By Sarah McLaughlin, BA(Hons), MSC. PGCE, School of Education, University of Bristol (Doctorate in Education student)
I commenced my Doctorate in Education journey in September 2018 – pre Covid! Little did I know that a pandemic would join me along the way and threaten to hinder my research.
When Covid rules put a halt on face-to-face data collection, I had big decisions to make. Should I wait it out until restrictions lift? After all, this would blow over after a few months, right?! Or do I change my methods? I needed to find a way of giving my participants a voice and allowing them to tell me their stories and reflections so that I could ask questions and understand how they constructed their return to education as mature students. (more…)
Blog by Helen Aberdeen, School of Education, University of Bristol
As the academic year draws to a close and school colleagues look forward to a well-earned (and desperately needed!) break, time to take a look back over the last 6 months in education through the lens of the Document Summary Service (to be known from September as the Education Policy and Research Service).
So…here are the Top Ten of most downloaded summaries: (more…)
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…)
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…)
Post written by Victoria Bowen, PhD Researcher in Education, University of Bristol.
On 12th March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak to be a pandemic. What followed this announcement was to become the largest global disruption to education in history. 1.6 billion learners in 190 countries were affected, as nations implemented regional lockdowns and school closures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 (UN, 2020). Since then, as the virus circulated widely in society across the globe, school closures have been implemented nationally, regionally, locally, and reactively based on infection rates. This article follows on from my presentation on ‘COVID-19, school closures and inequality’ at the TLC roundtable event (March 2021). It summarises the immediate education policy response relating to COVID-19 in English schools. (more…)
Blog post by
As part of the gradual lifting of lockdown measures in England, following the ‘second wave’ of the Covid-19 pandemic here, schools reopened wholesale on the 8 March 2021. For many parents and their children, the return to a semblance of educational normality is accompanied by a sigh of relief.
Our research (EBI, 2020), which is currently exploring the experience of 65 families resisting the return to school and is drawn from reflective surveys and interviews, indicates that this sense of relief is far from universal. Indeed, for some parents, the expectation that all children will return to school is not only unwelcome, it also brings deep unease, pressure and worry. Over 1 billion students have been out of school as a result of similar national school closures across 134 countries over the past year (UNICEF, 2020). As schools reopen, similar concerns are likely to resonate across the globe. (more…)
Blog post by Claire Plews, EdD Student, School of Education, University of Bristol.
Claire is an EdD student at the School of Education, interested in researching the experiences of counselling students in HE training. She is a HE lecturer for a counselling degree training programme in the UK, has worked in mental health for 20 years and is interested in the use of compassion and mindfulness in therapy.
To be betwixt and between a global pandemic and ‘normal’ life undoubtedly has the potential to greatly impact on daily life and our mental health.
How interesting and difficult it has been to observe the mental health journey of others whilst navigating my own during this last year! Most of us have been coerced into a period of self-reflection on what does and does not help us keep mentally well and coping. It has been the best of times and the worst of times and the end is not in sight just yet.
Here are a few themes that have come out of my observations of working with clients, students and my own research and experiences this year and a suggestion of what we can do to help our mental health during the pandemic. (more…)
Oral language skills are critical for learning, and they matter now more than ever, writes Dr Ioanna Bakopoulou, SoE, University of Bristol
Capabilities such as vocabulary knowledge, narrative skills and active listening are foundational for young children’s learning. Developed both at home and in school, these capabilities are known as oral language. Oral language is essential for young children’s learning, in particularly their literacy development and their ability to access the curriculum.
Oral language skills have always mattered, but they matter now more than ever. (more…)
This article is a personal reflection on the best and worst of blended learning from the perspective of a senior lecturer in innovation and entrepreneurship teaching a unit with 35 and another with 160 students, who is also a student at the School of Education.
The positives of online learning
In some ways the forced move to “blended learning” has enabled us to accelerate a move towards the “flipped classroom” in which students consume prepared material individually and come together for “meaning making” through shared dialogue. One advantage of individual consumption is that students can learn at their own pace, stop and rewind in a way impossible with a real time “lecture”. This has benefits for interactivity, particularly for students whose first language is not English. Such “asynchronous” interaction allows those who (for whatever reason) process new information more slowly to still engage in online discussions rather than missing out because by the time they are ready to contribute, the discussion has moved on. We have also been able to invite visiting experts for 20-minute guest Q&A sessions without the need for hours of travelling and recorded some great guest interviews. The weekly outline for our unit of 160 students looked like this. (more…)