Editorial

We begin this issue of RiTE with an article from Fiona Byrne that explores pedagogical strategies used to encourage meaningful engagement in asynchronous discussion forums on a distance learning module in a London-based university. Her article presents findings from a small-scale action research project on discussion forums, providing readers with an analysis of pedagogical interventions that encourage critical thinking and meaningful engagement. Mick Doyle and Miles Thomas explore, in their study, teachers' perceptions of pupils' social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, and facilitating factors for provision following the Covid-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with UK secondary school teachers (n = 15). Their research reinforces the need to further explore teachers' voices in SEMH research. 
In an article by Tracie Trimmer Platman, the author argues that youth work is best placed to focus on the personal and social development of young people in centres and clubs and that this ought to be a serious and significant part of local communities, with support from schools, colleges and universities, which, inevitably, have space and resources currently inaccessible. Rukshana Beigi writes about her small-scale study using narrative inquiry, in which student educators tell their stories and are able to explore and examine creativity in their lived experiences. This informs how they view and understand the critical role of nurturing creativity in children, but also how as educators they think about, and allow for, a creative pedagogy in practice. Huw Humphrey's paper explores the ideological clash around a single issue – educational rigour – using Paulo Freire's concepts of freedom, dialogue and identity in teaching and learning to re-evaluate the idea of rigour in initial teacher education (ITE) in England. In the face of curriculum frameworks and market-led reviews of ITE, Humphrey's paper offers ways of reformulating teacher education around outcomes that will deepen student teacher identity and freedom and their ability to critique effectively the system of which they will soon be a part. The engagement of young people with lived experience of PMLD helps social work students to consider their attitudes and assumptions, while learning new communication skills from the young people. In their article Gosia Kwiatkowska and Kathryn Stowell focus on a partnership between the RIX Research Centre at the University of East London and Charlton Park Academy, a special secondary school in south-east London. The authors present their model of an Advocacy Pathway as part of social work readiness for practice. Joanne McWhinney-Tripp's article explores performativity within the context of English schools in order to draw parallels with the Scottish context and forecast a potential future for Scotland’s schools with particular attention to the impact of performativity on teacher identity. 
Our guest writer this month is Professor Pete Boyd, Professor Emeritus in professional learning at the University of Cumbria, UK. His purpose in writing his paper is to provoke discussion of challenges that our 'post-truth' world presents for the development of research-informed practice by schoolteachers, and to consider the implications for teacher educators. 
As always, we hope that you enjoy the collection of articles in this issue of the periodical. If you are interested in writing for this publication, please contact members of the editorial team.
 

Cite as: Gerry Czerniawski (2019) 'Editorial' Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12  (No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022

Gerry Czerniawski

Page 5

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Articles

Encouraging critical thinking and meaningful engagement in asynchronous discussion forums

Abstract:

The aim of this project was to explore pedagogical strategies used to encourage meaningful engagement in asynchronous discussion forums on a distance learning module in a London-based university. The methodology employed was an active inquiry which involved implementing pedagogical interventions into my own practice. Data collection methods included interviews, reflective learning journals, and gathering data analytics on participation in discussion forums. Findings suggest the interventions have improved students' collaboration, participation, critical thinking and meaningful engagement. Students reflected that the forums provided a supportive environment which enabled them to reflect, ask questions, share insights and grasp complex concepts.

Keywords: engagement; distance learning; critical thinking; discussion forum; participation.
 

Cite as: Fiona Byrne(2022) 'Encouraging critical thinking and meaningful engagement in asynchronous discussion forums' Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022

Fiona Byrne

University of East London

Pages 6-11

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Teacher perceptions of mental health provision in secondary schools during the Covid-19 pandemic

Abstract:

This study explored teachers' perceptions of pupils' social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, and facilitating factors for provision following the Covid-19 pandemic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with UK secondary school teachers (n = 15). Thematic analysis (TA; Braun & Clarke 2013) was used to explore the data. Teachers recognised a deterioration in student SEMH, and reduced accessibility to targeted and whole-school SEMH provision due to newly implemented safety measures. Teachers felt a responsibility to identify needs (SEMH) but lacked the confidence, training and curriculum time to facilitate provision. Socio-economic barriers outside school left teachers feeling a lack of autonomy in managing SEMH. This highlights the need to improve training and funding if teachers are to assist effectively.

Keywords: teacher views; mental health; social, emotional and mental health needs; Covid-19; schools.

Cite as: Mick Doyle and Miles Thomas (2022) 'Teacher perceptions of mental health provision in secondary schools during the Covid-19 pandemic '. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022

Mick Doyle and Miles Thomas

University of East London

Pages 12-19

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Embrace unashamedly the therapeutic qualities and benefits of youth work to young people and communities

Abstract

Young people have experienced serious distress and disruption due to the recent pandemic, leaving mental health issues at an all-time high among this group. Open access youth work, a method of social and personal learning for young people, is often undervalued and displaced, yet is well suited to facilitate therapeutic intervention and support to young people in informal settings. Open access youth work enables strong associations, friendships, support, and openness to discussing young people's mental health issues and feelings across social and economic divides. By creating open, non-judgemental yet challenging space for young people under the supervision of qualified and experienced practitioners, their worries and observations about life can be accessed, discussed, shared and demystified. Serious and diagnostic illness can be reported and referred, with low moods and depression managed by the young people themselves. A great deal of public space is underutilised, and it may be time for places such as schools and colleges to be seriously considered as potential enablers for youth workers to do what they do best.

Keywords: open access youth work; young people; mental health; leisure; pandemic.

Cite as: Tracie Trimmer-Platman  (2022) 'Embrace unashamedly the therapeutic qualities and benefits of youth work to young people and communities. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022 

Tracie Trimmer-Platman 

University of East London

Pages 20-23

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Banana fibres and oil cans: constructing pedagogical understandings of creativity through childhood play memories in a Ugandan context

Abstract:

In this small-scale study, pedagogical connections are made, by a student educator on an early childhood studies degree, by identifying creative processes within their childhood play memories in Uganda. Using narrative inquiry, student educators tell their stories and are able to explore and examine creativity in their lived experiences. This informed how they view and understand the critical role of nurturing creativity in children, but also how as educators they think about and allow for a creative pedagogy in practice. Further, it is concluded that the use of narrative inquiry in this way can be a thought-provoking tool for research within the field of early childhood education.


Keywords: memories; creativity; pedagogy; play; narrative inquiry; pedagogical understanding; Uganda.

Cite as: Ruksana Beigi (2022) 'Banana fibres and oil cans: constructing pedagogical understandings of creativity through childhood play memories in a Ugandan context'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022

Ruksana Beigi
University of East London, UK

Pages  24-28

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Rigour in teacher education revisited: a Freirean mark of creative freedom

Abstract:

University teachers teaching on courses leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England encounter an ideological clash between compliance-driven practice-based models of 'teacher training', favoured by the Department for Education (DfE), and critical approaches to curriculum, assessment, teacher identity and pedagogy essential to educating teachers who can challenge, develop and contribute to the educational system they are teaching in. This paper explores the ideological clash around a single issue – educational rigour – using Paulo Freire's concepts of freedom, dialogue and identity in teaching and learning to re-evaluate the idea of rigour in initial teacher education (ITE) in England. In the face of curriculum frameworks and market-led reviews of ITE, this paper offers ways of reformulating teacher education around outcomes that will deepen student teacher identity and freedom and their ability to critique effectively the system of which they will soon be a part.

Keywords: educational rigour; Freire; initial teacher education.

Cite as: Huw Humphreys (2022) 'Rigour in teacher education revisited: a Freirean mark of creative freedom'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12(No.1). Available at:  https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022 

Huw Humphreys

University of East London

Pages 29-34

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Preparing social work students for practice by involving young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in teaching and learning

Abstract:

Service user engagement has been promoted in England by policy and legislation since the 2001 Valuing People Paper and is a fundamental requirement in social work education in England, as well as internationally (Ward et al. 2016). There are some good examples of engagement of service users with lived experiences in social work education and practice which involve those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) (ibid.); it is, however, limited. This paper focuses on the partnership between the RIX Research Centre at the University of East London (UEL) and the Charlton Park Academy (CPA), a special secondary school in south-east London. We present our model of an Advocacy Pathway as part of social work readiness for practice. The engagement of young people with lived experience of PMLD helps social work students to consider their attitudes and assumptions, while learning new communication skills from the young people. 

Keywords: social work practice-based education; advocacy; inclusive digital tools; service user engagement; person-centred practice; PMLD.

Cite as: Gosia Kwiatkowska , Kathryn Stowell  (2022) 'Preparing social work students for practice by involving young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in teaching and learning'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12 (No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022  

Gosia Kwiatkowska 
University of East London, UK

Kathryn Stowell
Charlton Park Academy, London UK

Pages 35-40

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National Improvement Framework and teacher identity: a (re)turn to performativity in Scotland?

Abstract:

To inform policy aimed at reducing the attainment gap between the most and least advantaged children, the Scottish Government reintroduced standardised national tests in 2017 as a core element of the National Improvement Framework (NIF). While standardised assessment can provide valuable information to enable policy formation, when used within a performative culture for accountability and control purposes it can alter the meaning and purposes of education and teaching. This article explores performativity within the context of English schools in order to draw parallels with the Scottish context and forecast a potential future for Scotland's schools with particular attention to the impact of performativity on teacher identity. 


Keywords: performativity; standardised testing; Scotland; teacher identity; attainment gap.

Cite as: Joanne McWhinney-Tripp (2022) 'National Improvement Framework and teacher identity: a (re)turn to performativity in Scotland? '. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12 (No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022  

Joanne McWhinney-Tripp

Pages  41-46

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Guest Author

Teachers developing research-informed practice in the post-truth world

Pete Boyd is emeritus professor in professional learning at the University of Cumbria and focuses on supporting the development of research-informed practice in education. He works as consultant, research mentor and doctoral research supervisor working with academics, lecturers and teachers in universities, colleges, and schools. Pete initially taught in high schools and in outdoor education for 15 years before moving to teacher education and academic development roles in higher education. He is part of the research and development project 'becoming a teacher educator' and has also published research on the work and identity of professional educators in nursing and applied health professions. He is chair of the assessment in higher education conference and an associate within the Advance HE 'degree standards' project. Pete's current research includes material-dialogic teaching in school maths and authentic assessment in professional higher education programmes.  

Cite as: Pete Boyd (2022) 'Teachers developing research-informed practice in the post-truth world'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 12(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/our-research/research-school-education-communities/research-teacher-education-volume-12-no-1-may-2022

Pete Boyd

University of Cumbria, UK

Pages 47-52

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