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Volume 8, No.1

May 2018

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Editorial

We begin this issue with an article from David Morris reflecting on the importance of trust between pupils and teachers in student voice initiatives and how cultivating ‘authentic’ trust can lead to a heightened empathy between students and teachers. Carol Webb provides a fascinating synthesis of theories that can help teacher educator teams in universities to make sense of changes in practice together. The theoretical synthesis presented includes models of stages of team development, sense-making, experiential learning and complexity science principles. In her article Vrede-Shevonna M. S. Timmins examines interactive video and multiple choice question ‘flipped classroom’ sessions for research methods in psychology. Her critical reflections on course development will be of interest to those working on postgraduate certification in teaching and learning in higher education. Writing about contemporary popular songwriting, Angela Blacklaw draws our attention to the ways in which archetypes can be used creatively and consciously in teaching songwriting to undergraduate students. Finally, Graham Robertson argues that systems of higher education all too often impose an inflexible ‘recipe’ approach to education upon both student and lecturer which may be unhelpful and contradictory in supporting and facilitating students to achieve their potential. In his article he argues that before we encourage students to engage with the stepped aspirational treadmill of academic study, time exploring this process with the student would be beneficial for both student and institution.
Our guest writer is Professor Amanda Berry. Amanda is Professor of STEM Education at Monash University, Australia. Amanda’s research focuses on teacher knowledge development and how that knowledge is shaped and refined throughout a teacher’s professional life span. Amanda has a strong international profile in the field of science teacher education and is considered a leading scholar in research on science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Amanda is currently editor of the journal Studying Teacher Education: A journal of self-study of teacher education practices, and Associate Editor of Research in Science Education.

This number’s book reviews are provided by M.L. White and Graham Robertson. In our next edition, to be published in November 2018, we are pleased to announce our guest writer will be Professor Gary McCulloch, inaugural Brian Simon Professor of the History of Education (UCL- Institute of Education) and President of the British Educational Research Association (BERA).

As always, we hope that you enjoy the collection of articles in this issue of the periodical and please feel free to contact the editorial team if you would like to submit an article or book review for publication.

Cite as:
Gerry Czerniawski (2018) ‘Editorial’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Editorial

Gerry Czerniawski

Page 5

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Articles

Abstract

This article reflects on the importance of trust between pupils and teachers in student voice initiatives and how cultivating ‘authentic’ trust can lead to a heightened empathy between students and teachers. The research findings presented here stem from doctoral fieldwork carried out in an English secondary school. The study – known as the ‘Teach a Teacher’ project – involved Year 8 pupils (12- to 13-year-olds) providing professional development in information and communication technology (ICT) for their teachers. Data were gathered through observations of teachers and pupils working together, focus groups with pupils, and one-to-one interviews with the teachers involved. This article does not have the scope to explore the school environment or the climate and conditions needed to organise student–teacher partnerships or the role that school leadership plays in supporting these. Rather this article seeks to identify how students as joint authors of ‘emancipatory’ practice were involved in providing their teachers with professional development with their computer skills and therefore actively involved in bringing about change (Fielding 2001, 2011). The findings presented in this article demonstrate that when pupils are entrusted by teachers to take charge of their professional learning, there is a transformation in teacher–pupil relationships. There was wide acceptance of the role reversal this involved, with teachers seeing it as a positive experience in terms of learning from their students. Pupils gained a new perspective and insight into what the job of teaching entails. In this way, the project led to feelings of understanding, empathy and respect from the pupils.

Keywords: student voice; teacher professional development; technology; pupil–teacher relationships; trust; empathy

Cite as: D Morris (2017) 'Building trust and empathy: student voice and teachers’ professional development with technology'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

David Morris

Independent educational researcher

Pages 6-11

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Abstract

United Kingdom (UK) teacher educators in the midst of professional practice changes have been reported to find benefit in being exposed to different theories with a view to resolving conflicting demands and developing new perspectives. This paper provides a synthesis of theories that can help teacher educator teams in universities to make sense of changes in practice together. The theoretical synthesis presented includes models of stages of team development, sense-making, experiential learning and complexity science principles. It is here argued that such a deftly applied synthesis can then facilitate higher education institution (HEI) education department teams to create individual narratives with a view to then sharing them with each other to develop a group narrative. The purpose and benefits of this would immediately be sought in improving team functioning and performance in order to create a more solid foundation from which individuals might even begin to engage in career development along the fellowship trajectory assumed by the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA). A key assumption this paper rests on therefore is that team functioning is a positive asset that is pivotal to individual career development and prerequisite impacts on teaching and learning, and leadership and management of coaching and mentoring with respect to these in a department or team. The contribution this paper makes therefore is a practical approach for analysing and further developing academic teams of teacher educators in a landscape of continual professional change, with a greater theoretical toolkit to draw from to achieve this.

Keywords: Teacher Educator Department; Team; Development; Improvement

Cite as: C Webb (2018) '12 A narrative structure for teacher educator team analysis and development’. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Carol Webb

Middlesex University Dubai

Pages 12-17

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Abstract

As part of the Postgraduate Certificate course in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PGCert), I wrote a plan involving the creation of ‘flipped classroom’ sessions that may form part of the BSc Psychology first-year (Level 4) research methods module at the University of East London (UEL). Psychology students generally do not find this statistics-heavy module very easy, seemingly due to a lack of understanding of the underlying, more basic concepts. The proposed sessions would encompass short ‘micro-teach’ videos on those basic concepts, interspersed with multiple choice questions (MCQs) to test learning. These would then be followed by in-class discussions on the areas of weakness highlighted by the MCQ answers. A pilot session is proposed with one set of four or five mini-topics, covered in a ‘flipped classroom’ video/MCQ format. (At the point of submitting this paper, the pilot session has not yet been put in place.)

Keywords: flipped classroom; recorded lecture; video; multiple choice questions; micro-teach

Cite as: Vrede-Shevonna M. S. Timmins (2018) ‘Interactive video and multiple choice question ‘flipped classrooms’’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Vrede-Shevonna M. S. Timmins

University of East London

Pages 18-22

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Abstract

Archetypes are character prototypes, which manifest, often unconsciously, in cultures around the world. They are now being used consciously in creative industries (including screenplay writing and advertising). In this article I explore how they may manifest unconsciously in contemporary popular songwriting, and describe how I have used them creatively and consciously in teaching songwriting to
undergraduate students. I intend to illustrate that archetypes serve successfully in teaching songwriting students how to access creative stimulus, as the metaphorical nature of archetypes often enables students to see things differently and create songs accordingly that feel satisfying and authentic to them. This works best as an emotional, rather than an entirely intellectual, exercise.

Keywords: Jung; Archetypes; Songwriting; Creativity; Authenticity; Lyrics

Cite as: A Blacklaw (2018) ‘Using Jungian archetypes in contemporary songwriting education.’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Angela Blacklaw

Institute for Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP)

Pages 23-27

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Abstract

Understanding the learner as they ‘are’ rather than ‘how they should be or become’ is important if we are to address the attrition rate in higher education. Systems of higher education all too often impose an inflexible ‘recipe’ approach to education upon both student and lecturer which may be unhelpful and contradictory in supporting and facilitating students to achieve their potential. I would argue that before we encourage students to engage with the stepped aspirational treadmill of academic study, time exploring this process with the student would be beneficial for both student and institution. We need to know ‘where students are’ before we begin to know how to help them get to ‘where they want to be’. Effective teaching and learning requires all parties – student, teacher and institution – to take time to ‘listen and understand’.

Keywords: Teaching; learning; barriers; engagement; retention; relationship

Cite as: G Robertson (2018) ‘Issues in teaching and learning: student retention in higher education.’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Graham Robertson

University of East London

Pages 28-29

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Guest Author

Guest Author

In every edition of Research in Teacher Education we publish a contribution from a guest writer who has links with the Cass School of Education and Communities. In this edition of RiTE our guest writer is Professor Amanda Berry.

Professor Amanda Berry is Professor of STEM Education at Monash University, Australia. Amanda’s research focuses on teacher knowledge development and how that knowledge is shaped and refined throughout teachers’ professional life span. Amanda has a strong international profile in the field of science teacher education and is considered a leading scholar in research on science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). This work in PCK is highly cited and includes journal articles, Handbook chapters and books. She has been involved in many research projects focusing on innovations designed to address the quality of teacher professional learning and enhance science teaching and learning in schools and universities. Amanda is currently editor of the journal, Studying Teacher Education: A journal of self-study of teacher education practices, and Associate Editor of Research in Science Education.

Cite as:
A Berry (2018) ‘Acts of resistance in an age of compliance: teacher educators, professional knowledge-making and self-study’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Amanda Berry

Monash University, Australia

Pages 30-33

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Book Reviews

Like a shared secret, Reay begins Miseducation: inequality, education and the working classes with a personal reflection, telling us that Brian Jackson and Dennis Marsden’s ‘Education and the Working Class was one of the first sociology of education books that I read, and the first to have a lasting impact on me’ (p. 1). Published in 1962, Jackson and Marsden could not have known how little would change in the intervening years and how much impact class inequalities would continue to have on educational outcomes. Today in a culture of audit, regulation and assessment and at a time when class is no longer a neatly defined concept, Miseducation is a timely call to action. Returning to many of the (sometimes unanswered) questions raised by Jackson and Marsden, Reay brings their seminal work up to date for the 21st Century and suggests what we might do to achieve a fairer education system for everyone. Covering a great deal of contested and challenging ground, Reay considers class identity, the inadequacies of social mobility, and offers an analysis of the effects of wider economic and social class relationships on working-class educational experiences. ‘The convention in a book like this’, Reay says, is to set out the problems and then to offer solutions. But our current situation defies any formulaic approach. What is needed is a sea-change in hearts and minds, not just better policy in education.’

In many ways this book should be read as a deeply personal account of a classed educational experience. Reay introduces the book with a personal reflection and shares with the reader some of her ‘wounds and resulting scars of class’. But this is not a memoir and Reay writes as a sociologist drawing on 20 years of research experience, over 500 interviews and offers statistical evidence to outline the inequalities and differences of experience and outcomes for different social classes.

In chapter 1, ‘Why can’t education compensate for society?’, Reay draws on statistical data to consider the relationship between the economy and education. She looks back to the more optimistic period in which Jackson and Marsden were writing in order to compare and contrast two very different times in history before going on to outline why education cannot compensate for wider social and economic inequalities. In chapter 2, ‘The history of class in education’, Reay offers a concise historical overview of policy and practice in the UK education system. Starting with the introduction of state education in the 19th Century, Reay moves on to consider the tripartite and comprehensive periods before offering an analysis of a divided English system in which increased diversity of schooling (free schools, academies and selective grant maintained schools funded by the state) undermines comprehensivisation and ‘is hard to reconcile with the principle of social justice’ (p. 47). In chapter 3, ‘Working-class educational experiences’, Reay offers us case studies to examine the working-class educational experience in a diversified educational landscape. Drawing on the lived experience of working-class students and their parents and Department for Education statistics, she presents an up-to-date snapshot of the social class attainment gap. In chapter 4, ‘Class in the classroom’, Reay considers the question ‘how do the working classes experience a relative educational failure that has come to be seen as a “personal lack”?’, and in chapter 5, ‘Social mobility: a problematic solution’, Reay shares experiences from educationally successful working-class students to present a version of social mobility that is very different to the students Jackson and Marsden wrote about. In chapter 6, ‘The middle and upper classes: getting the “best” for your own child’, Reay examines the experience of upper- and middle-class students and their families, looking both at educational practices and attitudes towards the working classes. In chapter 7, ‘Class feeling: troubling the soul and preying on the psyche’, Reay focuses specifically on the emotional landscapes of class and describes how schools can become the source of all kinds of fantasies, fears, anxieties, hopes and dreams. In the final chapter, Reay considers what has changed since Jackson and Marsden and what has remained the same. She discusses why working-class students fare so much worse in education than the upper and middle classes and suggests policy changes (drawing on Freire, Dewey and hooks) that would benefit all children and young people.

Reay describes this book as ‘part of a process of thinking through class – both my own changed class position and also relationships between the class I am now ambivalently part of and the class I left’ (p. 198). While thinking about class and education is undoubtedly complex, our identities are multiple and fluid and education is a deeply personal experience. This is an accessible and insightful book, rich in the detail of experience and analytical reflection. I recommend this book for teachers and teacher educators, for education students and those concerned with issues of class inequalities and educational policy within the British education system.

The book is published by the British Sociological Association and Policy Press and is the first in their joint ‘21st Century Standpoints’ book series edited by Professor Les Back (Goldsmiths, University of London), Professor Pamela Cox (University of Essex) and Professor Nasar Meer (University of Edinburgh). Future publications include Snobbery by David Morgan (July 2018), and What’s wrong with work? by Lynne Pettinger (January 2019).

ML White

University of East London

Cite as: Review by M.L. White (2018) ‘MISEDUCATION: inequality, education and the working classes’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Author: Diane Reay

Bristol: Policy Press, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-447-33065-3

Pages 34-35

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This is another in the ‘Understanding the... Approach’ series, which seeks to provide academics and practitioners with knowledge and useful ideas concerning a range of relevant interesting topics. For those familiar with Knight’s (2012) work on the Forest School movement this book will come as a welcome companion and addition to their library. For those who are new to this area or curious about the Forest School approach to education it is a very useful starting point.

The book is divided into seven clearly written and accessible chapters with many useful links and references, together with a handy glossary to explain some of the words used in the Danish education system.

Concentration is upon the early years curriculum. However, one can easily see how the philosophical approach and activities described could be incorporated into learning for primary, secondary, adult or elderly clients or students.

Chapter 1 describes the geographical, historical, social and cultural influences which have influenced and moulded both the philosophy and pedagogy of introducing young children to the outdoors environment as an important part of their learning journey. Since 2004, ‘nature and natural phenomenon’ has been an integral part of the education experienced by Danish pre-schoolers and is influenced by the work of Froebel.

Chapter 2 gives the theoretical basis of the Forest School approach and is wide-ranging in connecting a number of well-known movers and shakers in education, taking a very holistic approach to learning and development. Of particular interest is the mention given to the Hungarian psychologist Csikszentmihalyi with his concept of ‘flow’.

Chapter 3 provides the reader with an interesting understanding of the Danish approach to education, with chapter 4 concentrating upon the learning environment, with some interesting sections on perceptions of what constitutes ‘risky play’ and ‘accidents’. Thankfully the author explains that in Danish society there is not such an emphasis upon parents taking legal action against schools and teachers if accidents do happen, which must help to reduce stress and worry amongst practitioners.

Chapters 5 and 6 contain more detailed information on the Danish early years curriculum and in particular how it is

organised and assessed. Two models of assessment are quoted: the SMTTE model and the ‘seven-sided’ model of assessment and evaluation, which make an interesting comparison to approaches used in other countries.

Finally, chapter 7 raises some relevant issues applicable to all education systems – not least, the expensive nature of the small schools which are favoured by Danish parents, and the pressure upon local government budgets.

As with Knight’s (2012) ‘Forest School for all’ approach, the aim is to engage and enthuse readers in the adventure and stimulation that the out of doors can achieve. Involvement in and experience of activities around horticulture, nature and the green environment has a long pedagogy in itself. Lewis (1996) reminds us that the relationship between people and nature is both a transforming and rewarding process. The experiences we have through our encounters with the natural environment can act as a soothing and healing process embodied in the Hebrew words tikkun olam: healing, repair and transformation of the world around us.

The therapeutic impact of the green environment upon well-being and cognitive development is very well documented (eg Kaplan & Kaplan 1989; Linden & Grut 2002; Simson & Straus 2003; Thoms 2003; Waite 2017). Mortlock (1984, 2001, 2009) describes experiences of the green environment as contributing to both inner strength and understanding of the self, spiritual awareness akin to awe and wonder, and the fostering of a deep appreciation of one’s place in the world – surely an antidote to the high-technology-orientated stressful lives we are pressured to inhabit on a daily basis.

Graham Robertson

University of East London

Cite as: Review by Graham Robertson (2018) ‘UNDERSTANDING THE DANISH FOREST SCHOOL APPROACH: early years education and practice’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-1-May-2018

Author: Jane Williams-Siegfredson

Abingdon: Routledge, 2017
ISBN 978-1-138-68809-4

Pages 35-36

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