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Spring 2013 Research & Internationalisation in the School of Education

Spring 2013 Research & Internationalisation in the School of Education

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    • INSIDE Research & Internationalisation in the School of Education Spring2013 p3 International Actvity Establishing links with European partners. p7 Indias right to education An insight into education in Bangalore, India. p14 SEL in China A story of a UN graduate and her journey towards inclusion.
    • Welcome www.facebook.com/ EducationUniNorthampton @SoEUniNorthants UniNorthamptonSoE The present issue of RISE illustrates that – at all levels of our portfolio – colleagues from the School are increasingly active in work beyond our shores. This is a clear recognition of the emphasis given in The University of Northampton’s Raising the Bar strategy on the importance of internationalisation. In respect of this, readers will notice the subtle change in strap-line of RISE, to place emphasis on the growing level of work being undertaken in diverse locations worldwide. Often these developments are collaborative, with School of Education staff working in cooperation with colleagues from diverse international settings. Typical of these ways of operating is our work in India, Thailand, Hong Kong and China all of which are reported in this edition of RISE. In Europe colleagues from the School have been active in many countries – Germany, Sweden, Poland and The Netherlands being good examples of our desire to form close working relationships with EU colleagues. I am pleased too that these endeavours are being effectively supported by Richard Woods and his team at the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, based in Brussels. Richard uses this issue of RISE to provide helpful advice to all those bidding to secure funds from EU sources. But our research is also relevant to locations closer to home, as shown by the work emerging from our project concerning mental health and complex needs. It is fitting that RISE carries an illustration of Professor Richard Rose, the School’s Research Director, on its cover. As this issue goes to press Richard is beginning convalescence after a serious cycling accident. As if to model positive behaviour to others in the School, he remains ‘research active’ in spite of his incapacity. We wish him a speedy recovery! Philip Garner www.northampton.ac.uk/education Contents International Activity p3 International Activity p4 Our trip to Sweden p5 Applying for European Funding p7 The Right to Education in India p10 Supporting SEN teachers in Bangkok p11 Training and consultancy in Hong Kong School News p12 What’s been going on? Research Update p14 Social and Emotional Learning in schools in China: a story of a UN graduate p18 Memorandum of Understandings p19 Researcher profile Follow us www.northampton.ac.uk/education2 | Contents
    • Existing and longstanding links with Jönköping University in Sweden are developing on a number of fronts. The study fieldtrips have expanded to allow 60 students from BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth and BA (Hons) Education Studies to experience placement opportunities in schools and settings and to meet professionals from the areas of Police, social services and community liaison. A new partnership has also been developed with the University of Arnhem-Nijmegen in the Netherlands. A group of 15 BA (Hons) Education Studies students will spend a week studying and experiencing the Dutch education system including approaches such as Montessori, Steiner-Waldorf and Freinet. In both the above institutions plans are also developing to facilitate a one term exchange for University of Northampton students on both the BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth and BA (Hons) Education Studies programmes. This is part of the ERASMUS programme where students will take modules related to their degrees as part of an international cohort in either Sweden or the Netherlands. INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITY New Partnerships Staff exchange is also increasing with colleagues from Sweden and the Netherlands developing projects focused on promoting student mobility. (Including virtual mobility centred on the use of social media and technology) New staff links with Weingarten University are also being developed around the area of Initial Teacher Training and the possibility of expanding student exchanges and practice experience. R The numbers of staff and students experiencing links with our European partner institutions has increased with new partnerships and exchanges coming on stream in 2013. Visiting Professor from Germany Staff at the School of Education met with Professor Ute Massler from Weingarten University of Education in Germany. The purpose of the trip was to discuss joint opportunities for research and to evaluate the potential for student field trips and study exchanges. Ute also visited a local school and had the opportunity to meet some of our current students. The School of Education is also hosting four education students from Weingarten who have chosen to undertake an Erasmus exchange. New Partnership | 3 Kyffin Jones and Professor Ute Massler
    • 4 | Our trip to Sweden After having a day to settle into our new surroundings, Monday provided us with the opportunity to attend a local secondary school in Jönköping. After being able to just walk into the school from the main road with no reception or visitors book to sign, we were all amazed with how relaxed the school atmosphere was. This city centre secondary school was called Junedals Skolen, where 800 local young people attended. In groups we attended different classes, answering questions the students had to ask about England whilst also discussing the differences between schools in Sweden compared to England. In Sweden, children do not attend school until they are 7 years old, and statistics show they are more academically advanced than children in the United Kingdom who start school at 4 or 5 years old. Everyone found the culture of the school very welcoming, and interestingly the teacher pupil relationship was very relaxed. The pupils do not have to wear uniform and there was not the sense of authority from the teachers as we see in schools in the United Kingdom. On Tuesday we attended two guest lectures at Jönköping University. Firstly we met with Gregor Maxwell a PhD researcher, who discussed what it was like moving from Scotland to Sweden, and the differences in cultures. Also he shared his research with us around disability and inclusion. Following this we had another guest lecture with Dr Martin Hugo, who shared his research around young offenders and excluded children. On Tuesday afternoon, Kyffin had recommended that we went on a field trip to Råslätt. This was an estate that housed many immigrants in the suburbs of Jönköping. Visiting Råslätt provided us with the opportunity to see how living conditions and housing was very different to those who lived in the City Centre. Visiting Jönköping Police Department on Wednesday, we found out about how Sweden deals with their young offenders. Having a tour of the police station and holding cells, was a catalyst to us focusing on how their law differs to ours. We had many interesting discussions about what sort of offences young people are committing and why. In the afternoon we visited Jönköping’s Social Services Department, where Johan Ojeheim discussed Swedish law around children in care, and providing us the opportunity to ask any questions. Wednesday evening we all ventured to Jönköping Universities Student Union, we all felt very welcomed by the students. Whilst enjoying a few drinks, we had manay discussions with the students about university life and Swedish culture. A plenary lecture was held with Professor Roland Persson at the University on Thursday morning, about Swedish culture. We were able to ask any questions we had about the abundance of information we had received over the week. Overall, everyone thoroughly enjoyed their week away, and the knowledge we all gained about Swedish culture and many of their social systems. R Our trip to Sweden By Jess, Childhood and Youth student Thirteen year two BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth students visited Jönköping in Sweden for a week in May last year. www.northampton.ac.uk/education Childhood and Youth students, with Kyffin Jones (Centre)
    • • What about my timeframe? • What type of financial support can I obtain? • Who else is involved in the project? • Can I apply for funding in my location? Your First Steps Clearly, the first step is up to you. You need to think your ideas through and develop a clear outline of your proposal. Remember, it is better that the process is driven by your ideas rather than by the funding sources that happen to be available. In general, your ideas will fall into three broad categories: 1. You wish to build up or enhance the research capacity of your organisation, including through training, or you intend to undertake pre-competitive research and technological development to generate new knowledge. 2. You are interested in innovation in the sense of technology transfer, access to venture capital or business and innovation support services. You wish to develop new or improved products and services for commercial and competitive purposes or up- date your production processes/ organisation/ marketing strategy. You address non-technological issues. 3. You wish to engage in enterprise development, for instance through setting-up an innovative company, Applying for European Funding | 5 Applying for European funding – practical steps By Richard Woods, Head of European Investment at Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership Since European grants cover a very diverse range of fields, the specific conditions that need to be fulfilled vary from one area to another. It is therefore important to consult carefully the rules of each grant programme. However, some basic principles apply in every case. European grants: • Are forms of complementary financing. • Enable a given operation to break even financially and cannot lead to a profit for their beneficiaries; • Cannot be awarded retrospectively for actions that are already completed. The Commission issues open funding calls on a regular basis to support projects or organisations, which assist the delivery of an EU programme or policy. A list of thematic grants is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/contracts_ grants/grants_en.htm In order to determine which European programme or funding source is the most relevant to support your idea, there are a number of key questions to answer to guide you through the relevant funding opportunities: • Am I eligible for a given programme or funding source? • Is my type of research, innovation or enterprise development activity eligible? the expansion or internationalisation of your existing business activities or the creation of new business and technology partnerships. Although the European funding environment can sometimes be seen as complex, participation in international projects can improve service delivery through information-sharing and the
exchange of good practice with European partners, develop pan-European research networks, showcase your organisation’s achievements in a specific field and attract world-class researchers to your organisation. R About us Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership European Investment Office was established in May 2011 and is focused on effective representation of the County and maximising European partnerships, trade and funding opportunities. The Office supports business growth and new jobs through inward investment, enterprise and innovation and other European funding interventions. In the past two years over 1.4 million euros of successful European bids have been secured across a range of different thematic funding Programmes for the County Council and the University of Northampton. Richard Woods
    • 6 | Applying for European Funding Some do’s and don’ts on EU projects: Do’s Dont’s www.northampton.ac.uk/education 1. Align your project idea with priorities/strategic framework of the chosen EU Programme 2. Make your project idea fit to the priority/headline in the EU programme – and not the other way around 3. Identify a project lead to prepare of the proposal 4. Study carefully the call for proposal/tender 5. Develop a project organisation for this project, including • Project Manager • Steering Committee • Working Groups • Communication and feedback • Reporting, input and deadlines • Payment and other financial issues (EC pays PM, not all partners) • Rights and obligations of the lead partner/other partners • NB: Be aware of the cultural differences in an international partnership 6. Maintain an organised system of administration for the project, and pay particular attention to keeping financial records - remember that you must have valid receipts for all the project expenditure; 7. Make sure that your organisation has enough cashflow to enable you to start-up your project and implement activities prior to you receiving instalments of the grant; 8. Read your grant contract carefully and in detail; 9. Keep your target group and participants in your project activities well informed about the project and ask them for their feedback; 10. Do remember to seek advice from the Contracting Authority about any changes to your project; 11. Be aware that your grant contract is for a limited duration and therefore you need to carefully plan the implementation of activities and give yourselves enough time to complete not only the activities, but also the reporting. 1. Be driven by money alone – the EU funding should iideally support your main activities or strategic objectives 2. Wait until the middle or end of the project to think about how the achievements of the project will be evaluated, but ensure that the project has a well designed Monitoring and Evaluation framework from the very beginning; 3. Hesitate to ask the National Contact Points of your EU-funded grant for advice and assistance in the implementation and administration of your project. 4. Forget about your partners. Involve them in every stage of the project, particularly when you need advice on project management and reporting issues; 5. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your project reporting, but draft brief reports after every project activity and use these to compile your formal reports to the Contracting Authority. Also keep your financial reporting fully up to date, so that every activity report has matching book-keeping, complete with all expenditure receipts; 6. Don’t try to change the objectives or purpose of your project, as this will contradict the terms and conditions of your grant contract. For further information: Richard Woods Head of European Investment Nothamptonshire Enterprise Partnership richard.woods@northamponshireep.co.uk www.northamptonshireep.co.uk
    • The in India Right to Education By Mary Doveston, Senior Lecturer, SEN & Inclusion During our visit to teach students in Bangalore studying on the University’s MA SEN & Inclusion programme, visits were made to the Brindavan Trust school which provides remedial education to students ranging from 4 to 15 years of age, and to the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan - BBMP Public school in Bangalore. In 2009 the Indian government passed the Right to Education Act (RTE) which ‘guaranteed the right to elementary’ for all children. Ensuring that this right is available is a challenge for the country and the individual states. In Bangalore alone there are approximately 2 million children of school age (3 – 15 years), which is 25% of the city’s population. Not only is the sheer scale of education provision in the city daunting it is exacerbated by the fact that there has been exponential population growth since 2000 as the city has moved from the ‘garden city’ of India to ‘silicon city’ of over 8.4 million inhabitants. Consequently there has been a huge demand for education from the RTE and from the many wealthy families working in the IT sector. Education in Bangalore is provided by Non - Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) such as the Brindavan Trust and Bhavan schools, as well as Karnataka state and the Indian government. In addition to this there are independent providers such as Euro School. The aim of the Indian government is to provide one qualified and trained teacher for every 30 pupils. In Bangalore this ratio is around 1: 40 with the national average 1:34, but much higher in the rural areas. There are still 8.1 million children in India who do not attend school with a high dropout rate of children in ‘scheduled tribes and castes.’ However, over the last decade and particularly since the introduction of RTE, those not attending school has dropped from 22 million. Students sit key exams at the end of standard 10 (equivalent to our Year 10) and at standard 10 + 2 (Year 12 or 17 yrs old). The main exam boards are CBSE and ISE. The CBSE – Central Board of Secondary Education is a nationally recognised qualification which covers Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Business Study, Accountancy, Economics, English, Functional English, Hindi and Social Science. There are also state exams and ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary education). Schools’ curriculum planning is based around these exams and there are cultural pressures for children to achieve and become engineers or doctors. Such pressures place very high demands on students to succeed, particularly where there may be learning difficulties for a child in a wealthy family. The Right to Education in India | 7 Professor Richard Rose at the BBMP Public School, Bangalore ...continued overleaf
    • 8 | The Right to Education in India The Brindavan Trust provides a balanced curriculum for these children from the age of 5 to 15 years and guides the learning so that success can be achieved through phased entrance to CBSE exams and avoiding subjects which require higher resourcing and conceptual understanding e.g. sciences. Two days were spent in Bhavan BBMP Public School, opened in 2010. The school serves the ‘slum’ area of Srirampuram, a mile north of the city centre on 2nd Main Rd. The school stands in stark contrast to the surrounding environment. It is a refurbished building on 3 floors with large, airy, tall ceilinged classrooms. The area of Srirampuram is one of poor infrastructure with public baths and toilets, standpipes, limited refuse collection, no pavements and variable road surfaces - there is no continuous tarmac on 2nd Main Rd. Our day started with the arrival of the car and driver at exactly 8am as we had to be at school for 9.00am in readiness for the 9.15am start. The journey of a little over 4 miles took 45 minutes, reflecting the traffic chaos that is Bangalore. No lane discipline, continual horn blowing, thousands of motorbikes weaving in and out of cars and buses which over take and ‘undertake’. No traffic lights at major junctions made it a free for all and yet we did not see a single collision – perhaps the slow pace and stop-start nature of traffic alleviated this. For any British passenger – the best advice is to look ahead at all times! The driver was calm and quiet weaving his way along 2nd Main Rd to the school. We drove into the gates and were met by smiling children and welcoming staff. There are 200 children in class sizes of approximately 40, from pre- kindergarten through to standard 2. The school will expand to standard 10 having over 500 on roll. The school gates are closed and locked at 9.10 – to encourage parents to bring their children to school punctually as lateness was initially a major problem. As ever the day was sunny, cloudless and temperatures hovered around 27C – a lovely tropical climate compared to the snow we had left in England. The day began with assembly. The children lining up in form rows in the playground, with the headteacher and staff and guests facing them. All sing the national anthem and chant their pledge of loyalty to country and hard work. Each class then files into the school. The three kindergarten classes are downstairs and standards 1 + 2 upstairs. Three classrooms on each floor lay either side of a broad corridor. The children sit at purpose built tables set in rows facing the teacher’s desk and a blackboard. Displays are drawn by teachers and cellotaped to the walls. The school day finishes at 3.30 pm for standard 1 + 2 but they attend every other Saturday 9.30 – 12.30. Lessons are 40 minutes in length with a strong emphasis on English and maths – as the kindergarten timetable shows. The children are well turned out with clean, smart uniforms. They A caste system is a process of placing people in occupational groups. It has pervaded several aspects of Indian society for centuries. Rooted in religion and based on a division of labor, the caste system, among other things, dictates the type of occupations a person can pursue and the social interactions that she may have. Taken from Doing Business in India For Dummies What’s the caste system? The class of 38 children where bright and keen to take part Mary Doveston reading to a group of children.
    • were all enthusiastic, playful and loud! Lunch was served in a large classroom in stainless steel trays, one form at a time, with students returning empty trays and supervisors checking that everyone had eaten their meal! Each child then duly walked along the corridor to wash at the clean tiled toilets. There was a real enthusiasm for learning with a strong emphasis on developing English, but the children will also learn Kannada and Hindi. Every lesson we observed emphasised the development of vocabulary. An environmental studies session for instance related to seasons, fruit, and clothing (Bangalore has three seasons – winter, summer and rainy). In a standard 2 maths class, the teacher taught length, emphasising shortest and longest, with all the children shouting out the answers. The class of 38 children were bright and keen to be helped and take part. One wonders the potential for the Indian nation and competition for western countries if this class was anything to go by. Such was the potential there was evident need to develop teaching and learning strategies in order to harness and direct children’s progress so that they achieved at CBSE. The school is run by a triumvirate consisting of the State government of Karnataka who renovated the building, the Bharatiya Bhavan ( a foundation who provide uniforms and meals at lunch) and the Brindavan Trust (NGO) who recruit teachers and organise the curriculum. The school office had computers and printer with an office manager and caretaker. The children who attend the Bhavan BBMP school are fortunate, but there is an increasingly pressing need to provide for those children with SEN and to make them included in the educational provision of the country. The aim of the Brindavan Trust is to provide for these children by means of after school remedial sessions and in small schools for which parents pay. We visited the primary and secondary schools run by the trust. Children were taught in small classrooms with a qualified teacher – no more than 8 students per teacher. The emphasis was on the development of key skills, lessons being taught in English. Again the students were happy and recognised the advantage they had in this less pressurised environment. The 15 and 16 year old students were extremely articulate in outlining how they had progressed and the reasons for this achievement e.g. the care take by the staff, the style of teaching and the management of the curriculum, enabling them to take CBSE exams when ready. Staff worked closely with parents to develop an understanding of the children, their SEN and the role all had to play, particularly in the transition into higher and further education. The visits to the schools were eye opening and highlighted the potential of such a large population in the world economy. On reflection there were some points for discussion and development that the schools may need to consider in the long term and something the University could potentially contribute in terms of teacher training and CPD e.g. curriculum development, teaching and learning strategies and classroom management techniques so as to engage all students. The visits were an amazing eye opener into the provision and development of education in a newly Industrialised country and the potential for a future in which we might play our part. R The Right to Education in India | 9
    • 10 | Supporting SEN www.northampton.ac.uk/education With the globalisation of business, more and more children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) are being educated in English medium international school across the world. Many teachers in these settings do not have the opportunity to return to England regularly to take part in accredited professional development. Two years ago the University established links with the Village Education Centre striving to become a centre of excellence for students with Special Educational Needs. The University has worked with the Village in the provision of CPD and Masters level courses for teachers working across a range of International schools. Last October, Julian Brown and Sheena Bell visited Bangkok to carry out teaching linked to dyslexia, both at Master’s level and also for a more general group of interested professionals and others. Our key contact in Thailand is the Village International Education Centre (Website: http://www. village-education.com). This is a unique special centre, offering long-term and short-term support to students from the international school community and bringing together a number of services such as educational psychology, speech and language therapy and specialist health care. The school provides a full time curriculum and also caters for a range of students who visit the school for additional lessons. Through the initiative of the Director of this school, Harshi Sehmar, a number of MA students from a range of international schools in Bangkok are completing their MA SEN & Inclusion and whilst there Julian and Sheena carried out intensive teaching of an MA module on dyslexia, followed up by email contact and tutorials using Skype technology. In addition, they also led a very successful study day on dyslexia for a wide range of participants including mainstream and specialist teachers, teaching assistants, school principals and parents. This is already opening up opportunities for further research and development, Julian and Sheena are hoping to develop research links. On this visit they had the opportunity to interview Harshi Sehmar, the Director of the Village Centre, and visited one of the largest schools international schools in Bangkok. Bangkok is a challenging environment and there is clearly a huge gap between what the international schools provide, and the educational provision in the local community. However, there is a growing need for qualified support for those children who are educated in international schools. Many of the teachers appreciated the opportunity to take part in professional development which not only involved face-to-face tuition but also the support of a group. Although we are able to teach in English medium, not all of our students are from an Anglophone background and therefore there are many challenges in supporting them. Our links with Thailand are developing and Julian will be continuing to develop these when he visits Bangkok with Kyffin Jones to teach another MA module to our students. R Supporting SEN teachers in Bangkok Julian Brown (above) and Sheena Bell (top right), Senior Lecturers (SEN & Inclusion) with pupils from the Village International Education Centre.
    • Training and Consultancy | 11 Training and consultancy in Hong Kong The School of Education (SEN and Inclusion Division) have been working with Hong Kong Education Bureau colleagues for a number of years. Initially this partnership began with involvement in supporting their UK professional development visits, in partnership with the Faculty of Education University of Cambridge. As Hong Kong has been developing a national curriculum, the study visits explored issues relating to curriculum, assessment and provision for learners with special educational needs. Recently collaboration has involved two visits by Principals from Hong Kong Special Schools and Officers from the Education Bureau [EDB]. During these visits colleagues were able to observe practices [deemed outstanding by Ofsted] in relation to teachers’ effective use of evidence for assessing learning outcomes for students with special educational needs – [using the P scales in the UK context] and moderation arrangements which measured these outcomes against national standards. The visitors met with colleagues in Northants, Derbyshire, Peterborough, Luton Cambridgeshire, Essex and some of the London boroughs in both special and inclusive mainstream settings and in local authority teams in order to explore and exchange ideas. The most recent visit to the UK was in November 2012; it involved Dr Peter Wong and Tania Kmso from the Hong Kong Education Bureau (CDI) and eight principals from Hong Kong special schools. The Principals spent time at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education and then visited the University of Northampton sharing their experiences with staff and students on the new BA SEN and Inclusion course. During their stay in Northamptonshire they visited Moulton College, Fairfield’s, and Kingsley Special schools, Wren Spinney School and Studfall Junior School (Corby). Whilst on Park Campus our Hong Kong colleagues met and worked with other members of the SEN & inclusion team, with fruitful discussions on the approaches to promote and enhance the teaching and learning of students with SEN. Peter Wells the Deputy Dean welcomed our guests to the School of Education and noted the value that we place on reciprocal working with our education colleagues from Hong Kong. Over the last three years this collaboration has developed into some focused work with the Curriculum Development Institute (CDI) SEN Team within the Hong Kong Education Bureau, to provide professional development and direct support for the special schools in Hong Kong. This consultancy builds on the UK experience of the SEN and Inclusion Division of developing national guidance and support for schools in assessing the progress of learners with SEN. Steve Cullingford–Agnew and Annie Fergusson from the university team are leading work to introduce Assessment for learning approaches to the special schools across Hong Kong. Using an Action Research approach, they are working directly with small groups of special schools in Hong Kong to develop practice in making judgements of students’ progress based on evidence and professional dialogue. These ‘project schools’ are among the first schools to utilise a new Learning Progression Framework to measure the progress of students with Intellectual Disabilities in their new curriculum. ...continued overleaf Teachers from the Special Schools at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
    • 12 | School News www.northampton.ac.uk/education Making Sense of Mental Health – understanding the mental health of children and young people with complex needs Training via new technology: New web-based training resource is Smartphone compatible The National Association of Independent and Non- Maintained Special Schools (NASS) and the University of Northampton recently launched their new web-based training resource to raise awareness and increase knowledge and understanding about the mental health of children and young people with complex needs. This e-learning has been developed by the two organisations through a part-government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) initiative. The two year project built directly on the findings and recommendations of earlier research commissioned by NASS and carried out by The University of Northampton in 2007 [NASS, 2007; Fergusson et al 2008; Rose et al,2009]. The training offers a flexible approach for groups of individual staff – accessed via web or Smartphone. It focuses on the issues and staff needs identified in the 2007 research. There are four sections to the training which aim to support staff to - Understand the meaning of mental health, Develop skills to identify mental health concerns in children and young people with complex needs, Build confidence in recording mental health information and to Share concerns appropriately within the setting, and externally to other appropriate services. The development of this suite of downloadable training resources involved leading specialists from the field and has been widely trialled by leaders and practitioners in school and residential settings. Using a highly interactive approach the four part training offers activities, video, podcasts, case study examples and editable templates, which are relevant to specialist settings – including those for children and young people with PMLD. R For more on the training resource or the NASS(2007) research report contact NASS via Karen Rippon at krippon@nasschools. org.uk or http://www.nasschools.org.uk/making_sense_of_ mental_health.aspx To date, this work has involved two action research projects in Hong Kong, exploring Assessment for Learning (AfL) with a number of special schools. The first project schools had carried out their research and development work by June 2012, completing their research cycle with presentations at a Professional Seminar to share experiences and developments with other project schools and EDB colleagues. This event was a great success and clearly demonstrated the innovation, creativity and enthusiasm of all the schools involved in the project. the participants’ feedback and evaluation showed the programme was viewed very positively and seen to enhance their professional development in using Assessment for Learning approaches to make secure and reliable judgements of progress and to develop skills of moderation collaboration. The latest project schools began their projects in October – November last year, following the visit by Steve & Annie. These schools have regular contact and online support with the SEN & Inclusion team, in addition to direct, local support from EDB colleagues until Steve & Annie return to Hong Kong in May for the final Phase of this work. The visit will conclude again with a conference to enable project schools to share their research and developments. Part of this consultancy has involved developing training materials and the supporting schools in the trialling of draft guidance materials from the EDB. Outcomes and feedback from the project schools from their action research will contribute to the review and further development of training and support materials for special schools across Hong Kong. This opportunity has been a really exciting collaboration. Working with experts in the field of SEN at the Hong Kong Education Bureau (CDI) together with the enthusiasm, motivation and commitment of Hong Kong special schools and their Principals has not only highlighted excellent practice in assessment, teaching and learning for students with SEN, but has also demonstrated a keen willingness to develop a curriculum that really is appropriate for all students. The University of Northampton is continuing to work with the Hong Kong Education Bureau (CDI), Hong Kong special schools and colleagues at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. R Principals and Hong Kong Education Bureau officers from the Special Schools at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
    • School News | 13 SCHOOL NEWS UN Consultancy in Georgia Richard Rose spent the first part of this week undertaking consultancy in Tbilisi Georgia working with colleagues from Norway on assessment for learning for the promotion of inclusive schooling. This follows on from work completed by professor Richard Rose with our visiting professor John Visser earlier in 2012.  The wok has included training for teachers and psychologists as well as providing a model for capacity building. It is anticipated that further collaborations with the Ministries of Education in Norway and Georgia will follow. R Small is Beautiful Last week the FYR Macedonia Ministry of Education formally adopted the national policy and strategy on reducing Violence against Children in schools and committed itself to the training programme for all schools. Both items are the direct result of the UNICEF grant received by the School of Education (via its NCfLB social enterprise). This allowed Philip Garner and NCfLB colleagues to spend two weeks working with their Ministry and UNICEF officials to develop this plan. R International Teaching Assistants The first cohort of Teaching Assistants in International Schools started the new Certificate for Teaching Assistants in an International Context (CTAIC) last November. Julie Jones, Senior Lecturer from the University taught the opening sessions at St George’s British International School in Rome. The sessions explored the English curriculum in the context of the teaching assistants’ experience of intercultural learning and teaching. It was a very positive start and the students contributed to discussions, highlighting their experience in international schools. They were familiarised with the CTAIC NILE sites and the blended materials for the first module. The students will take part in the next face-to-face sessions in February followed by additional blended materials and video conferencing. R Behaviour2Learn (one of the School’s Social Enterprise activities) was November’s ‘Website of the Month’ in the SENCo Update. Colleagues will be interested to know that the website is now named on the Behaviour-related pages of the DfE’s own website, as well as being a ‘go to’ resource for diverse stakeholder groups, such as the University of Bath, ParentVoice and the Higher Education Academy. The University of York is using the website’s ‘behaviour scenarios’ as a core feature of its PGCE programme. We are now hoping to see it being made more use of within the School of Education itself. R www.behaviour2learn.co.uk “ The University of York is using the website’s ‘behaviour scenarios’ as a core feature of its PGCE programme.”
    • 14 | Research Update www.northampton.ac.uk/education Social and Emotional Learning in schools in China: My journey towards the promotion of a story of a UN graduate RESEARCH UPDATE
    • Research Update | 15 The Masters’ year witnessed the change of my attitudes towards inclusive education, which further motivated me to keep following Professors Richard Rose and Philip Garner in the study of my doctoral degree on the motivation and professional development of teachers in special and inclusive education in China. The journey was a challenging one but my professors and many others in UN paved the way for me by supporting me in every step I took. The post-doc year saw the publication of my PhD study and I then thought I deserved a break. However, upon my return to China in September 2010, I was reminded that the journey had to be continued. “Keep working”, that is what Richard said to me at farewell. Back in China, I found my journey towards the promotion of inclusive education a lonely one in that there is a severe shortage of teacher educators at tertiary level in China for teacher education for inclusion. Hopefully, support came timely again from UN which secured my application for a research project (2011-2014) from the Ministry of Education (MoE) of China, an international comparative study on the status quo of the teaching force at tertiary level for teacher education for inclusion. Given that inclusive education is becoming high on the government’s agenda in China, very limited number of research projects on inclusive teacher education has ever been funded so far. My success in the bid is in itself a loud praise to UN for its high teaching quality which well prepares its graduates to embark on their professional journey with confidence and competence. Last year I was further encouraged by UN to keep on the journey. I was very excited at the news that the Northampton Centre for Learning Behaviour (NCfLB) was commissioned by the UNICEF to jointly conduct a 3-year research project on SEL in schools in China, in which I would be working as a member of the NCfLB team. This would be a new journey for me as well as for the colleagues from China since SEL in schools in China has just recently been identified as one of the priorities in education. SEL in schools in China, especially in socially, economically and geographically disadvantaged areas has presented unprecedented challenges to the country. It was at this critical time that the UNICEF incorporated with the MoE of China to launch a pilot study towards the promotion of inclusive education started from September 2005 when, as a language teacher educator with about 20 years’ teaching experience in a university in China, I enrolled by a fortuitous route, as a mature student in a Master’s programme in the School of Education of the University of Northampton (UN), the UK. It was out of extrinsic motivation (and even with some degree of a-motivation) that I began to learn about special educational needs (SEN) and inclusive education. With very limited knowledge and understanding to start with, I was then very sceptical about inclusive practice in China. Besides, I have to confess that in my previous teaching career, I had never considered Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools was a critical element to make a difference for a child. My journey
    • (2012-2015) on social and emotional aspect of learning for children in 200 schools of five disadvantaged provinces in the West of China. The NCfLB would be working closely with the MoE designated research team from Beijing Normal University (BNU), a leading University in China in Education. Like the NCfLB, the BNU team has long years of working experience with the UNICEF to conduct research projects including the one called China’s Child Friendly School. Based on China’s Child Friendly School model, the NCfLB is expected to help develop a framework for SEL in schools catering to the disadvantaged, and also to develop SEL review instruments, curriculum for schools and training materials for administrators, school principals, teachers as well as parents and carers. The NCfLB will also engage in the training. Meanwhile, evaluation and assessment of SEL in schools with the implementation of the curriculum will be an ongoing process, which would need the input from the NCfLB as well. The expected outcome of the programme is that by 2015, a package of interventions that enhance the relevance, social emotional climate and quality of schooling is successfully piloted in schools catering to children from vulnerable communities, especially those where parents are migrant workers elsewhere, leaving their children to the carers who are mostly children’s grandparents. The project schools in the five provinces are a selective and purposeful sample identified for the high proportion of population of left- behind children as the main target of intervention in terms of their SEL. Due to its large population size, those left-behind children of migrant workers with their social and emotional needs unattended have been causing serious social issues for China such as attrition from schools and juvenile delinquency. In fact, the national government of China has been making tremendous efforts in the recent years to ease the tension. The government educational policies and initiatives have prioritised the education for this group of children by increasing the funds to improve the learning facilities and school ethos, to enhance school leadership and teaching qualities, and to mobilise resources and support to accommodate the social and emotional needs of those children at school. The Journey towards the promotion of SEL in schools in China could present opportunities as well as challenges for the NCfLB. As the first international research team to be commissioned to work on SEL in schools in China, the NCfLB would be expected to share its knowledge and expertise with Chinese colleagues. This indicates the high recognition of the NCfLB’s academic status by the UNICEF and the MoE of China. It also entails the huge responsibility the NCfLB is shouldering and the enormous commitments the NCfLB will have to make in the years to follow. On the journey, I am expected to provide consultancy as part of a technical team for the NCfLB. As a China national with long years’ work experience in international affairs in higher education, I have learnt to appreciate the culture differences between China and the rest of the world. This will enable me to play the 16 | Research Update www.northampton.ac.uk/education I see my role on the journey very important. Given that China has rich knowledge of and good practices in children’s social and emotional aspect of learning RESEARCH UPDATE
    • Research Update | 17 role as a bridge across nations by filling in gaps, if any, in the communication between the cultures. I see my role on the journey very important. Given that China has rich knowledge of and good practices in children’s social and emotional aspect of learning, the global understanding of SEL as a concept still needs to be facilitated in China. The refining and developing of SEL in Chinese schools depends on the understanding of SEL from the educators, for example, who will then adopt and adapt the established models to be implemented in the Chinese context. To promote SEL in schools in China, I can, on the one hand, provide insider perspective to the NCfLB team in its construction of contextual knowledge of China in terms of SEL in schools as well as protocols and etiquettes for communication accepted by Chinese culture. On the other hand, the years of learning and work experience from the UoN has prepared me to comprehend the message from the NCfLB and to pass it on to the Chinese colleagues, strategically at times when chances arise for clarification in face of any misinterpretation due to culture misunderstanding. Meanwhile, being with the NCfLB team on the journey not only offers me opportunities to pay tribute as an alumina to the University for the rewarding years I spent there, which changed my career path from being merely a language teacher educator to an advocator in the promotion of inclusive education. It also motivates me in seeking further personal and professional development. Specifically, by participating in the research project, I would be able to learn from and share with Chinese colleagues’ knowledge and expertise of SEL in schools. In so doing, I could contribute to my country by voicing for the vulnerable and disadvantaged children for equal rights and opportunities in education. It has been eight years since I was led on the journey by the University to the promotion of inclusive education. My heartfelt thanks go to the NCfLB which keeps me on the track on the journey. I am very much privileged to play the role as entrusted and I will spare no efforts to live up to the expectations of all. R
    • 18 | Memorandum of Understanding www.northampton.ac.uk/education MoU with Opole University in Poland Professor Zenon Jasinski & Dr Przemyslaw Kaniok from Opole University, Poland, visited the School in December. They discussed collaboration arrangements between Northampton and Opole universities with Philip Garner and Professor Sue Ralph. Ken Bland showed them the Forest School, and the visitors sat in on an Early Years (Year 1) Geography session. The Vice Chancellor hosted the two Polish academics at an evening drinks reception (attended by the University’s professors). The visit concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between The University and Opole University, Institute of Pedagogical Sciences. This will lead to Erasmus collaboration and opportunities for research, staff and student mobility and joint publication. Thank you to all colleagues, academic & administrative, who assisted in making this visit such a success. Particular thanks to Peter wells, Deputy Dean, for drawing on his Polish cultural and linguistic repertoire! University signs MoU with the oldest university in the Republic of Kazakhstan The University of Northampton is pleased to announce that its School of Education has signed its second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Early Years team hosted a delegation from the Abay Kazakh National Pedagogical University – the oldest and most prestigious in Kazakhstan – and welcomed Professor Aigulim Aitpayeva, Dr Aigul Iskakova and Professor Khairulla Zhanbekov for a four-day visit in December. The purpose of the visit was to engage with senior staff members at the University of Northampton in a peer review of their PhD and Masters programmes in Early Years, as well as signing an MoU for future collaboration. This visit followed on from a successful promotional trip to Kazakhstan by Cilel Smith, Senior Lecturer in Education for Early Years at the University of Northampton, which resulted in establishing good contacts with three Kazakh universities. The University of Northampton also earned recognition by the Kazakhstan government for the prestigious Bolashak Scholarship scheme for training and development opportunities for higher education staff. Bolashak Scholarships have also been awarded to two Early Years staff from the Abay Kazakh University, who will be participating in a 10-month internship programme at the University of Northampton in February and will have the opportunity to observe and participate in teaching and visiting early years’ settings and schools throughout the East Midlands. R Memorandum of Understanding Left to right: Prof. Philip Garner, Eugene Kaniok, Prof Sue Ralph, Peter Wells and Prof. Jasinski Zenon
    • Researcher Profile | 19 David Preece David Preece joined the University in September 2013. Before this he had developed and managed Northamptonshire County Council’s specialist social care services for children with disabilities, in particular those for children on the autism spectrum and their families. He also worked for a number of years as a visiting lecturer and regional tutor within the Autism Centre for Education and Research at the University of Birmingham. His research interests and publications include: • The experience of families that include members on the autism spectrum • Consultation with children with autism and other disabilities • Social care support • Best practice/the impact of autism -specific approaches - and their broader application • Models of parent education • Autism and visual impairment • Multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI) • The development of research tools in conjunction with ‘the researched’ • Mixed methods research David is a member of the International Society for Autism Research and has published in national and international journals and has spoken at conferences in the UK, USA, South Africa, Norway, Denmark, Slovenia and Japan. David’s has a PhD, MEd in Special Education (Autism) and a PGCE - his first degree was in Medieval and Modern History and he originally trained as a middle school Humanities teacher back in the 1970s. He is also a qualified social worker. Outside the field of SEN, he is an associate member of the London Institute of Pataphysics. In conjunction with Marie Howley, his fellow Senior Lecturer in Autism, David has edited a new publication for SENCOs, Supporting Pupils on the Autism Spectrum, to be published by Optimus Press in the near future. He has enjoyed his first months teaching at the university and is looking forward to the challenges to come. R Indicative publications Taylor, K. & Preece, D. (2010) Using aspects of the TEACCH structured teaching approach with students with Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairment: reflections on practice, British Journal of Visual Impairment, 28 (3), 244-259. Preece, D. & Jordan, R. (2010) Obtaining the views of children and young people with autism spectrum disorders about their experience of daily life and social care support, British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38 (1), 10-20. Preece, D. & Almond, J. (2008) Supporting families with children with autism spectrum disorders to use structured teaching approaches in the home and community, Good Autism Practice, 9 (2), 44-53. RESEARCHER PROFILE
    • PUBLICATIONS Bell, S. (2012) Training teachers of children with dyslexia or literacy difficulties for 21st century schools in England. In: Pancocha, K. and Prochazkova, L. (eds.) Education and Support for People with Special Needs. Brno, Czech Republic: Muni Press. pp. 15-24. Bland, K. and Sleightholme, S. (2012) Researching the pupil voice: what makes a good teaching assistant? Support for Learning Devecchi, C., Dettori, F., Doveston, M., Sedgwick, P. and Jament, J. (2012) Inclusive classrooms in Italy and England: the role of support teachers and teaching assistants Murray, J. (2012) Young children’s explorations: young children’s research? Early Childhood Development and Care, 182 (9) 1209-1255. Garner, P., Forbes, F., Fergusson, A., Aspland, T. and Datta, P. (2012) Curriculum, assessment and reporting in special educational needs and disability: A thematic overview of recent literature. Sydney, NSW: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. Garner, P. and Forbes, F. (2012) Disposable assets. Are special education teachers still needed in 21st Century Australian schools Garner, P., Gittins, C. and Evans, R. (2012) Protection against violence, abuse and neglect in early childhood: A Review of UNICEF country Programmes Garner, P. and Gittins, C. (2012) Reducing Violence against Children in Schools: Dimensions and trends in school-based violence Garner, P., Gittins, C. and Burnett, N. (2012) Reducing Violence against Children in Schools: Report and commentary on the analysis of a sample of UNICEF country programmes Rose, R. (2012) Beyond the school gates: promoting inclusion through community partnership. In: Boyle, C. and Topping, K. (eds.) What Works in Inclusion? Maidenhead: Open University Press. pp. 139-149. Rose, R. (2012) Volunteer engagement with young people at risk of exclusion: developing new perceptions of pupil and adult relationships. In: Cole, T., Daniels, H. and Visser, J. (eds.) The Routledge International Companion to Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. London: Routledge. pp. 288-295. Smith, A., Groom, B. and Griffiths, S. (2012) Supporting pupils with dyslexia: whole-school training materials and resources for SENCOs Contained within this page we celebrated our staff peer reviewed research publications of 2012.