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Volume 8, No.2 

November, 2018

Editorials

We begin this issue with an article from colleagues in Germany about teachers’ beliefs in relation to teaching multi-cultural learners. Svenja Hammer, Kara Mitchell Viesca, Timo Ehmke and Brandon Ernest Heinz analysed the beliefs about multilingualism in school of in-service teachers from the US (n = 60) and Germany (n = 65), utilising a survey originally developed in German that was translated and adapted into English. Their results provide insight into cross-cultural differences between German and US teachers’ beliefs, as well as a strong instrument in two languages to measure teachers’ beliefs about multilingualism in schools.

In her article Stephanie Messner discusses the impact that an SPSS course can have on clinical degree students. Through action research she looks at the dissonance and resistance students exhibit as a result of their fear of statistics and what happens when she implements screencasts as an adjunct to standard methods of teaching. Action research is a topic that is also addressed by Ruksana Mohammed. In her article she reintroduces the concept of a/r/ tography, not only as a methodology from art-based education in its own right, but also as one that can be used as a hybridised practice-oriented and action research-based methodology within teacher education - not just for dissertation or research purposes, but as something that should underpin all programme curriculum and pedagogy designed for the education of teachers. Former UEL student Rochelle Felix, deconstructs the use of policy in a discussion that focuses on what a quality early childhood centre entails.

Given the increasingly market-driven and consumerist environment of higher education in the UK, Jonathan Whiskerd argues the importance of a ‘partnership learning’ approach, which requires engagement, investment and a sense of shared responsibility from both tutors and students. With specific reference to songwriting programmes, his article explores how widely-established best practice in teaching can be most effectively deployed in the design and delivery of specialised, industry-relevant creative workshops.

Our guest writer in this edition is Gary McCulloch. Gary is the inaugural Brian Simon Professor of History of Education, and founding director of the International Centre for Historical Research in Education (ICHRE) at UCL Institute of Education London. He is currently president of the British Educational Research Association (2017-2019) and editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies. His recent publications include Educational Reform Legislation in the 20th Century (ed., 2018), and A Social History of Educational Studies and Research (with Steven Cowan, 2018). Gary’s article offers a scintillating analysis of the past, present and future of teacher education drawing on the work of Emile Durkheim. Durkheim was writing and lecturing over 100 years ago, as a professor of pedagogy, at the University of Paris. Gary’s article highlights the historic rupture between teacher education and the history of education that has taken place and the strong efforts that are being made to surmount this disjuncture.

This number’s book review is provided by Gurpinder Lalli from the Institute of Education, University of Wolverhampton.

Cite as: Gerry Czerniawski (2018) ‘Editorial’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Gerry Czerniawski
Page 5

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Articles

Abstract

We analysed the beliefs about multilingualism in school of in-service teachers from the US (n = 60) and Germany (n = 65), utilising a survey originally developed in German that was translated and adapted into English. Results show that teachers from both samples, on average, strongly agree that a person’s identity is connected to their language and culture. However, we found significant differences in scale mean values between US teachers and German teachers concerning their beliefs about (1) the interconnected nature of language with culture and identity, (2) language demand in content classrooms, (3) responsibility for language teaching, and (4) valuing multilingualism. Our results provide insight into cross-cultural differences between German and US teachers’ beliefs, as well as a strong instrument in two languages to measure teachers’ beliefs about multilingualism in schools.

Keywords: Teachers’ Beliefs; Cross-Cultural Comparison; Multilingual Learners.

Cite as: Svenja Hammer, Kara Mitchell Viesca, Timo Ehmke and Brandon Ernest Heinz (2018) ‘Teachers’ beliefs concerning teaching multilingual learners: a cross-cultural comparison between the US and Germany’. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Svenja Hammer, Kara Mitchell Viesca, Timo Ehmke and Brandon Ernest Heinz

University of Leuphana, Luneburg, Germany

Pages 6-10

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Abstract

When embarking on a clinical degree, students imagine themselves in a clinical environment treating patients as well as learning a plethora of medical conditions to help inform practice. The modules met with the most resistance are the two research methods modules they must complete to successfully graduate.  Students at the beginning of their second year cannot comprehend how a module that is very different to the general stream of clinical modules fits onto their learning curve. However, over the past academic year, I have been able to identify the reason for the resistance, which lies solely in the students’ fear of statistics. In this article I discuss the implementation of screencasts as an adjunct to standard methods of teaching statistics in higher education. This particular project served as part of the completion for my Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Keywords:
Action Research; Screencasts; Lynda.com; Research Methods; Clinical Education; Evidence-Based Practice.

Cite as: Stephanie Messner (2018) ‘Does Lynda.com’s ‘introduction to SPSS’ course provide a positive learning experience relating to data analysis within a research methods module? The beginnings of an exploratory study'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Stephanie Messner

University of East London

Pages 11-17

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Abstract

Educational research within teacher education has become a must, where there is emphasis on ‘teacher as researcher’, with action research as their methodology. Yet, many teachers may not have embarked on any form of research prior to educational programmes designed to enhance their pedagogy and impact their practice. There is also a question around the methodologies they are introduced to, which at times fail to hone in on the very characteristic and golden thread of their profession: creativity. This article reintroduces the concept of a/r/tography, not only as a methodology from art-based education in its own right, but also as one that can be used as a hybridised practice-oriented and action research-based methodology within teacher education. Not just for dissertation or research purposes, but as something that should underpin all programme curriculum and pedagogy designed for the education of teachers.

Keywords: Teacher education; a/r/tography; creativity; research; hybrid; methodology; pedagogy.

Cite as: Ruksana Mohammed (2018) 'Tapping into creativity: a/r/tography as a research methodology underpinning teacher education'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Ruksana Mohammed

University of East London

Pages 18-22

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Abstract

In this paper, I analyse early childhood centres, expounding what a quality early childhood centre entails. Early childhood centres nurture children socially, emotionally, cognitively and intellectually (Phillips & Lowenstein 2011; Backer & Nærde 2017). Employing a multilingual curriculum in early childhood centres may help promote quality childcare. There are more than a billion people who speak more than one language fluently (Okal 2014). Therefore, early childhood centres should work to implement a multilingual curriculum as this can greatly benefit the children. Unfortunately, most early childhood centres lack a multilingual curriculum as their policies do not enable it. By assessing the Luxembourg government’s language policy, one can discern how policy imposes certain truths. To efficaciously deconstruct the use of policy, I will implement the work of Michel Foucault.

Keywords: early childhood centres; multilingualism; policy; Foucault.

Cite as: Rochelle Felix (2018) 'Multilingualism in the field of early childhood'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Rochelle Felix

University of East London

Pages 23-25

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Abstract

Given the increasingly market-driven and consumerist environment of higher education in the UK, this article will argue the importance of a ‘partnership learning’ approach, which requires engagement, investment and a sense of shared responsibility from both tutors and students. At the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP), small-group learning is integral to the ethos of our creative programmes. Our interactive, learner-led sessions offer our students a weekly opportunity to develop creative and critical independence in their thinking and practice. With specific reference to our songwriting programmes, this article will explore how widely-established best practice in teaching can be most effectively deployed in the design and delivery of specialised, industry-relevant creative workshops. It will conclude that collaboration between tutors and students in the creation of a bespoke learning culture is integral to effective songwriting learning and teaching, as well as the cultivation of independence – a key graduate attribute – in degree-level students.

Keywords: songwriting; partnership learning; power dynamics; marketisation; co-creating culture; self-directed learning; student satisfaction.

Cite as: Jonathan Whiskerd (2018) 'The importance of partnership: collaborative learning culture in songwriting higher education'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Jonathan Whiskerd

Institute of Contemporary Music Performance

Pages 26-29

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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 month’s edition our guest writer is Professor Gary McCulloch. Gary is the inaugural Brian Simon Professor of History of Education, and founding director of the International Centre for Historical Research in Education (ICHRE), at UCL Institute of Education London. He is currently president of the British Educational Research Association (2017-2019) and editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies. His recent publications include Educational Reform Legislation in the 20th Century (ed., 2018), and A Social History of Educational Studies and Research (with Steven Cowan, 2018).

Cite as: Gary McCulloch (2018) 'Past, present and future in teacher education'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 8(No.2). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-8-No-2-November-2018

Gary McCulloch

UCL, Institute of Education, London

Pages 30-32

 

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Book Reviews

Schools and food education in the 21st century

Lexi Earl

Abingdon: Routledge, 2018

ISBN 0-415783-79-8

For those interested in how schools enact food policy with regard to an array of discourses on obesity prevention, nutrition education, welfarism and ‘foodieness’, this new book by Lexi Earl provides an insightful perspective. In Schools and food education in the 21st century Earl embarks on a journey that accounts for all elements of the school day, and explores the changing foodscapes and possibilities for food education in primary schools.

The purpose of the book is not to disregard or undermine the very valuable work occurring around food education. Rather, it highlights the complex environment in which schools, teachers, children and cooks find themselves when it comes to learning about and teaching food. Earl’s book is based on a doctoral study conducted in the 2012/13 school year, with data collected using interviews and observations. The ethnographic research was conducted across three UK-based primary schools with a view to understanding how schools might have a variety of sites of food learning (eg the classroom, the dining hall and the school garden). As a result, exploring the foodscape is a framework for the narrative followed throughout this book. Dolphijn (2004: 8) defines the foodscape as ‘how we live our lives with food, according to food, and through food… what happens between the eating and the eaten. How food moves through structures, how it changes them and is changed by them.’ The book has eight chapters, and is split into three parts: ‘Before school’, ‘The school day’ and ‘After school’.

Part one of the book introduces the various food discourses that shape the school meal. Food discourses generally advise what is acceptable to eat at any given time; they define the rules of eating, which differ across social groups. Food rules are learned through families, through schools and through community life. The definition of ‘foodieness’ and how it is connected to food education and spread through food media is then introduced and discussed. Earl defines a ‘foodie’ as ‘a person who is very, very, very interested in food’ (Barr & Levy 1984: 7) and then draws on a reference to the work of Pike & Kelly (2014) in order to highlight the moral questions around the choices people make about food and how much people should know about what they eat.

In relation to school food education, it is useful to consider notions of ‘foodieness’, which help build a narrative for schools in the ways food can be interpreted in a multidisciplinary context. In terms of foodieness, four specific notions are introduced. First, anyone can eat well (‘well’ meaning fresh, local, seasonal, ‘good’ food). Second, those who do not eat well do so due to a lack of education and a lack of understanding of its true cost. Third, if people are educated on the joys and pleasures of gardening, cooking and eating, they will come to know food and value it. Fourth, changing food choices is achievable by ensuring more people know about and value food by acknowledging social problems such as obesity and climate change. It is nonetheless noted that, historically, food is a marker of social class and foodies tend to distance themselves from non-foodies. The theme of food and class is dominant throughout the book.

This chapter from the first part of the book continues by outlining further food discourses in highlighting the issue of obesity and nutrition alongside the rise of food media: for instance, the role played by Jamie Oliver’s ‘Food Revolution’ campaign. Whilst this particular campaign was able to shed light on the lack of nutritional value in the school food children were being served, it was more aimed at reaching out to governments to improve food and nutrition policies. This led to further research on food in schools, with a particular focus on food choices at lunchtime and analysing understandings of healthy eating, food and nutrition. The rest of this first part explores The School Food Plan (SFP) (DfE, 2013), the most notable and recent policy document on school food. Earl recognises the most important development of the SFP as its acknowledgement of hunger as a problem in the UK.

Part two of the book introduces the most important meal of the day: breakfast. It explains how and why this provision is viewed as sociologically different to lunchtime, and highlights the individual philosophies of the different schools in the study. For example, it accounts for how the breakfast club operates as an opportunity for children to socialise and adjust before class and hints at the type of social pressures that occupy the worlds of children that are different to those of adults (p. 80). Emphasis is later placed on the dining hall at lunchtime and the ways in which schools attempt to recreate the experience of a family meal for their children; this is evidence of schools’ concerns that pupils do not have access to this setting at home.

Earl accounts for the voices of chefs and cooks in schools and how they feel their voices are portrayed differently compared with those chefs who are regularly seen on TV programmes. The discourse on school cooks is highlighted through how policy is enacted concerning the complexities surrounding nutritional standards, with which schools are required to comply. Various tensions in a school cook’s decision-making in relation to meal choices also affect their initial desire to serve ‘good food’. This is an example of how schools are said to enact rather than implement policy (p. 110). It was interesting to observe the difference between the school cooks and how they are depicted on TV programmes. Earl points out how the school chefs are ‘qualified or have worked their way up the ladder, gaining experience along the way... strict but passionate people... and they worked hard to feed the children under their care’ (p. 104).

Part two also highlights how gardening, farming and cooking are experienced by children. In terms of learning about food in the classroom, this concerns policy-makers and educators because food habits are formed in childhood and children take their food education through their life. However, this is not necessarily about ‘healthy eating’, as bread-making is taught and children design their own food in order to learn about inventing.

Part three, titled ‘After school’, concludes the book with a single chapter that draws its arguments together to suggest that ‘foodieness’ is not a universal notion, readily accessible to schools. It argues that whilst foodieness is a complex way of teaching children about food, it is this idea that highlights important issues of social class that are in desperate need of attention in order to enact food policy and draw communities together as opposed to creating further social class divides.

A key point discussed throughout the book is re-emphasised here, which returns to the notion of foodieness. Earl argues that known notions of the common idea of eating healthily go beyond this by stating how foodieness has the ability to widen school food experiences beyond eating fruits and vegetables, or mere food choices (p. 183). Eating well is said to be much more complex and has the power to educate children far beyond the obesity agenda as it also raises questions of social class inequalities. Essentially, this book may be described as an ‘ethnography of eating’ based on a scientific account of food, cooking and eating, as it offers an insightful and creative lens into highlighting issues of power and social class. This book is useful for teacher educators in thinking about ways to integrate food across the school curriculum and is also a useful text for school leaders to influence future policy reform so that adequate attention is given to school meals and how they can help foster the health and well-being of future citizens.

References

Department for Education (2013) The School Food Plan. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-school-food-plan (Accessed 19 November 2018).
Dolphijn, R. (2004) Foodscapes. Delft: Eburon Publishers.
Barr, A. and Levy, P. (1984) The Official Foodie Handbook. London: Ebury Press.
Pike, J. and Kelly, P. (2014) The Moral Geographies of Children, Young People and Food:
Beyond Jamie’s School Dinners. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Review by Gurpinder Lalli

Institute of Education, University of Wolverhampton 

Pages 33-34

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