By Varshini Parthiban, MSc Education, School of Education, University of Bristol
In the bustling sea of educational practices and learning strategies, I discovered a unique and profoundly enriching experience – working as a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and Disabilities (SEND) teaching assistant.
A part-timer by title, I became full-time in my commitment, dedication, and passion. This journey became a looking glass, providing me with a fresh perspective on creativity, technology, inclusion, and social justice, ideas that I previously encountered only in the confines of my education course modules. (more…)
By Antonia Voigt and Deepti R Bhat; PhD students, School of Education
A generous grant under the “Enhancing Research Culture” scheme at the University of Bristol enabled us to provide our postgraduate research community with a unique and much needed learning experience.
Over three months, from February to April 2023, we ran four workshops under the heading “Learning to connect: Building our research community through effective communication”. These included a session on learning how to write an impactful conference abstract, how to design a captivating presentation, and deliver it in a memorable way, and lastly, how to build relationships through networking.
We are excited to know that we were able to make a difference to our postgraduate research community through this project. In this blog, we want to share our experience and three take-away messages. (more…)
If you have a child born in the summer, the prospect of starting school can pose a conundrum. In England, for example, children typically start school in the September after they turn four, which for some can mean just a few months, weeks or even days later.
But if your child was born between April and August, you have the option to delay entry until year one, in line with compulsory school starting age of five. However, this means that they would miss the first formal year of education (reception).
You can also apply to your local authority for your child to enter school a year after their peer group – meaning your child will enter reception class the September after they turn five, and will be taught out of their peer group. A government survey of 62 local authorities found that 88% of requests to delay from 2018 to 2019 were granted.
So how do you know whether your child should start school at four, or delay entry? One thing to consider is what research tells us about the experience of summer-born children. For example, much evidence points to the advantages of summer-born children starting reception when they are five. (more…)
Teachers in England are struggling. A recently released government report on the working lives of teachers found that teachers’ wellbeing levels are lower than the general population. More than half of the 11,177 teachers and school leaders surveyed said that their job was negatively affecting their mental health.
Teacher wellbeing should be addressed at a structural level. If the government wants teachers to enter the profession, and continue in it, then changes around pay, working conditions and support for teachers’ mental and physical health need to happen.
In the present moment, though, there are also steps teachers can take for themselves to prioritise their wellbeing. My research focuses on how keeping a diary can be useful to teachers. It can give them a safe place to define what wellbeing means for themselves and to explore what it means in practice. What’s more, there’s no reason why this practice couldn’t be helpful for others, too. (more…)
A School of Education Reflection by Pier Luc Dupont Picard and Alison Oldfield
In March 2023, a group of students and staff at the School of Education came together to learn about how climate justice and decolonising work are inextricably linked. We discussed the educational implications of decolonising and decarbonising agendas, reflecting on what this means for our theory and practice as students, researchers, and teachers. In this short post, we share some of our thoughts and provocations. (more…)
By Chidinma Ibemere, PG, Education (Leadership and Policy) (MSc)
At the start of TB-2, a lecturer shared that there would be so much work for students to do after the Easter break; from battling with deadlines for assessments to getting the dissertation process in motion. I feel strongly that even if she had spent an hour explaining this fact that day, it would not be enough to describe the current realities.
Everything seems to be happening at the same time and the demands need equal attention. There are moments when I have to remind myself that it was my personal decision to advance my education, no coercion brought me here. Therefore, it has become imperative for me to keep pushing till I achieve my set goals. Is this as easy as it sounds? The answer is NO!!!!! (more…)
By Dr Felicity Sedgewick and Hannah McLinden, University of Bristol
It has always been the case that the number of boys being diagnosed with autism far outnumbers the number of girls. While it used to be thought it was the “extreme male brain”, it’s now thought that diagnosis has historically just been missed in girls. For one, many autistic females develop “masking” behaviours to try to fit in, but a bigger problem is that autism checklists are designed to capture behaviours most displayed by males. It’s not uncommon for women, like myself, to be diagnosed much later in life, often as a result of their own children’s diagnosis. (more…)
By Dr Lorna Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education (PGCE English), School of Education
It is a truism that English is a humane subject and hence that all humanity should be represented and celebrated. Yet there are, in practice, significant hurdles that mean that Black, Asian and minority ethnic students are marginalised in English classrooms. These students rarely see themselves represented in literature; if they are, racial stereotypes are perpetuated; and lessons on these texts are mostly taught by white teachers. This blog focuses on positive action happening in the PGCE English programme to ensure that all students can feel engaged and visible in all English lessons – and that includes learning from some global majority students themselves. (more…)
Many might consider the threat of climate change alone as sufficient grounds for prompting a sense of urgency in educational policy making. However, global competitiveness and national prestige are potent political motivators that often feature in government discourse and policy, and it appears as true for climate change education as it does for other areas.
It could be claimed that the UK kickstarted global industrialisation in the 1700s, along with all its many opportunities and challenges, including the warming of our planet. It might be appropriate, therefore, that the UK wishes to lead education development in this area and such ambition should be applauded. In many respects, it’s exciting and reassuring to think of a world in which nations compete in a virtuous race to improve climate change communication and education (CCE).