Mindset

Blog post by George Mitchell, MFL PGCE student; School of Education, and Sport Psychologist

The mindset is our beliefs and how we can make sense of what goes on around us. This mindset plays a part in shaping a lot of our behaviours and the way we handle situations. When developing our mindset, we can intentionally evaluate, modify, and refine these beliefs, and therefore move it along the continuum from fixed towards growth mastery. (more…)

Teacher motivation and student learning in India – which is the chicken, and which is the egg?

Blog post by Rhiannon Moore (PhD student, School of Education, University of Bristol) and Anustup Nayak, (Project Director for Classroom Instruction and Practice, Central Square Foundation)

What do we know? Teacher motivation and student learning

Teacher motivation is a commonly discussed topic within policy and research in LMICs. Such discussions tend to have two main points of focus: firstly, that teacher motivation is worryingly low; and secondly, that this is having an impact on student learning. In this blog, we are particularly interested in exploring the latter of these two points. We largely focus our discussion on teachers in India, where our experience and research suggests that it may be helpful to consider this relationship as a two-way cycle instead of an input-output process. Thinking about teacher motivation in this way can change the way we think about both teachers and students, asking that we challenge the often over-simplified picture of a poorly motivated teacher whose behaviour inhibits their students’ learning, and instead start to consider teachers as dynamic agents whose own needs may not be being met. (more…)

Introducing ‘Rehumanising Teacher Education’: a website for teachers and teacher educators

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

With a (contentious) market review of teacher education in England currently underway, we are reminded that in many parts of the world the place of critical reflection by teachers is increasingly called into question. Teacher ‘training’ is becoming increasingly pre-occupied with content and academic attainment as the sole purpose of schooling, with schools increasingly positioned as competitors within educational systems focused solely on assessing their performance through targets and measurable outcomes. As a result, education systems are undermining attention to those fundamentally human concerns that characterise teaching and through which teachers educate their students.

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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…)

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…)

Queering the curriculum

Queering the curriculum by Llewellyn Jonesby Llewellyn Jones, History PGCE student at the School of Education, University of Bristol

As a part of LGBT+ History Month, staff at Gordano School in Portishead were asked to prepare profiles of LGBT+ historical figures, related to their subject, to show students at the beginning of lessons. How students engaged the information depended upon the class. To raise awareness of queer lives, some classes simply read the information and were asked if they had any questions. In other instances, these profiles could trigger discussion on how history is constructed, why some people have been left out, and even the importance of being mindful of how we talk about the past.

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Introducing the ‘Reimagining the Diary’ Project

Someone writing in a diaryHello! My name is Lucy Kelly and I’m the PI (Principal Investigator) for the ‘Reimagining the Diary’ project, which explores diary-keeping and reflective practice as a positive tool for teacher wellbeing.

The pilot phase with Martyn Reah and Teacher5aday was launched at the end of 2020, so I thought it would be useful to share my experiences – and my own journey of using the Diary Toolkit – here.

Here’s a brief overview of the project. This is taken from a section I’ve written for Jamie Thom’s forthcoming book on supporting teachers experiencing anxiety. (more…)

A career change and new perspectives: spotlight on studying for a PGCE at the School of Education

Today’s blog features Georgia Adsett, current PGCE student at the School of Education. Georgia offers some insight on what made her want to change careers and train to be a teacher, and why she chose the School of Education to continue her postgraduate study.

Hi, I’m Georgia, I’ve lived in Bristol for a few years, previously working in Advertising and Marketing strategy roles before commencing the PGCE. I completed my joint honours degree in BA English and French at the Uni of Southampton which allowed me to live in France for a year and make the most of all the good grub! I spend most of my free time doing art, yoga, cooking and catching up on good books and films. My favourite word is kerfuffle. My worst nightmare would be potholing. I like people with memorable laughs and a cool sense of style. I asked my housemates to describe me in three words, they said: creative, personable and sparky… apparently.

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