Tips for perfecting your undergraduate dissertation: SoE UG alumna, Ahanah Bhatnagar

School of Education recent UG alumna Ahanah BhatnagarSchool of Education alumna Ahanah Bhatnagar offers some top tips for writing your undergraduate dissertation – from a student who’s completed theirs

I submitted my final assignment for my undergraduate degree two months ago. It is safe to say that my focus this year was the dissertation unit. My dissertation focused on racial inequalities in education, specifically exploring the experiences of ethnic minority educators in Bristol. During the nine-month writing process, I came across several obstacles and challenges. However, I also learnt a lot of tips which I’m hoping to share with students both in the early stages of their degree, and those entering their final year, so their dissertation journey can be a smoother process. (more…)

Going Global! Education research at the University of Bristol

Blog post by Nidia Aviles Nunez, PG, Education, School of Education, University of Bristol and Dr Janet Orchard, School of Education, University of Bristol

There have been so many low points to life in a pandemic over the past year, we were keen to share one positive opportunity we have enjoyed from engaging in online video conversations with people on the other side of the world. We have been involved in a dialogue between teachers and teacher educators based in Bristol and in Hong Kong called ‘Going Global’, building on an earlier round of dialogues pre-pandemic also including pre-service teachers from Stellenbosch, South Africa. (more…)

What’s ‘what’ in RE: Relating the what, the how and the why of curriculum content

Blog post by Dr David Lewin, University of Strathclyde, and Dr Janet Orchard, School of Education, University of Bristol

We welcome the research report on Religious Education recently published by Ofsted, the inspectorate for schools in England led by Dr Richard Kueh, whose academic engagement with the subject is widely respected.

Kueh’s report has already inspired some interesting responses across the RE community, so we thought we should join the conversations. To be upfront about our own interests here, we are academics currently planning a research project called ‘After Religious Education’ in which we hope to explore many similar issues informed by the expertise of teachers, academics in Religious Studies, and academics in Education Studies. (more…)

Salma’s story: What is it like to conduct doctoral research during a pandemic?

Blog post by Salma Al Saifi, doctoral researcher at the School of Education, University of Bristol

The spread of the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19 with all the strict measures and restrictions applied to minimize its impact on people’s lives have posed a serious challenge to the conduct of my research project. For instance, conducting fieldwork such as interviews and classroom observations during such circumstances was problematic and challenging for me. (more…)

Undergraduate Open Week: Why study Psychology in Education at Bristol University?

Undergraduate Open Week 2021 special Q & A | Liv Fowler, Psychology in Education undergraduate student, School of Education, University of Bristol

Hello! Would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Liv and I study Psychology in Education at the School of Education, Bristol University,  and when I am not at university I live in Devon with my family.

While being home more this year I decided to train as an immuniser in the NHS to help vaccinate the country against Covid-19 which has been an amazing experience. I love spending time with my nephews Bertie and Hugo and I do have a slight obsession with Bubble Tea! (more…)

The effects of Covid-19 on pre-existing inequalities in the UK

Blog by Jáfia Naftali Câmara Doctoral Researcher, School of Education, University of Bristol

The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted not only lifestyle and work, but also how people access education and learning. The effects of Covid-19 on education have accentuated the inequalities already embedded within the UK’s education system and demonstrated the relationships between deep-rooted educational, systemic and economic inequalities.

Disadvantaged students, including refugees and asylum seekers living in Britain, face many barriers such as digital exclusion and food poverty. Poor immigrant children are also affected by immigration laws and procedures that exclude them from accessing vital services and support. In response to the effects of Covid-19, the UK government’s policy interventions have made centralised decisions enabling for profitable opportunities for education businesses and unsatisfactory support services for disadvantaged communities. (more…)

Where was the colonial history in our education?

Reflections after an EdJAM dialogue between UK and Pakistan university students. Blog by Kerry Parsons, BSc Education Studies, School of Education.

Why is my knowledge limited about the colonial past, the violence and the colonial structural legacies that still exist today?

I am a mature student in Education Studies at the School of Education, University of Bristol. One of my second-year units, ‘Education Viewed from the Global South’, has broadened my understanding of the continued colonial structures through past and present education. Knowledge hierarchies and dominant narratives have been a prominent discussion in this unit. Each weekly topic focused on a different southern scholar from across the global south and we were encouraged to critically discuss the varied educational theories and lived experiences of colonialism. (more…)

Implicit Bias Training – What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing?

Blog post by Amanda Williams, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology, School of Education

Although increasing population diversity presents many opportunities, it also introduces the challenge of prejudice and discrimination. Implicit bias training is frequently used to address workplace discrimination, but is this the best tool in our anti-oppression toolbox? (more…)

Educating the Ritas

By Sarah McLaughlin, BA(Hons), MSC. PGCE, School of Education, University of Bristol (Doctorate in Education student)

Educating the Ritas – My research into the interaction between habitus and field for working class women on an Access to Higher Education (HE) course.

Willy Russell’s (1981) play ‘Educating Rita’ presents a biography of Rita – a white working-class woman who returns to education as a mature student and faces conflict with her sense of self as she embarks upon a journey of self-discovery and erudition. Rita has her eyes and mind opened through her studies yet struggles as she becomes aware of her social class identity, and her role as a working-class wife starts to conflict with the educated woman she emerges into. Rita’s social class identity is reconstructed, and she rejects the gender roles and expectations put upon her by her marriage and class. Rita struggles with how to inhabit her time at university compared to her time at home and at the pub with friends. This causes inner turmoil as she straddles two different worlds. For Rita, education provides power and emancipation but not without a struggle or crisis of identity. Rita’s story is familiar to many of my own students. (more…)

What the government’s report on race gets wrong about the education system

From ‘The Conversation’, by Leon Tikly, University of Bristol

The UK government’s recent report on race, drawn up by the Commission on Ethnic and Racial Disparities, has been roundly criticised for its findings. Its primary claim, as chair Tony Sewell writes in the foreword, that the British system is no longer “deliberately rigged against ethnic minorities” has drawn particular ire.

With regards to education, specifically, the report argues that “if there is racial bias within schools or the teaching profession, it has limited effect”. Sewell’s credentials as an education consultant appear to give special credence to that position. The problem is that it flies in the face of four decades’ worth of research.

As a former science teacher, a university professor and UNESCO Chair in inclusive education – with expertise at local authority, national, European and global levels – I am well placed to unpick quite how flawed Sewell’s statement is. (more…)