The Elephant in the Room: ‘Race’, ethnicity, and identity in the classroom

The Elephant in the Room: ‘Race’, ethnicity, and identity in the classroom

Evening Seminar and CPD event

Wednesday 9th November, 2016

Nunn Hall at the IOE, 20 Bedford Way, London

On Wednesday 9 November Dr Christine Callender and Ambrose Hogan will lead a seminar exploring ethnicity, ‘race’ and identity; the session will be informed by psychodynamic ideas and will provide an opportunity to reflect on the impact of these questions for teaching and in classrooms.  The seminar is open to readers of the MTeach Journal, to graduates of the MTeach, and to participants in the Schools Direct Salaried route to Qualified Teacher Status.  


Teacher Research Projects: what’s available out there?

Students working on a computer[1090]

At this point of the year, lots of teachers will be breathing a massive sigh of relief having finished their classroom research projects;  others will be chewing their nails thinking about the one they’re about to start.

So it’s timely to think about where all this work gets published.

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Rethinking Education

Adam Unwin, co-Editor of this Journal, has recently published a book with John Yandell, Programme Leader for the Secondary English PGCE at the UCL Institute of Education, London University.  Here, he provides an introduction to the ideas explored in Rethinking Education, one of the No-Nonsense Guides.   Continue reading

Children’s Experiences of Learning Autonomy in Cognitive Acceleration (“Let’s Think”) in Maths Lessons

Luke Rolls, a primary school teacher and mathematics subject leader, investigated children’s experiences of the Cognitive Acceleration in Maths programme to evaluate what potential it had for developing the elusive concept of learning autonomy.  His research was conducted with a year four maths class in an outer-London school in an area of socio-economic disadvantage, using ‘Let’s Think’ as a means of developing problem-solving and conceptual approaches to learning mathematics, to counter cognitively-passive, procedurally-focussed lessons. The study researched pupils’ responses to the lessons and wider views they held about modes of teacher instruction and learning, and found evidence to support the contention that the teaching approach adopted promoted pupil autonomy—notwithstanding contextual factors such as the impact of classroom ethos and the effect of thinking skills.

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The Value of Teaching Children to Draw in Primary Education

Rhiannon Mapleston is the Art and Literacy Coordinator at a community primary school in East London. She carried out this research in her own Year Three classroom during her fourth year of teaching in 2014. Rhiannon has been attending weekly taught life drawing classes at the Royal Drawing School (formerly known as The Princes Drawing School) for six years. She wanted to use classroom research to develop her teaching of drawing skills and consult the children on what they thought of using drawing as a tool for learning. Through action-research, Rhiannon examined whether a drawing intervention had any effect on the children and how able they thought they were at drawing, whether they enjoyed drawing and how important they believed drawing to be.

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What are children’s perceptions of written feedback in helping them to improve their writing?

Rebecca O’Reilly is a part-time teacher in a Year 3 inner-London Primary school and carried out this research in her own class in 2014. As a busy teacher, and mother to a toddler, Rebecca wanted the time consuming process of ‘next step marking’ to have as much impact on learning gains as possible, and therefore researched this within her own practice. The research trialled a success and improvement next step marking strategy in Literacy for a class of Year 3 children. The children’s perceptions of current and trialled next step marking comments were examined through questionnaires and videoed group interviews. Themes from the children’s responses were explored including perceptions of approval and disapproval, self-efficacy, ability and goal orientation.

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How do children experience learning to read at school?

Alice Pascoe Hale is a Key Stage 2 teacher and Head of Learning and Teaching in an inner-London primary school. She conducted her research after becoming increasingly aware that the children she was teaching found it difficult to select books that they wanted to read, and to concentrate on reading. Many expressed negative attitudes towards reading, and in particular, towards reading at school. She began to think that the way we teach children to read and relate to books in England has gone badly wrong. The aim of the research was to better understand, from the point of view of the children, how they experienced learning to read at school. To do this, she created a Photographic Instrument, which enabled children to tell their own story of reading and the process of learning to read, from their own point of view.

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Effective strategies for overcoming the barriers to the authentic integration of digital technologies in schools.

Sean McHugh is a Digital Literacy Coach at a large international school in Singapore.  The school has recently implemented a technology enhanced learning (TEL) initiative which involved developing a  programme of increased access to computers and other information communiction technology (ICT) across the school.  His enquiry considered barriers to ICT integration, and possible solutions.  Developing ICT expertise for teachers has tended to be done through ‘training courses’. However, for the duration of this enquiry this approach was suspended, in order to explore more learner-centred and collaborative approaches for managing teacher development, giving opportunities for teachers to learn through interactions with their colleagues and with their own students.

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Can collaborative target setting raise attainment in writing in year three?

Rebecca Turvill was an NQT in a 3 form entry primary school in a South London Borough when she undertook this action research which was completed in 2005.  She writes ‘I undertook a collaborative target selection process with children, where they identified their own writing targets reflecting an aspect of writing they wanted to work on. As a result, the children’s attitudes to writing improved and their understanding and use of targets increased significantly. In addition to the children selecting their own writing target they were provided with oral and written feedback regularly in respect to their individual target. Whilst successful in raising the standards of writing, I also found individualising the target setting process improved the quality of the teacher feedback and the quality of the pupil-teacher interactions.’

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