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Volume 9, No.1 

May, 2019

Editorial

We begin this issue with an article from Gareth Bates and Steve Connolly. The authors argue that initial, informal observations of work with pre-service chemistry and other science teachers suggest that a number of intellectual virtues are required, alongside a shift in identity, in order to help secondary school science students negotiate the pathway from ‘science learner’ to ‘scientist’. Their article explores these virtues, the ontological shift that accompanies them and pedagogical suggestions for how these attributes might be promoted in a programme of pre-service training, along with suggestions for further empirical research which might form the basis of further investigation into these initial observations. In his article, Roussel de Carvalho discusses, in his case-study, a specific science teaching strategy that has been developed through a multimodal and socio-semiotic lens while drawing on embodied cognition as a pedagogical tool for designing a learning journey to engage students in learning about electric circuits.  In her article, Laura McBean investigates the impact of a ‘non-traditional’ extracurricular club on pupils’ participation in physical activity, and what motivated pupils to attend. Her action research intervention was carried out within a Greater London secondary school for girls, for four weeks during lunchtimes. Her findings indicate that the intervention had a positive impact within its environment, as an increase in pupils’ participation was observed over the course of the study. Daniel Ayres presents some of the key findings of a mixed-method exploratory case study investigating the perceptions and realities of new teachers’ engagement in and with research.  In this provocative article the author asks should initial teacher education abandon research methods modules and focus on developing the skills which enable new teachers to access and critically evaluate existing research evidence? Liam Henry discusses his small-scale enquiry, the purpose of which is to identify if there is a link between pupils being given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in extra-curricular clubs and then using them within curriculum-time physical education (PE) lessons.

Writing about Roma students, Anna Butterworth draws our attention to the fact that these young people in the UK are reported as having significantly lower levels of educational attainment than their UK peers (DfE 2014). Existing research has attributed this to the multifaceted barriers Roma students face as an intrinsic part of their educational trajectory in the UK. Language as a barrier to educational engagement for Roma young people and, subsequently, their differentiated educational needs are repeated as key barriers across much of this research. Her article seeks to explore the outcomes of the interrelation between these two significant barriers to educational engagement as a prerequisite to exploring strategies to improve educational outcomes for Roma students in the UK. Lizana Oberholzer alerts us to the fact that  mentoring and coaching has been highlighted as one of the most underused strategies to develop whole school development for teachers, and in many cases mentoring and coaching’s value, as a cognitive leadership approach, can have invaluable impact on leading change, and the outcomes for learners (Cameron & Green 2012). Her study explores how mentoring and coaching is used, to develop collaborative professionalism through the use of lesson study to improve teaching and learning outcomes in a mainstream secondary context.

Our guest writer this month is James Noble-Rogers.  James is Executive Director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET), a membership organisation for universities involved in teacher education and education research. In his wonderfully provocative thought piece, his article acknowledges the ideological assaults and turbulence Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers have experienced in recent years and offers suggestions for ways in which ITE could improve in the future. 

This number’s book reviews are provided by Sheeba Viswarajan and Liz Gregory

As always we hope that you enjoy the collection of articles in this issue of the periodical. Our guest author in the next edition will be Professor Helge Löbler from the University of Leipzig, Germany. 

Cite as: Gerry Czerniawski (2019) ‘Editorial’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Gerry Czerniawski

Page 5

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Articles

Abstract:

Initial, informal observations of work with pre-service chemistry and other science teachers suggest that a number of intellectual virtues are required, alongside a shift in identity, in order to help secondary school science students negotiate the pathway from ‘science learner’ to ‘scientist’. This article explores these virtues, the ontological shift that accompanies them and pedagogical suggestions for how these attributes might be promoted in a programme of pre-service training, along with suggestions for further empirical research which might form the basis of further investigation into these initial observations.

Keywords: Science Teachers; School Science; Epistemic Humility; Teacher Development.

Cite as: Gareth Bates and Steve Connolly (2019) ‘The role of intellectual virtues in the development of the science teacher: an initial provocation’ Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Gareth Bates and Steve Connolly

University of Bedfordshire

Pages 6-11 

 

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Abstract:

This small case-study discusses a specific science teaching strategy that has been developed through a multimodal and socio-semiotic lens while drawing on embodied cognition as a pedagogical tool for designing a learning journey to engage students in learning about electric circuits. I have worked with pre-service teachers (PSTs) to use this strategy in their classroom to allow their students to use different senses and modes of communication to engage in knowledge acquisition. The use of movement, sound, imagery and other resources is then linked with real objects and tasks in the science classroom. This type of pedagogical strategy has potential implications for sciences teaching and learning which are explored in this piece. I draw on self-reported answers and semi-structured interviews with PSTs and other former PSTs from our institution who have used this strategy in real classrooms environments. Results show that this strategy has had important impact on PSTs’ perceptions about teaching and learning and pedagogical understanding, as well as achieving a more meaningful engagement of students during and after the lesson, in particular if the teacher is also actively involved in doing the task with the students.

Keywords: embodied cognition; multimodality; science education; electric circuit symbols

Cite as: Roussel De Carvalho (2019) ‘Embodied learning and multimodality in science education: teachers’ perceptions of teaching electrical circuits, their diagrammatic symbols, physical components and functions through multisensory approach'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Roussel De Carvalho

University of East London

Pages 12-18

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Abstract:

The aims of this study are to investigate the impact of a ‘non-traditional’ extracurricular club on pupils’ participation in physical activity, and what motivated pupils to attend. This action research intervention was carried out within a Greater London secondary school for girls, for four weeks during lunchtimes. To conduct the intervention, a dodgeball club was introduced as an extracurricular club, which was open to pupils in Key Stage 3. Pupils’ attendance was monitored and some were asked to complete the Motives for Physical Activity Measure (MPAM-R), at the end of the intervention.
The findings indicate that the intervention had a positive impact within its environment, as an increase in pupils’ participation was observed over the course of the study. Additionally, the interest/enjoyment of the club was recorded as the highest motivation for participation.

Keywords: Physical Education; Physical Activity; Girls’ Participation; Action Research; Extracurricular Clubs; Motivation.

Cite as: Laura McBean (2019) ‘Change the game: can a non-traditional club increase participation in extracurricular physical activity?'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Laura McBean

University of East London

Pages 19-23 

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Abstract:

This article presents some of the key findings of a mixed-method exploratory case study investigating the perceptions and realities of new teachers’ engagement in and with research. Newly qualified teachers are well prepared to engage with research literature for the development of practice, and to employ the research skills which they develop during their undergraduate degrees and their initial training programmes. In school, their research knowledge and skills are seldom put to good use, however. Should initial teacher education therefore abandon research methods modules and focus on developing the skills which enable new teachers to access and critically evaluate existing research evidence? The study employed a hybrid analytical framework (Fereday & Muir-Cochrane 2006), a three-stage process of inductive and deductive theme-generation and scrutiny.

Keywords: teaching; practitioner research; initial teacher education; newly qualified teachers; research evidence; what works?.

Cite as: Daniel Ayres (2019) ‘New teachers and practitioner research: willing; able; irrelevant'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Daniel Ayres

University of East London

Pages 24-28 

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Abstract:

The purpose of this enquiry is to identify if there is a link between pupils being given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in extra-curricular clubs and then using them within curriculum-time physical education (PE) lessons. To investigate this question, four pupils were identified as attending extra-curricular clubs regularly and not displaying acts of leadership within PE lessons. An intervention was put in place in which the pupils, with teacher support, organised drills to teach to their peers in the extra-curricular clubs. Pupils were then consulted on their opinions of leadership and re-observed to see if there was any improvement in their leadership ability or confidence to be a leader. The results of this study could have practical implications for PE teachers’ practice within extra-curricular clubs.

Keywords: Leadership; Extra-Curricular; Hidden Curriculum; Action Research

Cite as: Liam Henry (2019) ‘Does giving pupils leadership roles within extra-curricular PE clubs improve their leadership skills within curriculum-time PE lessons?'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Liam Henry

University of East London

Pages 29-33

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Abstract:

Roma students in the UK are reported as having significantly lower levels of educational attainment than their UK peers (DfE 2014). Existing research has attributed this to the multifaceted barriers Roma students face as an intrinsic part of their educational trajectory in the UK. Language as a barrier to educational engagement for Roma young people and, subsequently, their differentiated educational needs are repeated as key barriers across much of this research. This article seeks to explore the outcomes of the interrelation between these two significant barriers to educational engagement as a prerequisite to exploring strategies to improve educational outcomes for Roma students in the UK.

Keywords: Roma; education; engagement; language; Special Educational Needs; barrier; participation; integration; students.

Cite as: Anna Butterworth (2019) ‘Issues in Roma education: the relationship between language and the educational needs of Roma students'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Anna Butterworth

Pages 34-38

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Abstract:

Mentoring and coaching has been highlighted as one of the most underused strategies to develop whole school development for teachers, and in many cases mentoring and coaching’s value, as a cognitive leadership approach, can have invaluable impact on leading change, and the outcomes for learners (Cameron & Green 2012). The study explores how mentoring and coaching is used, to develop collaborative professionalism through the use of lesson study to improve teaching and learning outcomes in a mainstream secondary context. It highlights how shared collaborative practice leads to effective teaching and learning practice, which not only impacts positively on teaching staff, but on learner experiences too.

Keywords: Mentoring, Coaching, Collaborative Professionalism, Lesson Study

Cite as: Lizana Oberholzer (2019) ‘Developing a culture of mentoring and coaching in a mainstream secondary context through the use of lesson study'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

Lizana Oberholzer

University of East London

Pages 39-44 

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Guest Author

James Noble-Rogers is Executive Director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET), a membership organisation for universities involved in teacher education and education research. Prior to taking up this position in 2004, he was Head of Governance at the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) for four years. Before that he was, from 1987 to 2000, a civil servant in the Education Department (in its various guises) and the Teacher Training Agency. He was born in 1961 and has an Honours degree in Humanities from Hatfield Polytechnic, a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Nottingham and a Postgraduate Diploma with distinction from City University, London. He is an Honorary Fellow of Wolverhampton University and in 2015 was awarded an honorary master’s degree in Education from the University of Hertfordshire.

Cite as: James Noble-Rogers (2019) ‘Three ways to make teacher education in England even better'. Research in Teacher Education, Vol 9(No.1). Available at: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Schools/Cass/Research/Research-in-Teacher-Education/Volume-9-No-1-May-2019

James Noble-Rogers

Executive Director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET)

Pages 45-47

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Book Reviews

Nicholas Souter and Paul Chambers

London: Sage, 2017

ISBN 978-1-473-91279-3

Explaining Primary Science by Souter and Chambers is essentially a subject knowledge booster guide to teach science at primary school level. As the title suggests, the authors explain the content of Primary Science, which will enable teachers to meet the requirements of the curriculum.

There are 19 chapters in this book, each of which covers an essential aspect of the Primary Science curriculum. Each chapter includes an overview of how children might view the concept presented in the chapter, and offers suggestions on effective teaching approaches. This book is accessible for the non-specialist, it is easy to navigate to the different sections and although not as richly illustrated as other Primary Science textbooks, the images are well chosen and support the text. All chapters come with suggestions of classroom activities which can be easily carried out in primary classrooms. Primary trainee teachers can use these classroom activities to develop and strengthen their pedagogy, thereby gaining confidence in teaching abstract concepts of science to young children. This book will encourage teachers to understand the topics in greater depth and will enable them to have the confidence to teach the topic in a knowledgeable manner. It would have been useful if, for each chapter, there had been a section on recommended strategies to tackle and dispel misconceptions. 

The book has a companion website, hosted by Sage publishing, which is freely accessible using the provided web address. This website includes videos to support certain experiments in the book. This website is particularly useful for non-science specialists, who can gain deeper understanding of the experimental method by watching the videos.

There are interesting examples and real-life applications included in the chapters, which will enhance teachers’ subject knowledge. For example, in the ‘Types of matter’ chapter, explanation about incompressibility of liquids is linked to the principle of hydraulics, so a teacher, while explaining this concept, can refer to its real-life applications in hydraulic car jacks or car braking systems. This book extends understanding of the concepts, and hence teachers will find themselves well prepared to answer curious students’ questions. Secondary trainee teachers could also refer to this book to understand the breadth of the primary school curriculum. This understanding will help them to cater to the needs of their Year 7 learners who will have been studying these topics in their primary schools.

The book also provides a useful mapping of the chapter contents to the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum in England and the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. This mapping makes it easy to locate not just those chapters that provide extensive coverage of a particular topic but also others that have some reference to it.

The reflection points at the end of each chapter help to consolidate the understanding and consider the implications of teaching a topic to young children. There are a few references to health and safety but not for the experiments and demonstrations included in the chapters. Risk assessments of science experiments would have been helpful for trainees or teachers, especially non-specialists who have less experience dealing with the health and safety of chemicals.

Overall this is a helpful ‘one-stop’ subject knowledge booster book, especially for those who are training to teach in primary schools. This book will be a useful addition to the Primary Science reading list and I would recommend it heartily.

Review by Sheeba Viswarajan

University of East London

Page 48

 

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Dave Lochtie, Emily McIntosh, Andrew Stork and Ben W. Walker

St Albans: Critical Publishing, 2018

ISBN 978-1-910-39198-3

This new text is a welcome addition to discourses around the role of the personal tutor, and the value that a skilled tutor can add to the student experience through effective support, coaching and mentoring within a higher education setting. The growing interest in the role played by personal tutors across all levels of education reflects the move towards more student-centred forms of learning, with institutions increasingly taking a more holistic approach to supporting learners through all aspects of their educational experience (see, for example, McIntosh (2016), drawing upon Kift’s (2015) ‘whole of institution’ approach). The role of a personal tutor is not easily defined, however, with the authors acknowledging that the term is likely to cover ‘all activities where academic or professional staff work in partnership with students to provide one-to-one support, advice and guidance, of either an academic or pastoral nature’ (p. 2).

The authors have all written on the responsibilities inherent in this role before; indeed, this new book adopts the same format and structure as Stork & Walker’s (2015) text on personal tutoring in a further education context. Their co-authors are equally well placed to discuss the importance of the tutor role: Lochtie is chair of the Professional Development Committee for UK Advising and Tutoring (UKAT), and McIntosh has written widely about the student lifecycle and how best to support individuals through the transitions that form part and parcel of that journey. The authors’ wealth of hands-on experience is reflected in the practical nature of the book: it is easy to dip into, and examples and case studies are closely linked to concrete situations a personal tutor is likely to encounter in their daily practice. As the authors point out, for the new or pre-service teacher, ‘personal tutoring, coaching and student-centred pedagogy are areas that are implicit within your qualification’ (p. 7), and yet the considerable range of skills needed by a personal tutor are unlikely to have been covered in any depth during the course itself. According to the second chapter of the book, these core skills can be divided into domain-general and domain-specific, and then further subdivided into ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills; an example of a ‘hard’ skill might be effective curriculum planning, whilst building rapport with students would be considered ‘soft’. The book pays more attention to the development of these ‘soft’ skills, a reasonable focus in view of the fact these skills are considered harder to teach and must be developed throughout one’s career rather than neatly delivered during a teaching qualification.

The book presents nine chapters in all, covering key aspects of the tutoring role. The first two chapters attempt to establish what is meant by the term ‘personal tutor’ and the core skills and values needed to succeed in such a role, with chapter 3 (setting boundaries), chapter 4 (identifying student populations, such as those at risk), chapter 5 (supporting learners at all stages of their student lifecycle) and chapter 6 (use of solution-focused coaching to support students) all focusing on different elements of classroom practice. The final three chapters then encourage readers to adopt a reflective approach to developing their practice, understand how to measure the impact of their role, and consider some next steps both for themselves and their institution. Each of these chapters follows a similar format, setting clear learning objectives before exploring the chapter’s topic first from a theoretical perspective and then through ‘critical thinking activities’ designed to help the reader apply theory to their own practice.

On the whole, this is an effective structure. The text uses case studies to illustrate the kinds of conversations that may take place with students, followed by discussion of the strengths and weaknesses displayed by the tutor in each scenario. Each chapter finishes with a brief summary, a learning checklist, a list of critical reflections for the reader to consider with regard to their own practice, and a helpful list of references for further reading. This approach makes the book highly user-friendly, although sometimes the reader may feel that items on learning checklists such as ‘I understand that in order for the learning from the book to become embedded, I need to take ownership’ (chapter 9, p. 216) push the point too far. However, the thorough consideration of underpinning ideas and theories means this this new volume will be of use to even the most experienced of tutors. Whilst the book is not explicitly aimed at teacher educators, this is a valuable text for those for whom tutoring responsibilities are twofold: not only must teacher educators fulfil their own responsibilities in providing support and guidance, they must also ensure pre-service teachers are developing the skills they need in their future careers.

REFERENCES

Kift, S. (2015). ‘Transition Pedagogy: a whole student, whole-of-institution framework for successful student transitions’. In International Conference on Enhancement & Innovation in Higher Education. Online: http://www. enhancementthemes.ac.uk/docs/presentation/keynote-(sally-kift)-transition-pedagogy-a-whole-student-whole-of-institution-framework-for-successfulstudent-transitions.pdf.

Mcintosh, E. (2016). ‘Ideas, concerns and expectations – a “whole of institution” approach to navigating transitions and mapping the student journey’. Paper presented at the Student Transition, Achievement, Retention & Success (STARS) Conference, Perth, Australia.

Stork, A. & Walker, B. (2015). Effective personal tutoring in further education. St Albans: Critical Publishing.

Review by Liz Gregory

University of Manchester

Page 49

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