.
And many of the pupils working together on Wednesday are likely to meet each other again, when the primary school pupils move up to secondary school, later in the year – making their school transition just that little bit easier.
For further information, please contact Dr Allen Thurston on: email@example.com or call: 01786 467618
Four members of SOE staff have been invited to sit on the ESRC Peer Review College. Professor Lydia Plowman, Professor Richard Edwards, Professor Gert Biesta and Dr Roy Canning will serve in the Peer Review College for two years initally from July 2010 and will provide quality, expert reviews on proposals and final reports
The School of Education will host an ESRC Festival of Social Science event on 17th March 2010. Pupils and teachers from Dunblane High School, Dunblane PS, Newton PS and St Marys PS will participate in the event. This event is based on current research on collaborative groupwork in science and environmental education. Pupils will undertake a number of practical environmental education collaborative groupwork workshops. Stirling has extensive experience in delivering environmental education in both the primary and secondary sector. The team delivering the event will include Dr Allen Thurston who leads the primary environment degree, Claire Whewell who leads the secondary geography degree, Ashley Fenwick who has extensive experience in environmental education and Eric Easton who leads the secondary biology teaching degree.
On the 31st of March, the School of Education n will be hosting a conference for fifth and sixth year Modern Studies students from schools in Clackmannanshire and Stirlingshire. The event will start at 9.30 and will take place in lecture theatre A6 in the Cottrell Building at the University of Stirling.
The conference will include lectures on topics from the Modern Studies courses: Dr Peter Lynch, School of History and Politics, will give a lecture on Electoral Systems; and Dr Sharon Wright, Department of Applied Social Science, will give a lecture on Social Inequality.
These lectures will be followed by a Question Time session focusing on environmental issues. Students will put questions to a panel of representatives from political parties. This will include Anne McGuire (Labour MP), Keith Brown (SNP MSP and Schools Minister), George Lyon (Liberal Democrats MEP), Gerald Michaluk (Conservative candidate for Ochil and South Perthshire) and Robin Harper (Green MSP, schedule permitting). This session will be chaired by Professor Walter Humes of the University of the West of Scotland.
The event will close at 12.30 with a press conference, giving members of the media the opportunity to question pupils on their experiences of the morning.
For further information please contact Dr Mark Priestley, School of Education - firstname.lastname@example.org
The daily newspaper The Scotsman reports on comments made by Professor Richard Edwards on the necessity for continued growth in research.
Professor Gert Biesta's latest book, Good Education in an Age of Measurement: Ethics, Politics, Democracy, was published by Paradigm Publishers USA on 30th January 2010. The hardback version is currently available; a paperback version will be released in June 2010. For more information and to order the book with a 15% discount go to http://www.paradigmpublishers.com/books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=236911
Good Education in an Age of Measurement: Ethics, Politics, Democracy
The widespread use of the measurement of educational outcomes in order to compare the performance of education within and across countries seems to express a real concern for the quality of education. This book argues that the focus on the measurement of educational outcomes has actually displaced questions about educational purpose. Biesta explores why the question as to what constitutes good education has become so much more difficult to ask and shows why this has been detrimental for the quality of education and for the level of democratic control over education. He provides concrete suggestions for engaging with the question of purpose in education in a new, more precise and more encompassing way, with explicit attention to the ethical, political and democratic dimensions of education.
The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) and the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research have provided a bilateral research grant to support collaboration between Stirling School of Education's Professor Julie Allan and Dr Valerie Harwood at the University of Wollongong, Australia. The researchers will examine child poverty in Australia and Scotland and will focus on the concern with the medicalisation of behaviour of children and young people living in disadvantaged contexts and seek to understand how children and young people are affected by the diagnosis of behaviour and related disorders.
The funding will support a multi-disciplinary research colloquium to be held in Scotland, collection of pilot data and the development of a full grant submission for multi-disciplinary comparative research.
Principal investigators: Dr Valerie Harwood, University of Wollongong
Professor Julie Allan, School of Education, University of Stirling
As part of a University of Stirling initiative the School of Education is pleased to offer a number of fully funded Postgraduate Research Studentships commencing in Session 2010-11 for students undertaking research leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). For more information please visit our Research Studentship pages.
Professor Gert Biesta
Director of Research
School of Education
We are pleased to offer a warm welcome to Professor Tara Fenwick, formerly Professor and Head of Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia.
Her remit at Stirling is broad and interdisciplinary: to promote innovative studies of professional knowledge, practices and learning across domains such as health care, management, social services and education, and to explore effective new approaches to support professional learning across contexts of higher education, workplace, and community.
Scotland’s new Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) has attracted a great deal of publicity, being widely hailed by its architects as radical and innovative, potentially leading to what has been termed ‘transformational change’ in schools. However, its reception has been considerably more mixed in many schools, particularly in the secondary sector, where the new curriculum is frequently described as vague. Despite this level of public debate, there has not been a great deal of academic analysis of the new curriculum. A forthcoming article in the Oxford Review of Education, by Dr Mark Priestley of the Stirling Institute of Education and Professor Walter Humes (University of the West of Scotland) offers such an analysis.
Priestley, M. & Humes, W. (in press) The Development of Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu. Oxford Review of Education
The paper , The Development of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu, suggests that the architects of CfE have not taken account of many decades of curricular theory, when formulating the new curriculum. As a result the curriculum is problematic, creating difficult tensions for practitioners, and potentially undermining its stated aspiration to promote far-reaching change. The article is available online here. A review has been published by The Times Educational Supplement Scotland.
Growing Up with Technology explores the role of technology in the everyday lives of three- and four-year-old children, presenting the implications for the children’s continuing learning and development. Children are growing up in a world where the internet, mobile phones and other forms of digital interaction are features of daily life. The authors have carefully observed children’s experiences at home and analysed the perspectives of parents, practitioners and the children themselves. This has enabled them to provide a nuanced account of the different ways in which technology can support or inhibit learning.
Drawing on evidence from their research, the authors bring a fresh approach to these debates, based on establishing relationships with children, families and educators to get insights into practices, values and attitudes. A number of key questions are considered, including:
Which technologies do young children encounter at home and preschool?
What kind of learning takes place in these encounters?
How can parents and practitioners support this learning?
Are some children disadvantaged when it comes to learning with technology?
More information is available from the Routledge site.
The Economic & Social Research Council has provided funding to host an ESRC Festival of Social Science event in March 2010. The event will involve school pupils in their final year of primary school and first year of secondary school, their teachers, and students from the Stirling Institute of Education. The group activities will consist of a series of practical, outdoor environmental education collaborative tasks.
The team delivering the event are members of the SoE Learning in the Environment Group (LitE). It is led by Dr Allen Thurston, who leads the primary environment degree and whose research on effective collaborative groupwork in schools underpins the project, Claire Whewell, who leads the secondary geography degree, Ashley Fenwick, who has extensive experience in environmental education, and Dr Eric Easton, who leads the secondary biology teaching degree.
This event will model good practice in relation to the principles outlined in Curriculum for Excellence and explore how research can inform teachers’ and student teachers’ practice in relation to environmental education. Pupil groupwork skills will be enhanced, assisting with effective transition to secondary school, and practical classroom resources that help to embed collaborative groupwork in professional practice will be shared with practitioners.
Scottish Natural Heritage is funding the Teaching in Nature project, led by researchers from the Learning in the Environment Group (LitE). This project will give teachers the opportunity to assess a suitable natural area for its educational potential, choose or develop activities for their classes, and test them out. Practitioners from primary, secondary or pre-school sectors across a range of subject areas will work as teacher-researchers to inquire into some of the key research questions around outdoor education. The outdoor areas being targeted are National Nature Reserves.
The project is expected to reveal useful knowledge about what approaches are likely to work in what contexts, how barriers to outdoor access and activity can be overcome, and what forms of learning ensue depending on approach, location and activity. The consequences for these new approaches, aims and purposes will also be explored within the context of Curriculum for Excellence. The General Teaching Council for Scotland is advising and assisting with this project.
Principal Investigator: Dr Greg Mannion
Field Researcher: Clare Nugent
Co-researchers: Ashley Fenwick, Claire Whewell, Dr Allen Thurston, Dr Eric Easton.
The SoE has been successful in winning a tender from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to research the topic of teacher assessment, to be undertaken between December 2009 and April 2010. Teacher assessment is key to the qualifications framework that supports the aims of the new Curriculum for Excellence but varies greatly in form and purpose – from the assessment of stand-alone tests completed in class under exam conditions, but internally assessed, through to coursework that is embedded in classroom learning. The form that the internal teacher assessment practices will take under the new qualifications will in turn influence the pedagogy that accompanies them. A particular issue is the credibility of teacher assessment within a system dominated by externally assessed and moderated qualifications.
The project will investigate these issues through a literature review and focus group research with teachers and lectures in schools and FE colleges. The research will focus on the views of stakeholders towards teacher assessment, the likely impact of different models on assessment decisions in schools and colleges and the impact of contextual conditions on such decision-making.
Principal Investigator: Dr Mark Priestley
Researcher: Claire Adey
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