Education Policy and Research Service Autumn Review: Top Ten

Blog by Helen Aberdeen, Director, Education Policy and Research Service, School of Education, University of Bristol

A Happy New Year to all in education – let’s hope it is a more settled year than 2021! As Director of the Education Policy and Research Service (formerly DSS), producing monthly summaries of key policy and research, I have had something of a bird’s eye view of the educational landscape over the last year – think of me as a seagull eyeing up passing ships and attempting to swoop when something tempting comes into view.

So, let’s have a look at the most popular summaries downloaded by fellow educational seagulls (aka our subscribers) last term – we’ll refer to them as the ‘Top Ten.’  Some of these reports and more are available to view in our samples webpage. (more…)

Salma’s story: What is it like to conduct doctoral research during a pandemic?

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…)

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…)

My Experience doing a Research Internship in the SoE

Ahanah Bhatnagar

Blog post by School of Education international student, Ahanah Bhatnagar.

Over this summer, Bristol University ran its first Widening Participation Research Summer Internship. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the internship transitioned to run virtually, which suited me perfectly well as I was based at my residence in Hong Kong. My research project was a qualitative pilot study, where I was assigned as a research associate to Dr Lucy Wenham as she is the School of Education Widening Participation Officer and this was the first WP intern in the School of Education. (more…)

Iftiin highlights educational issues facing Somali youth in Bristol

Ugbaad AididBlog post by Ugbaad Aidid and Robin Shields, School of Education, University of Bristol.

The brutal killing of George Floyd drew the world’s attention to the ways in which structural racist violence operates on a daily basis, but the tragic death of Shukri Abdi has gained comparatively little attention.

Twelve-year old Shukri, a Somali refugee who moved to the UK in 2017, drowned after she was forced to enter river waters by other students, who threatened to kill her if she did not. Her case highlights the social exclusion and racism faced by many Somali students across the United Kingdom. (more…)

Blog Series #2 Undergraduate Dissertation Research in SoE: Showcasing Education Studies Undergraduate Dissertations

By Dr. Amanda Williams  School of Education

Building on the last post (Blog #1) singing the praises of our Undergraduate’s Dissertation projects and offering broad advice for getting started on a dissertation, this article will showcase two dissertations conducted by our BSc Education Studies students Estelle Wu (supervised by Dr Rafael Mitchell) and Leila Meredith (Dr Julia Paulson). These projects apply a critical education lens to better understand educative processes within and beyond schools. Both refuse to bend to the status quo and instead demonstrate how education can be used to improve lived experiences. (more…)