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…)
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…)
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 André Hedlund, Chevening Alumnus, MSc in Psychology of Education from the School of Education at the University of Bristol.
In 2019 I had the privilege of attending an event promoted by the Federal University of Goiás (UFG) with two great references of Brazilian science: Luiz Davidovich, president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences; and Ricardo Galvão, former president of the National Institute for Space Research and former director of the Brazilian Center for Physical Research. This event made me think about how fundamental the role of science and scientific thinking is for future generations if we want to avoid the things we’re witnessing today. As teachers and educators, should we engage with this debate or should we “stick to our subject” without judging or questioning our students’ assumptions about things related to science? This post challenges the view of sticking to our subject based on the scenario depicted in these two scientists’ talks. (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…)