RiSE (Research in School of Education ) newsletter Issue03 (Spring 2011)


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RiSE (Research in School of Education ) newsletter Issue03 (Spring 2011)

  1. 1. Research in the School of Education newsletterRiSE Spring 2011Jyväskylä Universityresearch partnershipSchool of EducationResearch ForumWith speaker John VisserConference spotlight onEducation and interventionsand the autism spectrumAlso inside: Forthcoming research conferences, HLTAs in maintained schools, Recent PhD success
  2. 2. ContentsConference spotlight onEducation and interventions Welcomeand the autism spectrum .3 Research and related activity within the School ofForthcoming research Education continues to develop, supported by variousconferences ........................3 initiatives by the University, and by the ability of colleagues to respond quickly to opportunities as they arise.Research profile: JudySayers ..................................4 Recent weeks has seen the announcement of a series of PhD bursaries by the University, dramatically confounding the negative perspectives of those who regardHigher Level Teaching investment in research to be severely compromised by the recent spending review. TheAssistants in maintained School is currently seeking to appoint three such studentships, further enhancing our profile in key areas of research and scholarship.schools ................................4 The current issue of RiSE contains other evidence of the health and vitality of theJyväskylä University School’s doctoral community, reporting, for instance, on the highly successfulresearch partnership ........5 inaugural Research Forum, as well as celebrating the award of Johnson Jament’s PhD. Amanda Watkins offers some insight into the doctoral programme – prospectivePhD student group ............6 doctoral candidates reading it will see her account as both practical and encouraging. Elsewhere, colleagues have been very active on various levels, producing researchPhD training days..............6 reports for national bodies, local or regional organisations as well as writing for publication. This issue of RiSE gives a flavour of just some of these projects, withPhD News ...........................6 several major bids scheduled for national and international funds.School of Education Hopefully those reading this issue of RiSE will feel stimulated and encouraged toResearch Forum .................7 engage in research and scholarship. There appears never to have been a better time for doing so, in spite of events elsewhere in education. Anyone with a research idea,Reflections on studying for a piece of information about a study they are engaged with, or news of a research- related publication that they have been involved in, is invited to contact me at RiSE, soa PhD ...................................7 that further ‘good news’ can be disseminated to a wider audience.New book focuses on Professor Philip Garnerclassroom engagement....8If you would like to be featured in futureeditions of this publication, or would likemore information, please emaileducation@northampton.ac.ukWritten and produced by The University ofNorthampton’s School of Education andMarketing and External Relations Department.All submissions are the property of RiSEnewsletter. Content © 2010 The University ofNorthampton, School of Education.Editor Pam Cormackpam.cormack@northampton.ac.ukThanks to all The University of Northampton’sstaff and School of Education partners whocontributed to this newsletter.2 l RiSE l Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education l Email education@northampton.ac.uk
  3. 3. Forthcoming research conferences Early Education and Technology for Children Conference Salt lake City, USA 2-4 March 2011 www.eetcconference.org Canada International Conference on Education Toronto, Ontario, Canada 4-7 April 2011 www.ciceducation.org American EducationalTen year anniversary Research Association ConferenceTEACCH UK New Orleans, Louisiana 8-12 April 2011 www.aera.net Redesigning Pedagogy: Transforming Teaching, Inspiring Learning International SingaporeConference spotlight on Education 30 May - 1 June 2011 http://conference.nie.edu.sgand interventions and the International Play Associationautism spectrum World Conference CardiffEducation experts from The University of 4-7th July 2011Northampton will be hosting the sixth annual www.ipa2011.orgTEACCH UK conference at the University from 17-18 International ConferenceJune 2011. on Learning University of MauritiusThis bi-annual international conference the conference with the presentation: 5-8th July 2011is well attended by professionals ‘What do we do and why do we do it? www.thelearner.com/from children and adult services who The evidence base for interventions and conference-2011work with individuals with Autism the autism spectrum’. On Saturday 18 International Conference onand Asperger Syndrome. It offers June, we will be joined by Professor Gary Education (ICE)opportunities for discussion on new Mesibov, who will address the conferencefindings and the sharing of expertise, on ‘New Approaches to Evidence-Based Samos, Greeceas well as subject related workshops for Practice’. 7-9 July 2011those attending. www.ineag.gr/ice In addition there will be a choice ofPrevious conferences have hosted workshops led by European colleagues, Asian Conference onkeynote and workshop presenters who who will report on current research and Intellectual Disabilitiesare at the leading edge of practice and innovative practice relating to various Julu Island, South Koreainterventions for children and adults on educational interventions, including, 21-26 August 2011the autism spectrum. those associated with the TEACCH http://eng.acid2011korea.org approach. Presentations will coverThe theme for the 2011 conference British Educational Research a wide range of topics including, foris ‘Education and interventions and Association (BERA) Conference example, communication and interactionthe autism spectrum: evidence and programmes, play, social skills and London Institute of Educationoutcomes’. inclusive approaches. 6-8 September 2011Keynote speakers for 2011 include Dr www.bera.ac.uk Please email Marie Howley atGlenys Jones, Autism Research Centre, marie.howley@northampton.ac.ukUniversity of Birmingham who will open for further information. Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education l Email education@northampton.ac.uk l RiSE l 3
  4. 4. Higher Level Teaching Assistants in maintained schools At the School of Education’s inaugural Research Forum, which took place at Park Campus on Wednesday 20 October, work was presented on a research project commissioned by Leicester City on ‘The use, deployment and perceived impact of Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) in maintained schools’. The study, presented by Senior Findings from the research shows Lecturers Mary Doveston, Paul there is great variability in terms of Sedgwick and Cristina Devecchi, and deployment, employment contractsResearch profile Research Assistant, Johnson Jament, and practices. HLTAs were employed applied a mixed method approach to take whole classes; cover for absentJudy Sayers, Senior including questionnaires and face-to- teachers; plan, both autonomously face semi-structured interviews with or in collaboration with teachers; setLecturer in Education, HLTAs and senior leadership team up and run extra-curricular activitiesteaches both mathematics members. or special intervention programmes; manage other support staff and carryeducation and design and It aimed to establish: out administrative roles.technology education. • how HLTAs were deployed and The high variability of deployment employedFollowing a career in domestic banking practices makes the evaluation ofand training adults she worked as a • whether gaining their new and the impact of HLTAs on learning andprimary teacher in Hertfordshire, before enhanced status had an impact on inclusion a challenging task.joining the University in 2003. their roles and responsibilities The researchers are keen to pursueJudy was initially involved as a • which barriers prevented them from alternative methods of evaluation,researcher on the EU funded using their knowledge and skills in including looking at what children thinkMathematics Education Traditions supporting the school, the teachers about the impact of HLTAs and TAs onof Europe (METE) project from 2003- and the children with special their learning and experience in school.2005. The project’s purpose was to educational needs (SEN)examine the ways in which teachers,defined locally as effective, in England,Finland, Flanders, Hungary and Spain,conceptualise and present mathematicsto students age 10-14.Judy is working towards a PhD on‘How primary teachers conceptualisewhole class interactive phases of amathematics lesson’ working closely withteachers in schools around the area.In-depth case studies have revealedsome interesting findings, some ofwhich reflect the changes of constraintson primary teachers. Judy hopes tocomplete her PhD this academic yearand to publish her findings.Judy is an active member of theAssociation of Teachers of mathematics(ATM), taking part in and organisingnational conferences for the associationand collaborating with the nationalnetworks. She is part of a discussiongroup with the Advisory Committeein Mathematics Education in England(ACME) whose aim is to provideevidence on which to formulate anappropriate provision of mathematicseducation across the 5-19 age range.4 l RiSE l Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education l Email education@northampton.ac.uk
  5. 5. Jyväskylä Universityresearch partnershipA research partnership between The University ofNorthampton and Jyväskylä University of Applied Scienceshas been in operation since 1997. Dr Leena Kaikkonen,Head of Research and Development in teacher educationat Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences has beeninstrumental in leading many of the joint initiativesbetween the two institutions. She recently spoke to usabout how much she values this work.What kind of educational research projects have education.Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences and The Together weUniversity of Northampton worked on together? have written several papersWe started our collaboration within the European Union in academic journals and contributedfunded SENECA project in 1997, which was focused on teacher chapters in a number of books based upon our co-operation.competence advancement in relation to Special Educational This has been important to some of our staff members inNeeds (SEN) across Europe. As part of this project we ran providing them with experiences of developing their academicdissemination courses in Finland and Estonia for teachers writing in an international context. We have also presentedfrom around 20 countries. A report titled ‘Educating Everyone papers in a number of international conferences and have hadTogether’ was produced from this project. opportunities to disseminate our work to students at all levelsFollowing this we joined with the University of Tartu in Estonia within our universities.to complete a project on vocational teacher attitudes towardsinclusive education. This was reported in a paper in the What other education research do you do atInternational Journal of Special Education and in the book Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences?‘Jotain Erityistä – Something Special’ published in Finland. We have recently completed two projects for the Finnish Ministry of Education about the changing role of specialColleagues from our two institutions have engaged in education teachers in vocational education in Finland and bestresearch into comparative teacher education in England and practices used in accreditation of prior learning in vocationalFinland, including the development of student portfolios and education. Both of these national projects have been includedapproaches to assessment. in books on the subject.Recently researchers from both universities have been working Do you have any plans to do more research togetheron the development of teacher competencies in relation todyslexic students. with colleagues from Northampton in the future? Definitely, yes. We are currently working on joint bids forWhat have been the outcomes from the joint funding and have a clear focus on some of the researchresearch with The University of Northampton? we would like to do. However, competition for funding isFrom a personal perspective working with The University challenging and we recognise that we will need to search manyof Northampton has been something that has enriched my sources to gain the support we need. The work which we haveexperiences as a researcher. Working in international contexts undertaken to date has been very important to all involved andhelps to develop understanding of the different interpretations whatever the outcomes of our current bidding activity we willof education and enhances the content base of my work in find ways to continue our future partnership. Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education l Email education@northampton.ac.uk l RiSE l 5
  6. 6. PhD studentgroupPhD students andsupervisors from the PhD NewsSchool of Educationmeet once a month to Recent PhD successshare ideas, issues and Dr Johnson Jament graduated in 2010 having completedexperiences. his studies and research for his PhD degree.The informal meetings enable Johnson’s thesis focused upon with his then fellow PhD student, Maryresearchers to bring along their teachers’ understanding of attention Feng Yan. He also presented paperswork, seek opinions and ideas or deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in at conferences in the UK, Irelandsimply catch up with what others a South Indian context. His field work and India, and shared his researchare doing. The meetings run from was conducted in schools in Kerala, with a range of undergraduate4.30-6pm and are open to all where he interviewed teachers and and post graduate students bothPhD students, potential students parents and conducted observations in Northampton and at other UKand supervisors. in school. universities.The dates of meetings are Johnson originally came to The Johnson is continuing his research,24 February University of Northampton to study as he currently works as a research24 March for the MA in Education, writing his assistant on a number of projects14 April dissertation for that degree on the within the School of Education. Next19 May topic of schools in fishing communities year, he will return to India to help23 June in Kerala. He progressed to study develop educational provision in the14 July on the PhD, and gained further poorer areas of his community, and to experience and research training by make full use of his learning during his working with colleagues from the time at Northampton. He is keen to School of Education on a number of maintain links with the University, andPhD training funded projects. During the course is already involved in project planningdays of his studies as a research student, Johnson published a number of papers with academic colleagues from the School of Education. in academic journals, including someThe School runs PhDtraining days forstudents, potentialstudents andsupervisors.The days take place termlyand provide:• A platform for students to disseminate their work and receive feedback in a supportive environment• An opportunity for students to exchange information• The chance for students to hear from established researchers on matters of interest or concern to them• An opportunity for potential students to find out what it is like to study for a PhDPhD training days are10 February 2011 from2-4.30pm5 May 2011 – Annual ResearchStudent Conference6 l RiSE l Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education l Email education@northampton.ac.uk
  7. 7. Reflections on studying for a PhD Dr Amanda Watkins completed her part-time degree in 2006. Amanda told us: “I chose The University of Northampton specifically for the team of supervisors – Richard Rose and his colleagues in CeSNER. It wasn’t easy to find professionals with the areas of expertise I wanted to explore – special needs education teachers as practitioner researchers. “My professional experience as an educator has been varied, but throughout my roles there has been a developing interest in the nature of learning and its influence on the work of teachers and their own professional learning. Initially working with children and young people, my work and researchSchool of Education Research Forum interests have led to various types of work with the professionalThe School of Education’s first Research Forum took development of adult learners. My PhD work was a very detailed andplace on Wednesday 20 October and was extremely extensive exploration of this”well-attended by staff and students with a particular Amanda now works as Assistantinterest in research. Director in the European Agency for Development in Special NeedsThe Research Forum is open to all personal reflections on a research and Education, where she is responsiblemembers of academic and research staff publication journey. for co-ordination of the Agencywithin the School of Education, as well as project implementation procedures, Professor Rose commented: “This was as well as project manager ofthe school’s Visiting Professors and PhD a most stimulating day which everyone a number of on-going projects,students. seemed to enjoy. It was good to see so including Teacher Education ofThe purpose of the forum, which is a much enthusiasm for research in the Inclusion, and, a joint project withworking meeting, is to raise the profile school, I would be grateful to receive UNESCO called Inclusive Educationof research within the school, increasing ideas for future events. I would like to in Action.bidding activity, supporting colleagues in thank everyone who attended.”submission of work for publication and Practical workshops were provided inincreasing research capacity. The aim the afternoon on the theme of researchis to give colleagues an opportunity to publication.present aspects of their research and tocome together for practical writing and Comments about the event from thosebidding activities. present included: “I really enjoyed the day, it was great to have so many of ourThe first Research Forum included a professors there sharing their knowledgepresentation by Senior Lecturers Mary and experience”, and “This was anDoveston, Cristina Devecchi and Paul excellent start”.Sedgwick on their recently completedresearch project on the use of Higher Future datesLevel Teaching Assistants in Leicester The School of Education ResearchCity. They talked about the challenges Forum will meet from 10am-4pm onassociated with this project. the following dates during the 2010/11Professor Rose then went on to present academic year: 2 February, 6 April, 25an update on current research activity May and 6 July 2011. We look forward toin the school and our new Visiting welcoming you to these events.Professor, John Visser spoke about his Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education l Email education@northampton.ac.uk l RiSE l 7
  8. 8. New publication focuseson classroom engagementA new book focusing on ideas to actively engage students in the classroom hasbeen written by the School of Education’s Professor Richard Rose together withDr Michael Shevlin of Trinity College Dublin. Jane Murray, Senior Lecturer inEnglish and Early Years, reviewed the book:“‘Count Me In!’ by Richard Rose and Michael Shevlin is fromthe ‘Innovative Learning for All’ series edited byPaul Cooper and this book’s authors’commitment to equality and inclusionis evident throughout. From thebeginning, Rose and Shevlin promotemutually respectful relationshipsbetween teachers and learners as wellas strong symbiosis between researchand practice as beneficial for successfullearning and teaching.“The authors’ central tenet is the potentialof all children and young people to bepowerful agents in their own learning.Recognising that learners’ agency ispredicated as much on policy as on teachers’attitudes and approaches, Rose and Shevlineloquently address the challenges presentedto teachers attempting to empower learnerswithin a school effectiveness context. In thisregard, the authentic practical examples woventhrough the text will prove useful for manyreaders, as will Rose and Shevlin’s articulatediscussion surrounding familiar yet potentiallydifficult terms such as ‘capacity’, ‘involvement’and ‘participation’.“For headteachers, teachers, student teachers,teacher educators and educational researchersseeking ways to engage every student as an activelearner, ‘Count Me In’ will prove a valuable andaccessible read. I shall certainly encourage thestudent teachers I work with to read it.” The University of Northampton Park Campus Boughton Green Road Northampton NN2 7AL Web www.northampton.ac.uk/education Email education@northampton.ac.uk