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.
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…)
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…)
by 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.
Hello! 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…)
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.