Recent Submissions

  • Reflections on mindfulness and its implications for social justice in the early years

    Gosling, Abigail (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    This chapter explores how principles of social justice can be operationalised through the practice of mindfulness in Early Years settings. It describes how the practice of mindfulness is compatible with more recent conceptualisations in the UK of young children as active agents in their own learning and as having the human right to be encouraged to hold their own opinions and to express them freely. The text draws on the author’s 40 years’ experience as a practitioner and academic to examine how common, yet contested, themes of mindfulness and social justice can inform the creation of pedagogical and reflexive spaces that support Early Years practice in educational settings.
  • Experiences of autism in higher education

    Farmer, Gareth (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    n this chapter, the author will draw from personal experiences as well as current research on autism, neurodivergence and narrative agency, to examine some of the challenges autistic and neurodivergent higher education lecturers face in the current climate. He will argue that the individual and collective practices of neurodivergent academics offer: practical critiques of the normalised working practices and material conditions in higher education, as well as intellectual and ethical commentaries on the burgeoning neoliberal conditions of contemporary academia.
  • How reforms of teacher education challenge principles of social justice

    Shea, James (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    This chapter draws on the experiences of a secondary initial teacher education (ITE) director to discuss how changes in the ITE system and organisation in England in the past few decades have reflected the ongoing marketisation of education, first introduced in the 1988 Education Act, and the imposed marketised focus on competition between ITE providers and choice for ‘consumers’ – that is, ITE students and schools. He comments on how, in his view, decision-making associated with these changes contravenes what he sees as issues of social justice in the way that it has served to marginalise and silence the voices of teacher educators in higher education institutions (HEIs).
  • Roots and wings: enabling a sense of identity, social inclusion and opportunities for growth in the Early Years curriculum

    Beams, Julie (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    This chapter, written in the first person, will raise the question ‘What could and should an effective and inclusive Early Years curriculum look like if it is to be responsive to the needs and interests of young children?’ The author will draw from her own experience of working in the sector as a teacher and academic for many years – what she learnt about young children, their needs, interests and learning patterns along the way and how to create effective, responsive inclusive and engaging Early Years curricula that will give young children a really good start to their education. She will illustrate her narrative with short vignettes to exemplify important issues that arose for her and provided turning points in her own understanding of young children and their development.
  • How far can student voice enable teachers to adapt teaching in classrooms and support improved teaching and learning?

    Bonforte, Lucia; Wearmouth, Janice (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that was ratified by the UK in 1991 states that every child is entitled to education (Article 28), which must be provided in a way that enables them to express their views in accordance with Article 12 (1) and to participate in school life. Children should not lose their human rights simply as a result of passing through the school gates. The focus of this chapter is the extent to which paying careful attention to students’ views in a small-scale action research project in a mainstream secondary school was able to contribute to teachers’ expertise in adaptation of pedagogy in classrooms and, hence, increase the students’ participation in learning activities and potentially enhance educational outcomes and future life chances. An audit of school practices had identified adaptation and differentiation of teaching in classrooms as an area requiring enhancement. In response to this, the project was designed as a pilot to trial ways in which students who experienced barriers to learning might be enabled to discuss the difficulties they faced with those who taught them in an environment where they felt safe to do so and might provide insights that would enable their teachers to differentiate and adapt their pedagogy for them and thus improve the students’ access to learning activities in their classrooms. The project was designed and carried out by the first author of this chapter; hence, it is written in the first person. She was the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) in the school at the time, with a responsibility for ensuring effective inclusion of those students with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Inclusion, exclusion, social justice, and children's rights to education: reflections of a former secondary school inclusion manager

    Lindley, Karen (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    This chapter will examine the complex and, at times, contradictory nature of the role of inclusion manager from the perspective of a former secondary school teacher, later special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) and vice principal in a secondary comprehensive school in an urban area of the East Midlands in England. In particular, the chapter, written in the first person of the author, will consider her views in relation to her role alongside established and up-to-date policy and research regarding ‘inclusion’ in education, in particular with regard to social justice and the reality of practice.
  • The impact of life experiences on learning and the return to formal education in the HE classroom

    Lane, Susan; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    The told life journeys of learners returning to formal education are important to recognise, first, to name the learning that occurs in the social contexts of family, community and work; and second, to appreciate the compelling connection between this learning and higher education (HE). The concept of what is viewed as important in education lies at the heart of this chapter, which is based on the author’s doctoral study that was focussed on giving voice to the often-overlooked, mature part-time student, in order to recognise their brought assets, gained through past experiences. A biographical approach using semi-structured interviews based on a life-history grid allowed for the voices of the learners to be heard and their stories acknowledged. Findings indicate learning does arise from the everyday and there is a pattern to what is said about the specific intra- and interpersonal skills accrued. Past experiences are a resource for the adult learner, and time spent away from the classroom is not a learning gap. The resulting affective assets are significant to academic study, enhancing and supporting the cognitive. HE needs to see the value of this learning and its resulting assets, including motivation, resilience, independence, team work and emotional intelligence, to resurrect the social justice agenda of ‘Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning’ and seize this academic potential for the benefit of the learners and the academy alike.
  • Social justice in practice in education: understanding tensions and challenges through lived experiences

    Wearmouth, Janice; Lindley, Karen; Maylor, Uvanney; Shea, James; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2024-04-12)
    Exploring Social Justice in Practice in Education focuses on the tensions and challenges to issues of fairness and social and cognitive justice in the sphere of education. The terms 'fairness' and 'social and cognitive justice' are often used to justify particular policies and practices in the sphere of education. In providing a clear definition of what they should mean in practice, this book includes a discussion of, and, in some cases, potential resolutions to, tensions and challenges in relation to notions of fairness, and social and cognitive justice that are implicit within individuals' lived experiences across all phases of education. Through their personal narratives, the authors illustrate how such tensions and challenges have played out in their own lives. They go on to explore differences in interpretations and consequent challenges in putting concepts of social justice into practice. Chapters consider important implications across different sectors and phases of education, including special educational needs, leadership and higher education. This insightful volume will enable educators, at all levels, to hear from students, family members, significant adults/carers and professionals, their experiences of fairness and social justice in education, and about what could be done in the future to redress injustices. It will appeal to readers at all levels in education including those studying for or teaching Education-related degrees at bachelors', masters' and doctoral levels.
  • A cross-cultural comparison of self-efficacy as a resilience measure: evidence from PISA 2018

    Kaya, Sibel; Eryilmaz, Nurullah; Yuksel, Dogan; University of Bedfordshire; International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement; Open University (SAGE Publications Inc., 2023-08-03)
    This study explored the equivalence of resilience across countries and economies that participated in PISA 2018. A total of 79 countries and economies were divided into ten sub-groups based on their socio-demographic characteristics. Analysis of the comparability of the PISA self-efficacy scale as a measure of resilience across the participating countries/economies in the study was conducted using multi-group confirmatory factor analysis (MG-CFA). The results demonstrated that across all countries and economies, the configural invariance level, which is the lowest level of invariance, has been reached but the metric and scalar invariance levels have not been reached. Within-group results showed that all sub-groups presented a model fit for the metric level of invariance. However, only the Anglo countries were able to reach the strict invariance level. This finding indicates that the Anglo countries were more homogeneous in terms of their interpretation of self-efficacy in PISA, whereas other sub-groups were more heterogeneous. Confirming the notion of cultural affiliation of resilience, it was concluded that self-efficacy by itself might not be an adequate indicator of resilience. The current study has some recommendations for future research and how PISA can be more inclusive about the constructs it employs.
  • Coachees’ experiences of integrating a self-selected soundtrack into a one-off coaching session

    Wilcox, Donna; Nethercott, Kathryn; University of East London; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford Brookes University, 2024-02-01)
    Artistic media use in coaching has received growing interest in recent years with increased research and encouraging results. Music benefits wellbeing, aids new perspectives, and enhances embodiment, however, research on the use of music in coaching is limited. This study thematically analysed participants’ reflective texts (N=12) relating to their experience of a one-off coaching session that integrated a self-selected piece of music as a soundtrack related to the session topic. Results support previous literature on the subject, while also providing new findings that the soundtrack primed thinking for the session and was a motivational reminder of the session.
  • The effects of growth mindset and resilience on immigrant students' PISA science achievement: the mediating role of attitudes toward school

    Kaya, Sibel; Eryilmaz, Nurullah; Yuksel, Dogan; University of Bedfordshire; University of Bath; Open University (SAGE, 2024-01-29)
    In recent years, self-theories such as growth mindset and resilience have gained interest as they have a sizable influence on achievement and school-related motivation. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between immigrant students’ growth mindset, resilience, and science achievement in PISA 2018 by considering the mediating effect of attitudes toward school. Using secondary data for Australia, the UK, and the USA obtained from PISA 2018, we conducted a series of Structural Equation Modeling analyses to unravel the relationship between self-theories and science achievement. The growth mindset had the strongest effect on science achievement for both immigrants and non-immigrants in all three countries; resilience was positively related to science achievement for immigrants in the US, and attitudes toward school were positively related to science achievement for immigrants in Australia. The mediating role of attitudes toward school between growth mindset, resilience and science achievement could not have been confirmed. We speculate that self-theories might be affecting immigrant groups differently in different countries. Implications regarding these findings are discussed.
  • Through the looking glass: professional identity during a pandemic

    Thompson, Carol; Hopkins, Neil; University of Bedfordshire (Brill, 2024-01-29)
    When compared with other professions (such as law and medicine), educators do not have a strong sense of professional identity. It could be argued that as a sector, education has been compliant to the demands of others and as a result exploring what it means to be a professional educator has not been high on the agenda for most teachers or leaders in further and higher education. This research takes an autoethnographic approach by placing participants at the centre of the analysis. Using reflections as a form of personal inquiry, participants explored their professional identity from a specific standpoint and within a particular context. This involved cultural analysis and interpretation not only of identity but of the ways in which environmental factors contribute to it. The reflections provided an opportunity to explore the topic with an experienced eye as well as offering a space for reflexivity. By taking a ‘through the looking glass’ approach, participants embraced the notion of ‘uncertain certainty’ (Bolton, 2001). Initial findings suggest that in the move to the virtual classroom both teachers and leaders have experienced a range of novel challenges. Whilst teachers have had to learn new skills and look at their roles in a different way, leaders have been forced to reconsider policy as well as the infrastructure required to support teaching activity. The last two years have shown a sector which is both fragile and resilient and a world where the impossible has become possible and where previous ‘truths’ are no longer definitive.
  • Glass slippers and symbols of hope: rebuilding further education teachers' agency

    Thompson, Carol; University of Bedfordshire (University of Coimbra, University of Algarve, European Society for Research on the Education of Adults, 2020-12-31)
    Picasso is attributed with the quote 'all children are artists, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.' (in Thompson 2018) Perhaps a reference to the ways in which education and life experience impact on creative abilities? A similar sentiment is expressed by Robinson (2017) who suggests that our education system does not prepare for workplaces where creative abilities would be of value: ‘Current systems of education were not designed to meet the challenges we now face. They were developed to meet the needs of a former age.’ (Robinson 2017 page 40). Robinson suggests that schools are modelled in the image of industrialisation - a product model, educating children in ‘batches’ based on their age- group and fuelled by a desire to evidence success through achievement data. But what of the Further Education Sector (FE)? This phase of English education is recognised for its diversity and applauded for its ability to transform lives (Duckworth and Smith 2018). Does it offer a creative curriculum and the scope for each learner to develop the skills that they need for the modern workplace?
  • Thinking or thinking well?: an antidote to ‘sticking plaster solutions’

    Thompson, Carol; University of Bedfordshire (Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, 2022-10-03)
    A short blog post outlining the impact of external pressures on criticality in teacher education.
  • Policy and practice in increasing BME teachers’ access to ITE and a leadership career in the teaching profession in England

    Maylor, Uvanney (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023-03-23)
    In 2018 the Department for Education (DfE) in England published its “Statement of Intent” to make the teacher workforce more diverse. This included increasing the number of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) teachers and those in headship/principal positions in English schools (DfE, Statement of intent on the diversity of the teaching workforce. DfE. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/diversity-of-the-teaching-workforce-statement-of-intent. Accessed 2 Sept 2020, 2018). Through critical analysis of the “Statement of Intent” policy initiative, this chapter explores the policy implications for making the teacher workforce more ethnically diverse and what this means in practice for schools and teacher education and focuses on policy enablers and inhibitors in this process. To understand the ethnic makeup of the teacher workforce the chapter provides insight into the numbers, positions, and experiences of BME teachers/leaders in England together with how BME teachers are conceptualized in English schools. An integral part of the discussion concerns the recruitment strategies employed by governments with different political perspectives vis-à-vis ethnic diversity in teaching and learning. This framing facilitates understanding of British government efforts to foster an ethnically diverse teacher workforce, and changes in initial teacher education (ITE) set out for the preparation of new preservice teachers. Contextualizing the ethnicity of the teacher workforce in England is salient to understanding any implications for the recruitment and development of future BME teachers and senior school leaders. Equally important, the chapter considers what does the UK government’s desire to produce “brilliant teachers” through “high-quality initial teacher training” mean in practice for BME preservice teachers.
  • Postcards from the edge: developing a professional identity for trainee teachers in English education

    Thompson, Carol; Battams, Elaine; University of Bedfordshire; Barnfield College (Brill, 2024-01-26)
    Following the de-regulation of teaching in post-compulsory education in England (DBIUS, 2012), the requirement for teachers to be qualified was removed and subsequently the numbers of trainees who studied to gain a qualification, whilst working ‘in-service’ began to reduce. At the same time a new group of trainees emerged; those undergoing ‘pre-service’ training based on a full-time programme where teaching practice was gained on a practical placement. As ‘outsiders’ within their settings these trainees did not always experience the same level of support as their in-service colleagues. Whilst being introduced to a community of practice (CoP) through their teaching placement, they were very much on the edge of the community and it is only through ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ (Lave and Wenger, 1991) that they begin to develop professional identities as teachers. In 2020, this situation was further complicated by the Covid 19 pandemic which meant that more teaching has taken place online and the usual opportunities for interaction with colleagues were removed. Using focus groups with pre-service trainees and written reflections from teachers who trained during the height of the pandemic, this research highlights obstacles to developing a professional identity. The findings show the steps taken to navigate the journey from trainee to fully-fledged teacher.
  • The ultimate guide to lesson planning: practical planning for everyday teaching

    Thompson, Carol; Spenceley, Lydia; Tinney, Mark; Battams, Elaine; Solomon, Ann (Routledge, 2024-02-29)
    A practical guide to lesson planning modelled on a typical lesson plan. The book covers all aspects of planning such as learning aims, starting a lesson, resources and activities, embedding skills, and assessment. Each chapter features a wide range of activities and strategies that can be used every day and easily adapted for different learners. The chapters also explore what to do when lessons don’t go to plan and how to use technology effectively to support learning.
  • Teachers’ and students’ perspectives on the extent to which assistive technology maximises independence

    Loveys, Megan; Butler, Cathal; University of Roehampton; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2023-11-24)
    Assistive Technologies (ATs) are extensively used and integrated into society, mainstream and specialist education settings, more so with students who have learning disabilities. Everyone has a perspective on the extent to which these devices provide students with disabilities and specifically in this case study, students with visual impairments (VI) independence during their education. This case study indicates the importance of researching emerging technologies within specialist education such as tablets, multiple forms of braille, and screen readers, while utilising a constructivist paradigm to undertake the mixed methods research. This study triangulates through the use of qualitative and quantitative research tools to discover mixed views on the extent to which AT promotes the independence of students with vision impairment, ultimately discovering the extent is somewhat individualised to each and every student. This study was conducted in an English, special-mainstream partnership further education college. Four students and five teaching staff members were interviewed, alongside five classroom observations of each staff member interviewed. The foci of this article are teacher and student perspectives on the extent to which ATs provide students with VIs independence in their learning, and if ATs play a crucial role in these students’ educations. The findings revealed largely positive views surrounding ATs potential for students with VI. The extent to which the students benefit from these advantages is dependent on the individual. The students focused much of their attention on their personal feelings towards using technology, whereas the teachers elaborated on their feelings and went into detail about particular students’ successes and pitfalls when using ATs. As technology is constantly changing, the participants expressed their concerns for keeping up to date. Recommendations for further research include a longitudinal study at the college where this research took place to discover whether partnership further education facilitates inclusion.
  • Reflective practice for professional development: a guide for teachers

    Thompson, Carol (Routledge, 2021-09-28)
    An introduction to the theory and practice of reflection. The book explores key themes such as the importance of criticality, models of reflection, as well as connections between thought, language and actions. It considers how reflection can widen perspectives, generate deeper understanding of professional challenges and how it can enhance creativity.
  • The trainee teacher's handbook: a companion for initial teacher training

    Thompson, Carol; Wolstencroft, Peter; University of Bedfordshire; Liverpool John Moores University (Sage, 2024-01-25)
    This book helps you to build skills and focus on developing professional practice through understanding, reflection and experimentation. It is a companion guide to initial teacher education.

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