Victoria’s research is exploring different approaches to assessment without levels in schools, comparing them with assessment for Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs.
Eddie’s research is on Family Learning Birmingham, an initiative which aims to provide guidance for parents or carers who are either unemployed, on benefits or have very few qualifications by providing a way for families to learn together.
Aim of research
- improve student understanding of employability as a dynamic, lifelong concept
- offer students the opportunity to investigate, analyse and describe the literacy practices of workplaces and placements that they encountered whilst at university
- identify and evaluate workplace literacies in structured contexts
- make contributions that add value to employers
- encourage tutors to co-investigate workplace literacies with their students
- provide a meta-narrative of workplace literacies across different occupations
- embed overt instruction of workplace literacies into curriculum design across different disciplines
Martin Fautley (Birmingham City University), Pam Burnard and John Finney (Cambridge University), Pauline Adams (Institute of Education), Jonathan Savage (Manchester Metropolitan University).
- How can composers and teachers be supported to work most effectively together?
- How do professional composers make judgements about the quality of compositions and what are the indicators of progression? What correlation is there between these criteria and those of exam boards?
- What does creative progression look like – for example the difference between a Year 7 and a Year 9 composition – and how can we ensure progression within the secondary curriculum, particularly given the genre-based approach?
- What are the challenges around assessing creativity and how can students be supported to take risks, fail and experiment in a system where assessment is central?
To read more go to: http://www.bcu.ac.uk/research/stories/listen-imagine-compose
To read full REF report download the pdf: Birmingham City University – 25 – Creativity in Education
PhD student Shannon Ludgate of the School of Education talks about her research on children’s use of touchscreen technology. Shannon describes her research and what she hopes to achieve during the course of her PhD.
Martin Fautley, Professor of Education, Victoria Kinsella, Research Fellow in Education (Creativity), Phil Taylor, MA Education and Masters in Teaching and Learning Course Director, Jane O’Connor, Reader in Childhood Studies
The National Foundation for Youth Music has awarded grants to support 10 Exchanging Notes projects across England. Each project (a partnership between a school and specialist music provider) works with young people at risk of low attainment, disengagement, or educational exclusion to see how participation in regular music-making activities can enable achievement of musical, educational and wider outcomes. Researchers in the School of Education are supporting the project over a four-year period through the evaluation of the educational and musical outcomes of these new models.
Aim of research
This project aims to:
- See how participation in regular music-making activities can enable achievement of musical, educational and wider outcomes
- Explore these benefits across a variety of different musical approaches and styles
- Stimulate fresh thinking and support the aspirations set out in the National Plan for Music Education.
Read more here: http://www.bcu.ac.uk/research/stories/exchanging-notes
The International Society on Early Intervention holds a major conference very three to four years. This years’ conference focused on the rights of all children to develop to their full potential and to participate without barriers in all aspects of society Encouraging and supporting the inclusion of children with developmental delays and disabilities in natural environments, including family settings, child care, and preschool programs, is at the core of maximizing children’s rights. Indeed, the concept of full participation is consistent with two United Nations treaties that address these rights: Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The conference was dedicated to Ulf Janson who dedicated, devoted much of his professional life to promoting the rights of young children with disabilities, understanding the nature of social inclusion, and advocating for the full inclusion of all children and their families and Franz Peterander, Ph.D. Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians University reminded us of his commitment to ECI.
In this conference, early intervention was proposed as a basic right of all vulnerable children, and was explored from many perspectives. Issues related to access, equity, quality, and accountability were considered to be paramount. Strengthening families, training professional personnel, promoting social-emotional development, conducting reliable, valid, and culturally appropriate assessments, exploring issues related to institutional care and deinstitutionalization, examining the impact, prevention, and treatment of trauma, abuse, and neglect, testing and evaluating new strategies and techniques to promote a child’s development to the fullest, and developing approaches to enhance social inclusion were among the topics included. The development and evaluation of policies in individual countries or regions within countries to ensure that early intervention is among the rights of young children provided an important context.
Children and young people from Adolf Fredick’s Music School opened the conference with an assertion that ‘Children Rule the World’
The conference opened with an inspirational and moving performance from Adolf Fredrik’s Music School Youth Chorus. Following this, there were opening addresses from Anders Gustavsson, Ph.D. Professor, Stockholm University, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Ph.D, President, Stockholm University and Mike Guralnick. During his address Mike announced Barry Carpenter’s recent award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition to his service to the field of Special Education Needs. Barry is an Independent Education Consultant from the UK and Carolyn has worked with Barry on research projects and publications.
The conference proceeded with plenary and parallel sessions focussed on a wide range of topics that were provided by and for 600 delegates from 55 countries. In addition delegates were invited to a wine and canapés at the Stockholm Town Hall where Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded.
Mike Guralnick described the conference as a landmark event in early intervention
Mike Guralnick, Chair of ISEI, described the conference as a landmark event in Early Intervention, stressing that there is currently a humanitarian crisis for vulnerable children. He explained that we need a systems based approach to services which must be coordinated within a team and work with parents. There needs to be universal agreement that every child has a right to early intervention.
Professor Ăkesson talked about growing up in Sweden
Professor Eva Björck Åkesson talked about an ecological transactional model and a biopsychosocial perspective which was focused on the preschool as an environment for participation, interaction, and development in the context of early intervention in Sweden. She explained that engagement and togetherness needs to be further researched and we need to be solution oriented, as there are many challenges to overcome in the field of early intervention.
Dr. Emily Baron Vargas talked about Building Sustainable National Systems for Early Childhood Intervention from her work at the RISE Institute that assists nations to develop strategic plans, systems, and programs for early childhood intervention (ECI) and hosts the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Task Force of the Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities.
Dr. Pia Rebello Britto (Global Chief and Senior Advisor, Early Childhood Development, UNICEF, New York) urged us to take Early Childhood Interventions into the sustainable development era. She argued that all children need good nutrition, stimulation and safety and protection in order to thrive. However, significant numbers of children around the world do not experience these basic human rights, which leads to unmet human potential. It is the role of the early childhood intervention community to change this. She challenged us to mobilise resources and raise the profile of this with policy makers.
There were a series of Master Lectures provided by international speakers on a wide range of EI subjects. A number of members of Eurlyaid attended and presented at the conference.
I presented two parallel sessions on a) Young children’s use of private speech in early years settings from my PhD findings and b) Applying relational pedagogy and professional love to early childhood intervention services
Carolyn Blackburn presenting findings from her Churchill Fellowship
The full programme for the conference can be found here https://depts.washington.edu/isei/ISEI_Program.pdf. The next conference will be held in Sydney in 2019.
Dr. Susan Foster-Cohen is the Director of the Champion Centre and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury. She is engaged in active research into the outcomes of parent-partnership interventions at the Centre. She has also been a member of a research team at the University of Canterbury exploring the long-term outcomes of prematurity, with a particular focus on communication and language development. She has held academic positions in universities in the UK, USA, France and New Zealand and has published widely on language development in both pure and applied journals and books. Susan joined us in a joint venture between the Rethinking Childhood Cluster and the Family Health Cluster on the 6th June to talk about:
Bio-psycho-social consequences of premature birth: family and professional partnerships in early intervention
The short, medium and long-term impacts of premature birth on the infant, the mother, the family and their educational and social communities are the active subjects of research in a number of academic fields. Such research is revealing trends and likelihoods of developmental, educational, mental health and social consequences of prematurity that can, and must, be addressed in early intervention. Particularly difficult, however, is predicting which children will have which, or any, lasting consequences of their prematurity. This presents a challenge for health, education and social welfare practitioners to translate the research evidence into the best support for each child, the families that raise them, and the teachers that educate them. Susan’s talk reviewed the bio-psycho-social consequences of premature birth and then describde the multi-disciplinary support provided to children born prematurely, their families and their teachers at The Champion Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand. It focused on the challenges encountered in assessment, monitoring, and intervention; and the importance of developing families as ‘advocates for life’ for their children.
Approximately 50 – 60 delegates attended from across the country and from diverse disciplines including collaborative partners from BLISS charity and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Positive feedback from delegates included comments such as:
“Thank you for organising this excellent event. So much useful information for teaching and for my book. Also useful networking, I do hope that Barbara and I move our research idea forward. Thank you also for the delicious lunch.” (an HE Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood)
“Thank you for inviting us to the talk yesterday it was really fascinating. It was also fantastic to hear about the amazing programme Susan runs in New Zealand, I thought it really complemented some of the things Bliss believes in like having the family at the centre of the babies care.” (A charity Research Manager)
As a practising independent midwife, I found the event very illuminating. I will be using the knowledge gained (and revisited) in my work; especially in the postnatal period.
I focus on ‘growing and birthing healthy babies’. In this timely space, I place a large emphasis on supporting mothers (and their partners) to realise the critical importance of the antenatal period, enjoying good diet, exercise, and managing positive energies etc.
I look forward to the video and sharing this with my team. (a Mimosa Midwife)
What an excellent event, ands such a wonderful presentation I was like many in the audience bowled over and learnt such a lot.. Id be very happy to get involved in any future/potential research with BCU , around this field (health practitioner from Birmingham Children’s Hospital)
Dr. Foster-Cohen said of her visit to the UK:
“A true highlight of my trip was my visit to Birmingham City University and the chance to present my research work in prematurity and the model of professional service delivery for premature infants at the Champion Centre.
I was very impressed with the wide range of professional backgrounds in the audience that attended the lecture and extend my thanks to Dr. Carolyn Blackburn, my host, for promoting the importance of the path that premature infants take from the prenatal stage through early childhood. The questions at the lecture and the discussion afterwards over lunch made it clear that there is considerable intelligent interest in the needs of young children at BCU and a genuine contribution that I can make to the courses and training that it offers.
Dr. Blackburn’s visit to the Champion Centre on her Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship last year has opened up significant opportunities for collaborative research between us and I look forward to building on this first exchange of visits in the future.”
Name: Mary-Rose Puttick
Role at BCU: PhD Student / Assistant Lecturer
- Issues faced by refugees / asylum seekers which influence marginalization / integration
- Inter-cultural communication with second-language parents around U.K. legislation such as Safeguarding, FGM, and Prevent
- Complex identities of culturally-diverse migrant mothers attending Family Learning classes
- Empowering second-language parents with low-literacy skills in their first language by drawing on alternative cultural ‘literacies’
Research you are currently working on: I am currently working on my PhD in which I am exploring the concepts of identity and community from the perspective of culturally-diverse, second-language mothers in Birmingham Family Learning classes. Within this I’m also looking at the impact that the government’s Prevent strategy has had on these women. I am aiming to volunteer with some of these groups and to explore creative methods to represent their voices, drawing upon their trajectories and cultural histories.
Research methodologies you are using: At the moment I’m exploring some creative methodologies such as Laurel Richardson’s crystallization process as a way to incorporate the voices of parents from different countries in diverse ways which may be more fitting to their cultural traditions and histories such as oral testimonies, poetry, as well as other art forms
Current issues, thoughts and reflections on education & research: The experiences I have gained in teaching ESOL/Family Literacy in adult/community education for the past 12 years has really stimulated my interest in the complex identities of individuals from diasporic communities and how these can be influenced by wide-ranging social, political and cultural factors from the different countries in which they have lived. These factors can create inclusion and exclusion within and between cultural groups. I’m hoping that by carrying out research into this area, it will help to produce some practical outcomes in different educational contexts, such as improving communication strategies between schools and second-language parents, and providing Family Learning classes which are more tailored to the specific needs of different cultural groups.
Most influential research you have read/seen: I’ve recently read two books by Irene Gedalof and Fatema Mernissi which both originated from their PhD theses and which have been really inspiring in directing me with my current research. Gedalof’s ‘Against Purity’ focuses on the imbalances of white Western feminism in terms of gender with other forms of difference such as race, ethnicity, and nation and points to the consideration of multiple factors by Indian feminists in considering the identities of women from diasporic communities. Fatema Mernissi was a Moroccan feminist and sociologist. I’ve read one of her books so far ‘Beyond the Veil’ which questions predominant discourses of Islam being the main cause of oppression for Muslim women and focuses instead on the political manipulation of religion.
Advice for new researchers: One of my supervisors advised me to write regularly, even very rough drafts. I have found this really useful in helping me to keep track of what I’ve been reading and to get into the habit of frequent critical/analytical writing.
Mini fact about you: Some of my favourite things to do are: cycling, yoga, charity shopping, art galleries, and visiting my family in San Diego.
Role at BCU: PhD student and Assistant Lecturer in Early Years
- Touchscreen technologies
- Young children in early years
- Social learning
- Activity Theory
- Teaching and Research relationship
Research you are currently working on: I am currently working on my PhD, which looks at young children’s experiences using touchscreen technologies in early years settings. This study focuses on children aged three and four years old.
Research methodologies you are using: My research has taken a mixed-methods approach to collecting data. By researching in this way, it has enabled me to collect quantitative data through an online survey and observations, alongside qualitative data from interviews and observations of young children’s uses of touchscreen technology.
This was done through a multi-case study approach, which allowed for a comparison within and against other case studies in the study.
Advice for new researchers: Considering I see myself as an organised person, I would suggest that new researchers, particularly those doing PhDs to get on top of organisation. Planning is essential in order to have a structure, and to give you a clearer idea of how your time might pan out. That being said, be flexible too – you do not know what might happen from one month to the next, so be prepared for set-backs.
Be passionate and enthusiastic about your research – let your interests lead you to where you research. Don’t be afraid to do something new!
Mini fact about you: I am the only left-handed, red-headed person in my family. I am a statistical anomaly with blue eyes and red hair.