Mental health during a global pandemic

Claire Plews, EdD student, School of Education, University of BristolBlog 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…)

A working-class academic (and proud)!

By Sarah McLaughlin, BA(Hons), MSC. PGCE, School of Education, University of Bristol  (Doctorate in Education student)

I have found the School of Education very welcoming and my supervisors extremely encouraging and supportive…my experience during EdD taught modules is that students and staff have made me feel valued, included and accepted.

I have many roles – I am a mum of two boys, a sociology lecturer for an Access to Higher Education course and an A-level class. I am also a Doctorate in Education academic. I use the term academic because that is what I am and I am really proud of this, however I have never felt that I am a ‘real’ academic because I definitely suffer from imposter syndrome. Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern whereby individuals feel they aren’t as intelligent or competent as others might think. For me, I think this impression comes from the fact that, due to my social class background, I have never felt that I have been a ‘real’ student. (more…)

Reflections on Blended Learning

Mark Neild  blog by Mark Neild, EdD student, SOE, University of Bristol

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…)