- Stream 1: Childhood, Inclusion and Diversity
- Stream 2: Education for Racial Equality
- Stream 3: Sociology of Education and Educational Policy
- Stream 4: Child Protection
- Stream 5: Community Education
- Stream 7: Digital Cultures and Education
- Stream 8: Higher Education
- Stream 9: Sport and society; Physical Education; Physical Activity for Health
- Stream 13: Teacher Education
- Stream 16: Language Research
- Stream 17: Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Education
- Stream 19: Theory and Philosophy
- Stream 1: Childhood, Inclusion and Diversity
- Stream 3: Sociology of Education and Educational Policy
- Stream 7: Digital Cultures and Education
- Stream 8: Higher Education
- Stream 10: Physical Activity for Health
- Stream 11: Human Performance Science
- Stream 13: Teacher Education
- Stream 16: Language Research
- Stream 17: Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Education
- Stream 18: International Education
- Stream 19: Theory and Philosophy
Stream 1: Childhood, Inclusion and Diversity
Contextualising Learning and Development Needs of Children in a Post-Conflict Community School in Kenya: Implications for Inclusive and Leadership Practices (paper01-1)
This paper derives from a PhD study exploring how school leadership addressed the learning and development needs of marginalised and vulnerable children [MVC] occasioned by post-election tribal violence in one Kenyan school. The intrinsic case study, with aspects of ethnography, sought to develop understanding of the contextual social-cultural dynamics shaping inclusive and school leadership practices in post-conflict settings as an emerging field of study (Clarke and O’Donoghue, 2013). Pupils’ views on their learning and development needs were sought, while the headteacher and teachers were asked to reflect on the challenges they experienced in addressing these needs. Data from interviews, observations, wall-texts, and pupils’ activities were analysed and interpreted thematically alongside contextual understanding and my awareness of literature. Davies (2004) concepts of ‘conflict and reconstruction’ in post-conflict education were utilised in data analysis. This paper reports on findings from pupils’ data, regarding their needs and experiences of inclusive education in the new school. Beyond concerns, schooling experiences promoting pupils’ healing were unveiled, thus sidestepping the conventional problem-based studies when researching orphans and vulnerable children [OVC] (Takayanagi, 2010). Pupils’ development concerns included: access and acceptance in the new school; knowing the schools’ predictability and their own responsibility; expanding chances for immediate/future upward mobility, and developing socio-emotionally. Whereas practitioners were appreciated for supporting pupils’ development socio-emotionally and in extra-curriculum activities; pupils emerged as active actors who understood contextual dynamics and prescriptions; working hard to overcome structural barriers whilst scaffolding peers’ inclusion through peer-keeping. These findings build on emerging studies voicing children’s experiences of schooling in post-conflict education e.g. Winthrop (2008) and positive voices of OVC. Children’s views increase educators’ understanding into what experiences are most relevant to their immediate and future aspirations especially in post-conflict settings.
The importance of inclusive and flexible school environments to the stimulation and support of children’s creativity. (paper01-2)
This paper contributes to current debates on how creativity can be best promoted in schools. It draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted with children (aged 11 to 12) in a Scottish Primary school classroom and in the context of the Curriculum for Excellence. Based on the initial analysis of field notes and interviews with children, the paper presents excerpts of the field notes which show children’s interactions and, also, children’s perspectives on creativity in schools as they are captured through interviews. Those views suggest that inclusive and flexible environments where adult power is reduced and in which interaction and collaboration between children are enhanced, are of great importance to the empowerment of children’s creativity. The aforementioned views of the children constitute the main theme of this paper. Ethical and methodological dilemmas when researching with children are also considered. Based on the findings of this study, this paper concludes with stressing the importance of creating a space for conversation on the characteristics of school environments that are necessary for enabling children’s creativity to flourish.
‘This is just western bureaucracy’: Reflecting on ethical issues of researching with disabled children in an international context (paper01-3)
Any research involving disabled children calls for careful and detailed ethical considerations throughout the whole research process from formulating research questions, methods to data analysis and dissemination. In this paper, I am going to reflect on several key ethical issues that have emerged from my PhD research, which is an ethnographic inquiry into disabled children’s learning and participation in Shanghai’s mainstream schools. In the first part, I will introduce the back and forth process of gaining the ethical approval from the review committee, and how I justified my original decisions and also how I made amendments and compromises for ‘passing the hurdle’. In the second part, I will focus on the much more complicated ethical issues in the field beyond the abstract guidelines, which were often hard to foresee and demanding quick even immediate decisions from researchers. First, there was clash between the western standard ethical procedures with the local understandings especially on acquiring signed informed consent forms from participants. Second, I will discuss the dilemmatic situations that I encountered drawing on real examples. Hard decisions had to be made such as how to put children’s rights at the centre of the inquiry, which might contradict teachers’ beliefs or what to do when I was in the middle of a bullying scene. The paper ends with implications for fellow researchers and also institutional ethics review boards.
What is fair access to exams for signing deaf candidates? (paper01-4)
Rachel O'Neill, Eileen Burns, Audrey Cameron, Gary Quinn
Deaf children in Scotland can view their exam papers in sign, and sign their responses. Pupils usually sit the exams individually with a support worker or teacher who signs; the responses are videoed and translated at the school. In Scotland 15% of deaf pupils use Sign Supported English or British Sign Language (CRIDE, 2013).
We aim to evaluate two different approaches to providing signed exam papers to Scottish deaf pupils, discussing the consequences in relation to legislation. Methods We firstly evaluate the signed exam system which has been in place since 2003 using interviews and questionnaires. Next we evaluate the pilot project of centrally produced digital exams, where every pupil watches the same translation.
We discuss issues around the use of support staff and teachers using sign in exam situations, showing that both pupils and staff have little faith in the current system. Deaf pupils are enthusiastic about the independence a signed exam paper gives them. Teachers also support the centralised system, pointing out the need for more technical signs to be available.
Using UK and Scottish legislation, we discuss deaf signing children’s rights to be treated fairly in exams in terms of quality, efficiency and any advantage or disadvantage they may experience.
Help seeking of deaf and disabled children following abuse (paper01-5)
International research indicates that deaf and disabled children are at greater risk of experiencing maltreatment and such abuse is under reported and often hidden. In addition, deaf and disabled children experience a range of barriers to accessing appropriate supports and effective responses following abuse. This paper reports the findings of one of the first studies to seek the accounts of deaf and disabled people who have experienced abuse in childhood about their experiences of help seeking. Using a social model of disability, the study aimed to identify barriers to and facilitators of protection for disabled children. Interviews were conducted with ten deaf and disabled children and adults from across the UK using personalised communication methods. Transcriptions were developed from the audio recordings of verbal interviews and video recordings of interviews conducted using British Sign Language. A number of themes were developed through a process of cross-sectional and narrative analysis. The accounts indicate that disclosures of abuse by deaf and disabled children in childhood are often met with disbelief or the seriousness of the abuse is minimized by adults. Deaf and disabled children’s status as a devalued social group appears to contribute to such inappropriate responses and to deter children from making further disclosures. Lack of routine communication support also acts as a major barrier to help seeking by deaf children. Social isolation is a common feature of deaf and disabled children’s lives creating vulnerability to abuse and involvement of formal services is not necessarily protective. We conclude that more emphasis is needed on prevention and early identification of abuse through public education as well as creating safe opportunities for children to disclose abuse. More also needs to be done to address the far-reaching coonsequences of childhood abuse across the lifecourse.
‘Celebrating diversity’ or ‘tackling inequality’? How tensions in educational policy and practice frame young children’s social identities in primary school (paper01-6)
Recent years have seen a move away from multicultural approaches towards broader anti-discrimination strategies in British and Scottish policies, yet tensions and ambiguities – for example between ‘celebrating diversity’ and ‘tackling inequality’ – persist within the policy rhetoric. Drawing on an in-depth ethnographic study in a Scottish primary school, this paper explores how such tensions are reflected in staff’s discourses and practices, resulting in the foregrounding of certain aspects of ‘diversity’ and the silencing of others. It highlights the importance of the educational setting, the policy and legislation context and wider social inequalities for shaping the discourses within which young children perform their social class, gender and ethnic identities in school. The study operationalizes the concept of ‘intersectionality’ in order to understand the ways in which social class, gender and ethnicity are constructed within particular institutional discourses and power relations and in order to acknowledge the multiple dimensions of social justice that children and staff need to negotiate at any given time. The findings show that children are aware of and contribute to powerful discourses of social stereotypes and inequalities. This emphasises the need to go beyond a ‘celebratory’ approach towards working with ‘diversity’, particularly in the current context of societal change and growing inequalities.
Education or Erziehung: The passing on of cultural heritage in a foster family (paper01-7)
Education is a term that means different things to different people, you only have to ask students in Moray House about their research to glean some insight in to the range of topics covered in our School, all under the umbrella of ‘education’. The purpose of this paper is to articulate a particular understanding of education, drawing on the term Erziehung, often translated from its native German as education, but more correctly understood, within the discipline of social pedagogy, as the upbringing of an individual (Mollenhauer 2014). I also draw on the social pedagogy lexicon to help me define what passes between the older and younger generation in terms of Cultural Heritage. This phrase does not refer to ethnic traditions, songs and recipes. Instead, ‘culture’ and ‘heritage’ signify the practices, experiences and values shared by those participating in a society in general, whether at home, at work, in leisure or at school (Friesen & Sævi 2010). The argument of this paper is that this understanding of ‘education’ offers a unique perspective from which to interrogate the experiences of looked after and accommodated children. For children raised by their birth parents, there may be aspects of comfort in knowing where values and practices have come from. For those not raised by their birth parents, those brought up in care, this mapping of values and beliefs may not be as transparent and indeed, may present a tension in identities between birth and care families. I have been a foster father for over twelve years and have raised seventeen young men. My research aims to explore the experiences of the boys and young men in my care through their stories and to define what aspects of their cultural heritage were shaped, informed or discouraged by my upbringing and which were influenced by birth families or a wider society, as defined by Friesen and Saevi above. My research presents additional ethical challenges in terms of my insider researcher position, the need for sensitivity around consent and participant agency as well as an interesting debate on the label vulnerable as applied to those who have left care. My short presentation will cover an introduction to my topic and invite comments and questions on the methodology used.
Stream 2: Education for Racial Equality
What actually is multicultural and antiracist education? Primary school teacher perspectives. (paper02-1)
Racism can often be an elephant in the (class)room, yet many educators do not happily engage with multicultural and antiracist education. Multiculturalism has been getting bad press from politicians for decades, being blamed for failing integration and social cohesion of communities. Antiracism is oftentimes misunderstood or outright avoided, as teachers fear using any terminology that sounds negative or they are unsure of, and retreat to the language of all-encompassing, positive sounding, but fuzzy celebration of diversity and equality. This paper presents a part of my doctoral study, which set out to find out what are Scottish primary school teacher persepectives on multicultural and antiracist education. I demonstrate that there is no one definition of these terms to which all teachers can ascribe. Whether or not teachers take up issues of discrimination and difference depends more on their personal commitments and interests than on any official policy, of which they are largely unaware. By using teachers' own words, I list the qualities they believe are important to engage young children with around the topics of respect, rights and inequality. Finally, these are compared with policies on racial equality in Scotland to demonstrate which areas need most bridge-building if policy and practice are to be more closely aligned.
Muslim academics in the British Ivory Tower: Institutional Racism, Denial and Silences (paper02-3)
There is currently little published research about the experiences of Muslim academics in the UK. Research has generally focussed on the experiences of Muslim students in higher education institutions (HEIs) in the West or the experiences of black and minority ethnic (BME) academics, the group to which most Muslim academic would belong. However, this body of research has not has not considered aspects of faith as a key characteristic for analysis. The findings of the research on Muslim students’ experiences reveal that although their immediate academic experience was positive, their on-campus lived experiences have been rather negative, affected by what they claimed to be institutional practices of marginalization and discrimination against them (e.g. Hopkins, 2011). The research on the experiences of BME academics have found that the processes, cultures and practices of the academy continue to be disadvantageous to this group (Bhopal & Jackson, 2013; ECU, 2011; Wright et al, 2007). Studies on the impact of equality legislations and initiatives in the UK have found that equality and diversity documents have not necessarily ensured genuine equality on the ground. These documents have enabled institutions to assume they are delivering for equality and fairness but those who have studied institutional practices have found that there is a less than comprehensive approach to tackling institutional racism (Ahmad, 2007; Deem & Morley, 2006; Pilkington 2012, Teelken & Deem, 2013). This paper will report on an ongoing doctoral fieldwork and provide early insights into initial emerging themes of the experiences of Muslim academics within UK HEIs, related to how and when participants resorted to silence, during the actual interviews, ‘silenced’ themselves even though they explicitly noted that racism being part and parcel of their academic experience, and/or denied to frame aspects that might be perceived as discriminatory as such. The paper additionally suggests that the wider societal Islamophobia has also imprinted on their resort to silence and denial vis-à-vis their experiences in the academy.
Critical Race Theory in Rural Youth Studies (paper02-4)
In this paper, I argue how Critical Race Theory (CRT) has recently enabled the discussion about the perpetuation of racism in education in a small-scale study in a rural community in Scotland. Through exploring the life experiences and aspirations of nine black and minority young people in the Highlands, Scotland, it was found how young people’s racialised experiences were exacerbated by a ‘conspiracy of silences’ from institutional actors. I argue that these institutional actors – from teachers, to youth workers to career counsellors- lack a meaningful understanding and literacy of race, everyday racism and institutionalised racism. Thus, generating silences, or perhaps, a vacuum, for recognising minority young people capable and active agents. How poor practices were having an impact on the young people’s life experiences and potentially will shape their life aspirations in the rural community.
What Does ‘Social Justice’ Mean in Educational Research? An Open Forum Discussion (paper02-5)
The CERES Doctoral Student Group and Akwugo Emejulu
Education can contribute to social change efforts by helping activists and practitioners identify, articulate and address complex and intersecting inequalities related to race, class, gender, religion, sexuality and disability. While social justice is oftentimes invoked by educational theorists, practitioners and policy makers, there seems to be a lack of consensus on what social justice means, a lack of common language to theorise it and a sometimes confusing plethora of ways in which social justice can be operationalised and embedded in teaching and research.
Given the wide-ranging interest in social justice across Moray House, we invite academic staff and PhD students to join our Open Forum on Social Justice. The Open Forum is a joint initiative of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) doctoral student group and the newly formed Social Justice Research Cluster. The Forum will take the form of a roundtable discussion in which participants are invited to consider the following questions:
1. How do you define social justice?
2. How do you operationalise social justice in your research and teaching?
3. What are the challenges you face in operationalising social justice?
4. How can we take these issues forward, individually and as a School?
Our aim is to provide a constructively critical environment for both PhD students and staff to engage in dialogue on the meaning and purpose of social justice. We also hope the Forum will be the first step in building a School-wide learning community for both PhD students and staff to share their work, their perspectives and to support each other in advancing social justice in education.
Stream 3: Sociology of Education and Educational Policy
Schools in Scotland: imagining the education of tomorrow (paper03-1)
Just like history is rarely about the Past, but about justifying a specific configuration of the Present; the documents that set development agendas are rarely about the ideal state of affairs, but about the one that is perceived as both positive and attainable. Thus development agendas closely relate to the concept of imaginaries – “desirable feasible visions of future” – employed in Science and Technology Studies. Over the recent decade the government's agenda for education in Scotland has demanded that schools do creatively envision and undertake their “journey to excellence”, showing the ingenuity in re-establishing own practices and re-defining own identities on the path of introducing the Curriculum for Excellence. A number of reports on commissioned research and independent studies brought out in recent years have discussed the progress that the schools have made so far and suggested desirable avenues of further development. This paper interpretively explores several such reports brought out in Scotland since 2010 to detect imaginaries drawn upon in the arguments in favour of certain priorities of future development of schools. I consider the ways, in which the innovative education is defined and the progress routes toward it are perceived. I also look at how the benefits of each progress route are reasoned about.
Education for Citizenship: Trends in Scottish Policy (paper03-2)
This paper reviews the literature pertaining to the policy context of citizenship education in Scotland. These developments are situated in the wider context of thinking about citizenship education influenced by global trends and developments in recent years. These developments can, however, involve different choices about how citizenship education is constructed in policy. Therefore, it is important to locate thinking about citizenship education also in the ideological context in which it has been incubated and reshaped. By focusing on key policy documents in the areas of community education and schooling, I argue that the increasing convergence of these areas of educational practice that have been partly brought about by trends in the relationship between state, society and citizenship education since 1999. The devolved Scottish Parliament led to a number of policy initiatives relevant to citizenship education. However, the version of democracy promoted through policy has shifted dramatically. In the context of community education the original social democratic ideology of a liberal pluralist society, which underpinned the Alexander Report, has largely been superseded in the new ideological mixture of neoliberalism, managerialism and ‘responsible citizenship’ which seems to be more characteristic of current policy trends. However, the above trends might enable a focus on global citizenship to be a space for critical and social purpose education whereby experiences of citizenship learning has a ‘democratic footprint’. From this viewpoint, the paper discusses young people as ‘everyday makers’ which might open up alternative spaces for citizenship education to flourish and inspire.
Investigating English language identity of Polish migrants in Scotland: the case for ELF-oriented pedagogy (paper03-3)
A growing body of research on English as a lingua franca (ELF) argues for the need to introduce courses which raise students’ awareness of the global spread of English and its consequences (cf. Dewey, 2012; Galloway, 2013; Jenkins, 2006, 2012; Matsumoto, 2011; Sifakis, 2007). However, although the goal of such “ELF-oriented pedagogy” (Dewey, 2012: 165) is essentially to influence non-native English speakers’ (NNES) identity, it is safe to say that understanding of NNESs’ identities in relationship with the English language is still limited. The presentation reports on the initial stage of a study of Polish migrants in Scotland, where they constitute the largest group of migrants. The study investigates Polish migrants’ English Language Identities (ELI), the term based on Block’s (2007) definition of Second Language Identity and referring to “the assumed or attributed relationship between one’s sense of self and the English language”. It is believed that in their migrant experience in which they have been rapidly immersed in a new linguistic environment the way Polish migrants perceive themselves as users of English vis-à-vis native English speakers (NESs) is likely to affect their sense of self. It is important to investigate this group’s ELI as considering a relatively high level of Polish migrants’ education (Blanchflower and Lawton, 2008) and therefore their potential contribution to the Scottish economy it is necessary to foster their “sense of belonging in the majority culture” (Moskal, 2014: 279). Additionally, by determining which issues and/or topics put forward by ELF researchers as suggested components of their ELF-oriented courses appear in Polish migrants’ discourse on identity, this study investigates the relevance of these proposals for the Polish context.
Symposium: Lessons from fifty years of Scottish comprehensive schooling (paper03-4)
Danny Murphy, Linda Croxford, Cathy Howieson
It is 50 years since comprehensive education was introduced in Scotland, England and Wales. But while the ideal of comprehensive education has been largely abandoned in England, comprehensive schools are alive and well in Scotland and command public support. But the Scottish system’s success is still only partial. To mark the 50th anniversary, our recently-published book (Murphy et al 2015) draws from a wide range of research, documentary and policy evidence to provide a critical account of the impact of comprehensive reorganisation, and related developments in curriculum and governance. Our papers for the Interweaving conference will present key research findings and discuss the implications for the future of Scottish education.
Danny Murphy: The values of comprehensive schooling
This paper will argue that three foundational democratic values – liberty, equality and fraternity -- underpin both the vision of comprehensive schooling and its subsequent evolving practice. However these values cannot be delivered in an absolute or extreme form, as each influences the other. Finding the correct balance between liberty and equality is a constant challenge for all democratic systems and consequently for education in a democracy. Fraternity, the value of face-to-face relationships of care and affection, plays an important mediating role. How fairly has Scottish comprehensive schooling balanced these values in practice?
Linda Croxford: Inequalities in pupils’ attainment and attitudes
This paper focuses on the issue of equality in comprehensive schooling. Firstly, it will provide statistical evidence of the impact of comprehensive schooling on pupils’ outcomes, and inequalities by social class and gender. Secondly, it addresses a key aspect of equality - that all young people have equal value and are worthy of equal attention and provision. But do young people feel equally valued, and how could we know? The paper draws on a unique series of surveys to give voice to young people and their increasingly positive attitudes to school, especially among the less academic.
Cathy Howieson: Differentiation, selection and choice
This paper will consider how Scotland has responded to the challenge that faces any comprehensive system: how to accommodate the full range of young people with all their varied interests and abilities and enable them to flourish? At what stage and to what extent should differentiation, selection and choice come into play? What is the appropriate balance between uniformity and diversity? In particular, how can this be done in a way that balances the principles of comprehensive education, especially those of liberty and equality. The paper will consider the contrasting approaches that have been adopted in Scotland over the 50 year period.
Stream 4: Child Protection
Examining the Drivers of Violence Against Children (paper04-1)
This paper explores current research being conducted in Swaziland, sub-saharan Africa. The study being conducted by UoE and project partners, UNICEF, investigates the drivers of physical, sexual and emotional violence against children. Situated within a larger global, multi-country study, the research in Swaziland is part of a 'research to policy and practice process' (R3P) which systematically reviews country specific existing literature, conducts qualitative research and engages in secondary research to allow us to better understand the aetiology of the drivers of violence. This paper will present the interim findings from the Swaziland study, looking at violence at school, in the home and in the community using data collected from academic and grey literature. The qualitative approach currently being used to engage Swazi children in the research will also be presented, alongside preliminary findings from this approach.
The Impact of Corporal Punishment on Children: Evidence from the Young Lives Longitudinal Study (paper04-3)
This paper examines the effects of corporal punishment in schools across four countries: Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. The research contributes to the UoE-UNICEF Multi-country Study on the Drivers of Violence Affecting Children, which follows a life course and structural determinants framework. Using survey data collected from caregiver and child questionnaires gathered for the longitudinal Young Lives study, this paper establishes the prevalence of corporal punishment at different ages in each country and explores the associated effects of corporal punishment on concurrent and later cognitive development and psychosocial well-being outcomes. The results indicate that corporal punishment can have lasting implications for children’s life chances by impacting engagement with schooling and capacity to learn. These findings highlight the need for an integrative approach to ensure all children have safe, supportive and enabling environments.
The Drivers of Violence Affecting Children in School Settings: Emerging Evidence from the UNICEF and University of Edinburgh Multi-country Study (paper04-4)
The Multi-country Study on the Drivers of Violence affecting Children (VaC) identifies and analyses how structural factors—the social, cultural, economic, legal, organizational or policy responses—interact to affect everyday violence in children’s homes and communities. The study, undertaken by UNICEF in partnership with UoE, conducts secondary analysis of national data sets and a systematic literature review, including an analysis of what works (and why), to situate current understandings of VaC and guide national discussions on priority determinants. This paper focuses specifically on the emerging data on the drivers of violence in school settings from four countries – Italy, Peru, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. It will present initial findings on what drives bullying and corporal punishment in schools and how these differ across age groups and gender. It aims to improve school-based violence prevention interventions, which are sensitive and responsive to variations by age and gender, and that fully consider the needs of children.
Stream 5: Community Education
'Churning' or lifeline? Life Stories from de-industrialised communities. (paper05-1)
This paper explores the major effects of de- industrialisation from 1972 to today on the lives of adult learners living in the ex-coalfield and steel working communities of County Durham in North East England. The paper presents the outcomes of a qualitative phase of research through life history interviews with unemployed learners attending mandatory government programmes in two de-industrialised communities. The study uses Hirschman's (1970) theory of 'Exit, Loyalty and Voice' as a framework for understanding the experience of learners. The sample focused on in this paper is related to the aspect of 'exit'. That is, where learners are expected to get a skill and move on in to employment. For this study the theory will provide a framework to make connections between the effects of de- industrialisation and the effects of government programmes on the lives of the learners. The study poses the question of whether government programmes have shaped the position, disposition and identity of the learners and changed their lives for the better. The findings indicate that 'exit' is not working. It is argues 'churning' (Sunley et al 2001) and controlling the lives of learners between welfare and poor quality short term government initiatives in depressed local labour markets with no jobs at the end may not provide ' exit' but may provide a lifeline and meaning where few opportunities exist. The findings indicate that a key effect of de- industrialisation which was followed by neo-liberal policies and practices of flexibilisation, welfare reform and austerity measures on the lives of these learners has contributed to their lives becoming precarious due to a lack of a meaningful identity. The state's role in the lives of these learners is surveillance of their time by controlling their lives through its welfare to work programme.The findings give evidence to the struggle of learners in attempting to aspire and remain motivated in a world shaped by 'churning', short term flexibility, public sector budget cuts and a reduction in welfare that remains outside of their control.
Constitutional change, changing political awareness and adult learning: the Scottish referendum (paper05-2)
Jim Crowther, Ellen Boeren, Alan Mackie
The outcome of the Scottish Referendum in 2014 saw the country split over whether or not to remain part of the UK. As opting out of one of the richest countries in the world was being considered the process of how people in Scotland were discussing, disagreeing and debating, that is, learning about the issues, is the focus of this presentation. We argue that the experience of deliberative democracy during the referendum was enhanced by a rich overlap between public and private spheres. In this presentation we focus on the proliferation of political debate in the space of family and friendship networks, online and offline – a process which was off the radar of most media coverage of the Referendum.
Digital Youth Work: an emerging model of practice (paper05-3)
In contemporary society, technology and digital environments influence how young people engage with and seek support from youth workers and youth work agencies. While managers and practitioners openly acknowledge this influence, they are not necessarily considering at a more contextualised, theoretical level how it might be influencing the very nature and purpose of youth work. Is it simply another way of working with young people? Or, is it leading to the development of an entirely new model of youth work – digital youth work? Seeking to answer the question, ‘How is technology influencing the nature and purpose of youth work?’ this paper explores the initial findings of a qualitative case study using an ethnographic approach. Researching the development of digital youth work as a form of practice within LGBT Youth Scotland required a range of methods, including digital forensic analysis of their web presence since 2001, observations of digital youth work service delivery, and individual semi-structured interviews with managers, front-line practitioners, and specially-trained digital youth work volunteers as well as three small-group, semi-structured interviews with young people already accessing their services. In distilling findings to better understand commonalities and differences between face-to-face practice and digital youth work and exploring how youth workers and young people value digital youth work, it is possible to then locate these findings against existing models and frameworks of face-to-face youth work and experiential and informal learning theories which underpin such practice. In doing so, a new model of youth work practice begins to emerge indicating that while the nature of most such practice is different – digital environments rather than face-to-face – the purposes remain unchanged while at the same time pointing towards the potential of newer natures of working and additional purposes firmly rooted in technological and digital environments, which synthesise together in a new model of practice – digital youth work.
Stream 7: Digital Cultures and Education
Technology and the Living Word (paper07-1)
It is well-known that the philosopher Socrates eschewed writing in favour of the ‘living’ word of dialogue. This is frequently offered as an early example of a technology acceptance problem, along with an observation that paradoxically we only have access to Socrates’ reasoning because his pupil Plato wrote down his dialogues. However, in order for Socrates’ words to retain life it is surely necessary that they are brought into contemporary dialogues, such as philosophy seminars. If they are to be relevant to technology acceptance, then they should be brought into dialogues about that. The study reports on an online activity, for students on the MSc in Digital Education. This aimed at experimenting with academic writing through augmenting, translating, updating or changing the genre of Socrates’ words about writing as recorded In Phaedrus. Students were asked to consider what they had learned about writing and texts through this process, which produced some highly creative results. This activity and its effects are explored through constructs offered by Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975), who himself recognized the original contributions of Socrates to dialogic engagement, and the value of parody and reworking of Socrates (and others) to challenge more monologic and restrictive forms of thinking. Now that technology offers us an opportunity to be released from the authoritative strictures of the written – and, especially, the printed – word, it is perhaps a good time to reconsider dialogic practices for education.
Using mobilities-informed methods to support creative and innovative approaches to arts evaluation. (paper07-2)
Claire Sowton, Jen Ross, Jeremy Knox, Chris Speed
Methods for evaluating engagement and learning within museums and galleries often lack a sense of the richness of participants' experience. New approaches for evaluating arts-based engagement are needed. This paper explores how a mobilities perspective, tracing the movement of people and objects (artworks), might usefully inform arts evaluation by enabling visitors to extend their engagement with the arts (both imaginatively and literally) through space and time. Artcasting, a new digital and mobile form of evaluation, involves the gallery or museum visitor selecting an artwork and digitally ‘casting’ it to another location. Artcasting will capture the richness and complexity of arts-based engagement through the connections made between artwork, memory, emotion and place.
Learning experiences developed in Brazilian educational robotics settings and their impact on interest for technology careers and technology skills in Primary and Secondary students (paper07-3)
Eder Coelho Paula
The following paper reports a research study designed to investigate the impact of learning experiences developed in Brazilian Educational Robotics (ER) settings with students from Primary and Secondary Schools focusing on their interest in technology careers and development of technology skills. The research questions which are the core of this study are: 1) To what extent does participation in ER educational settings influence young learners’ interest in technology careers?; and 2) To what extent does the participation in ER educational settings provide young learners with relevant technological skills? Economic and educational challenges, such as the lack of specialized workforce in the field of technology allied to the lack of interest in technology undergraduate courses, have lead the Brazilian Federal Government to create policies in order to minimise these issues. Since 2007, the creation of the More Education Program (PME) and the National Program of Access to Technical Learning and Jobs (PRONATEC) have created learning experiences which are responsible for, respectively, providing integral learning in public schools and technical courses. Both programs alongside similar others provide, in some degree, ER learning activities, which, during the last two decades, have claimed being opportunities for development of career interest in technology and development of technology skills. To investigate the impact of learning experiences developed in ER settings in young learners’ interest for technology careers, diversity of data collection methods (diaries, interviews, observations and document review) and points of view (from students from Primary and Secondary Schools, teachers and parents) will be used. Processes of comparison (inductive analysis, coding, refinement, development of general concepts) will be used to develop a theory of development of interest for technology careers and development of technology skills. Implications of this study include the development of policies for the development of a national ER curricula and contributions for ER teacher training.
A Proposal for Using Open Educational Resources for Senior Secondary Schools Mathematics in a Developing Economy: A Survey (paper07-4)
Paul M. Udofia
The challenge of high student-teacher ratio has been identified as a major cause of mass failure of students at the Senior Secondary school Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Nigeria. E-learning was proposed as a possible intervention. Using a simple quasi-experiment, e-learning was introduced and practically demonstrated in three secondary schools involving 287 students and 17 mathematics teachers, in Southern Nigeria. The experiment took place from October, 2014 through January, 2015. Open Educational Resources (OER), a major component of e-learning, were adopted during the period based on convenience and availability for that level of education. A lot has been written on the openness, open source licenses, ownership, creation and acceptance of these resources for mostly higher education. This study tends to look at OER for secondary schools in a developing economy where only basic information, communication and technology (ICT) are guaranteed. The usefulness of these resources based on the teachers and students’ perspectives was surveyed. Issues of quality and non-alignment of some of them with the existing school’s curriculum were discovered. It was also observed that these resources are usually tailored to meet the pedagogical needs of learners in a specific context. As such they may not adequately address the demands of learners universally. Having discovered these gaps, the attitude was not to reject such resources. Rather roles of teachers were defined, in the study, to modify or act in any other capacity to ensure the students derived full benefits from those resources. It was also observed that the mobility of these OER may be further checked by differences in societal technological advancement. This led to the suggestion of different societies adopting the approach of giving and taking. Teachers expressed their willingness and intention to continue with e-learning, pending the approval by the government. The students were happy to continue in the use of e-learning to study not only mathematics but every other subject, on a blended mode.
Strategies of remembering with photographs (paper07-5)
Although photography practices often play an important role in long-term memory and identity construction, they take place in a constantly changing technological and cultural context. The activity of capturing, organising and reviewing photographs of lived experience extends across time and helps us to connect the past, present and future. Such activity can be characterised as the connection between prospective (forward-looking) and retrospective (backward-looking) strategies. This paper reports on a study that explores the strategies that people employ when engaging in photographic practices and how they make sense in relation to each other. It also aims to identify important factors that facilitate, manipulate or confound these strategies. This study is currently in progress. Between June and September, 2015, I will interview between 12 and 20 members of staff at the University of Edinburgh. During the interview, each participant will select up to 3 different sets of photos (e.g. those on a particular photographic device or medium such as physical albums, digital photo frames, printed photo books, mobile phones or photo-sharing websites). From each set, they will select up to 5 photographs that represent different aspects of how they use photography to remember. During this process of selection, I will observe the participant’s behaviour and ask about motivations and what is valued within photographs and photographic practices. Once the selection is finished, we will discuss these particular photos and media in more depth and reflect on the participant’s general beliefs and philosophies of memory and photography. These reflections will be recorded as part of the data, along with field notes and photographs of the media and photographs under discussion. Framework analysis will be used to identify important and challenging factors in extended patterns of remembering with personal photography.
Symposium: Children and Technology: promises and challenges (paper07-6)
Technology plays an increasing role across society, indirectly and directly influencing children’s lives. Its increasing ubiquity and accessible nature means that children are exposed to, and often become users of, technology from the earliest age. This has created young children and their families as new markets, with new products to appeal to them, such as apps for early learning or toys that have been digitally augmented. Whilst these developments have caused excitement, they have also raised a range of pertinent questions such as how does technology mediate children’s physical and social interaction, and what responsibilities do parents have in providing or regulating children’s access? In school, the focus has moved from ‘if’ technology should be used to support learning to ‘how’ it should be used, with increasing calls to teach children to be creators, not just consumers, of technology. Scotland is looking to build upon the recent experiences in England of introducing a new Computing curriculum. This symposium will bring together work from members of the Children and Technology Research group. Speakers will be asked to address several specific questions about children and technology, drawing on experience of their recent projects. These questions will elicit speakers’ perspectives on approaches to designing technology for children, how to evaluate its use and their thoughts on future directions of technology for children. The symposium will benefit from the breadth of speakers’ approaches and experiences including recent work into: Computing education, pre-school tablet use, robotics education, embodied technologies for STEM education, mobile games for developing thinking skills, and the use of technologies in international contexts. The format of the session will be to ask each speaker to use their research to address three questions about Children and Technology. All five presenters will address each question and then invite thoughts and questions from the audience, including for more general questions about the role of technology in children’s lives. For further information on the group's research:
BrainQuest: An exergame to train executive function (paper07-7)
Stuart Iain Gray
Brain Quest is an active smart phone game designed to promote both physical activity and executive function in 10-11 year old children. This paper details the preliminary results of a small scale quasi-experimental study using the game over an 8 week period with a group of 28 primary school children. The initial results of the study are promising, suggesting a significant relationship between bench-marked executive function and BrainQuest performance and producing qualitative evidence indicating the game’s ability to challenge executive behaviours. Fine grained analysis of results from 6 case study children using the game are yet to be released.
Stream 8: Higher Education
How do you understand tongshi education? A case study of cultural conflicts at Chinese research universities (paper08-1)
In this study I examine how faculty members understand a current undergraduate curriculum reform under the name of tongshi education, using the case at a Chinese research university. Based on a thematic analysis of interviews with 15 faculty members and 3 university administrators, I constituted several ways of accounting for tongshi education. These ranged from describing tongshi education as policy learning of general education in several US universities to viewing it as the echo of ancient Confucianism. I argue that the differences illustrate the underlying cultural conflicts at Chinese research universities which root in its historical trajectory and the current global context, with influences from Confucianism, Marxism, neo-conservatism and the mounting genericism in higher education policies. In conclusion I discuss the implications of the reform on people’s understanding of nature of higher education, and specifically, teaching and learning at research universities.
Language development of Foreign Language teachers in Russia: what are we aiming at? (paper08-2)
The presentation will focus on the aims of pre-service foreign language (FL) teacher training in Russia and how these aims fit the professional context where university graduates function after qualifying as FL teachers. First, the federal/Ministry requirements to FL teacher development in Russia presented in the current State Educational Standards (2010) will be described and the key aims of FL teacher training highlighted (e.g. development of foreign language competence, socio-cultural competence, linguistic knowledge, etc.). Then language teacher training curricula from several Russian universities will be analysed with an emphasis on the language subjects/modules - their aims, content and task types. The aims of FL teacher language development as seen by the Ministry of Education and universities in Russia will be then compared to the results of FL teacher Needs Analysis performed in Tula and Moscow regions in 2012-2013. The Needs Analysis involved about 110 participants from various levels of education – from primary school to university and with different experience in ELT - from 1 to more than 40 years. The Needs Analysis aimed to single out the language skills that teachers of English as a FL in Russia require in and out of the classroom. The respondents were asked to indicate how often they employed various language skills. The responses were summarized and the skills ranked, starting with those employed very often to those never employed. This resulted in a taxonomy of sub-skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing. The taxonomy, when compared to the aims of FL teacher development resented in the documents, testified to some incongruity between what is taught at university and what is required from university graduates at school when they teach English to different age groups. This presentation will identify these gaps in language courses for future FL teachers at university and suggest several ways of bridging them – from possible reshaping of teaching aims to widening the range of tasks employed for language teacher training.
Employability at postgraduate taught level: preliminary findings from a small scale pilot study (paper08-3)
Michelle Waldron, Gale Macleod
In 1997 Employability was identified by the government-sponsored Dearing Report into Higher Education as an area of concern. The capacity of universities to produce graduates with the skills required by the economy was called into question (Mason, Williams, Cranmer and Guile, 2003). This resulted in a proliferation of curriculum innovation (e.g. work-based learning and internships) along with the introduction of the term ‘employability skills’ into the lexicon of undergraduate Higher Education (Rotherwell, Jewell and Hardie, 2009). Until now there has been little engagement with employability skills at the postgraduate taught (PGT) level. The PGT sector across the UK was expanding until about five years ago. PGT numbers have been in decline and by 2012/13 there were fewer UK and non-EU students enrolling on PGT programmes than there had been in 2007/8 (UUK 2014).
This paper reports on a pilot case study conducted in one ‘department’ of a Russell Group university in Scotland. The study aimed to 1) generate a better understanding of what ‘employability’ meant to PGT students; 2) assess the extent to which employability was a factor in programme selection; 3) explore student levels of satisfaction in relation to employability. Students from two different programmes were interviewed and given a base-line assessment. Work was also conducted with programme directors to explore how employability could be embedded in their programme and marketing materials, and a tailored intervention from careers service was offered to students. Preliminary findings suggest that a) employability was not an important factor programme selection, b) employability is understood differently by non-UK students, c) distance learning students are interested in discussing employability, but are less concerned with whether the programme develops their skills, d) students’ perception was that academic staff were unaware of the employability agenda and e) opportunities to engage with developing employability skills were not taken up by students. These findings will be used to inform a larger case study in the same department next academic year.
Stream 9: Sport and society; Physical Education; Physical Activity for Health
‘We are the selfie generation’: How social media is affecting school pupils’ social perceptions of the body in a Scottish secondary school (paper09-1)
Sarah Louise MacIsaac
Bodies and their appearances are socially important to young people, especially within the school environment where young people continually negotiate social relationships as they work to establish themselves and their identities. Recognising also the increasing omnipresence of online social networking within young people’s social lives as an extension of school culture, this study qualitatively examines the influence that social media use has on how young people perceive themselves, their bodies and others within the social context of a school. Through engaging with school pupils as part of a yearlong ethnographic study, I present findings which demonstrate how central social media use was within participants’ social lives and which indicate how crucial it was to construct a desirable and acceptable self-image online, particularly in relation to outward appearances. Social media acted as a medium for social comparison where young people would become known and gauge their self-worth and their position within social hierarchies, often in very detailed ways. Goffman’s (1959) interaction order is used to theorise how and why individuals regulate the self, the body and outward appearances both online and offline and to consider some of the implications of negotiating self-construction across these two avenues for the individuals concerned. I conclude by considering some of the implications of this for young people's experiences of, and engagement with, the Physical Education environment, a learning context where the body is central.
Understanding student experience within the Scottish PE (health and wellbeing) curriculum: a self-determination theory perspective (paper09-2)
In 2010, schools in Scotland implemented their new curriculum, a Curriculum for Excellence (Scottish Government, 2004). Within this curriculum, physical education (PE) is set within the curricular area of Health and Wellbeing (HWB). Currently, little is known about teaching and learning within this new PE context, particularly in relation to the development of positive student wellbeing. Consequently, we carried out a preliminary investigation to understand the experiences of school students’ as they engage in their PE, HWB curriculum for the first time. More specifically, we used Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000) as a framework to examine students’ experiences in terms of their motivation and their ‘basic needs’ to feel competent, autonomous and related within the PE context, important factors in the attainment and maintenance of positive wellbeing.
Participants were students from one urban state secondary school and its two feeder primary schools (primary 7, age 11/12; secondary 1, age 12/13; secondary 2, age 13/14). Six students from a class in each year group were purposively selected to take part in a series of post-lesson focus groups. A total of 13 focus group interviews were conducted. The purpose of each was to investigate the students’ experiences during the lesson in relation to their feelings of motivation, competence, autonomy and relatedness.
The results revealed the different ways the PE context satisfied (or not) the students’ basic needs and the impact this had on their learning experiences. In particular, the students drew attention to the ways in which the level of task difficulty, social groupings, choice and gender influenced their experiences in PE.
The results of this investigation provide preliminary qualitative data that offer a description of the ways in which student’s PE experiences may contribute positively or negatively to their wellbeing.
Ryan, R. M. & Deci. E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.
Curricular Sports Programmes and Positive Youth Development: Investigating youth perceptions of psychological development and activity participation in a Scottish context. (paper09-3)
Jennifer Treacy (nee Salfen)
Participation in structured sports programmes is a promising avenue to enhance Positive Youth Development (PYD). As greater responsibility is placed on the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) to enhance aspects associated with PYD, such as social and emotional well-being, it is essential to understand Scottish youth perceptions of development and how it may be related to activity participation. Research on curricular sports programmes, such as the Scottish School of Sport (SoS), and their ability to enhance aspects of PYD, is limited. This research employed a sequential multi-phase mixed methods design consisting of three phases (qual→QUAN→QUAL) in order to answer the following research questions, “Do students who participate in a curricular sports programme, as opposed to those who do not, report different levels of Positive Youth Development? If so, whom, in what context, and why?” This paper will focus on the final qualitative phase in which 12 (8 males, 4 females) semi-structured interviews were conducted with students both enrolled and not enrolled in the programme. Preliminary analysis indicates that students enrolled in the programme felt an increased sense of belonging and felt more directly connected with the successes of the overall school. In addition to this the “importance of social support” was a prevalent theme throughout the interviews, both with students enrolled and not enrolled. This research may have implications in sporting opportunities throughout Scotland as we aim to provide avenues for positive youth development.
A grounded theory of adolescent girls’ experiences and perceptions of how significant others influence their physical activity behaviour (paper09-4)
Regular physical activity has well-established benefits on the physical and psychological health of children and adolescents. Despite this, many adolescent girls are not sufficiently active to achieve health benefits. Social support is positively associated with physical activity in adolescent girls however, it is unclear how social support influences behaviour. Understanding how social support influences behaviour could inform more effective intervention design. This study aimed to develop an explanatory model of social support for physical activity behaviour grounded in the experiences of adolescent girls. A constructivist grounded theory approach was adopted and closely followed with regards to study design and analysis. Physically active girls aged 13 to 15 years from two schools in Edinburgh participated in semi-structured interviews. The interviews explored the participants’ physical activity patterns and the role their friends and family have on their physical activity behaviours. This presentation will present themes and concepts that have emerged from a preliminary analysis of interviews with 12 girls. An initial explanatory model will be presented based on these themes and concepts and recommendations for implications and future direction will be made.
Stream 13: Teacher Education
Promoting Positive Mental Health: The Primary School Teacher's role (paper13-1)
Since UNICEF declared that a nation's standing could be measured by its attention to children including their wellbeing, there has been a greater emphasis on child wellbeing within UK education, including Curriculum for Excellence, which identifies and clarifies each teacher’s responsibility to promote the emotional wellbeing of pupils. This shift in focus prompts consideration of how the change can be incorporated into Initial Teacher Education. This paper discusses a qualitative research project that sought to gain greater insight into how primary school teachers see their responsibility to promote positive mental health; into their attitudes, development needs and confidence levels. As the researcher is a teacher educator, one aim of the project was that the research findings could be of use to teachers, not just about them; that what was discovered through engaging with practising teachers could be used to inform work with beginner teachers. This aspiration influenced the qualitative design and nature of the project. The sample comprised teachers from ten primary schools located across five local authorities, who had varying degrees of experience in and commitment towards positive mental health promotion. The research set out to uncover how easy is it for these teachers to implement strategies to promote positive mental health and how confident they are in this area. The paper explains how reflexivity embedded within a qualitative approach was the most appropriate way to achieve the research aims. It identifies some of the key findings of the research and how they might be used to inform ITE.
Ways of Being, Ways of Knowing: Framing Pupils' Engagement with Literary and Historical Texts (paper13-2)
There is a large body of research within literary theory which explores conceptions of ‘text’ and textual practices. However, school teachers’ conceptions of texts and textual practices remain a relatively unexplored area. Curriculum reform in Scotland has focused on the development of a competencies-based curriculum, with particular attention given to interdisciplinary learning. This has encouraged the professional development of secondary school teachers’ approaches to teaching methodologies and learning and assessment; but there exists a current gap in the literature of the voice of practising teachers of history and English in secondary school on their beliefs about texts and textual practices in their own subject areas. This paper reports on a series of ten extensive, semi-structured, focused interviews with five principal teachers of English and five principal teachers of history who taught in schools across Scotland in varying socio-economic areas. Interpretative phenomenological analysis of interview transcripts revealed three central themes: what the teachers regarded as the purpose of their subject in the secondary curriculum; conceptions of ‘text’ and hermeneutic practices; and their beliefs concerning specific attitudes and dispositions that were viewed to be important to the learner’s developing conception of literary and historical purposes and practices. Whilst the study reported here is on a small-scale, it provides a fine-grained delineation of how a set of accomplished teachers view the purposes and practices of secondary school English and History, thereby contributing to knowledge of a relatively unexplored area. The key findings of the study can also serve to stimulate reflection and debate over the purposes of school-level History and English, providing a means for English and history school teachers and PGDE tutors to consider closely how they engage pupils with literary and historical texts, in a changing semiotic landscape, in order to develop learners as empathic readers, social critics and literary apprentices.
Teachers working with others: only if necessary (paper13-3)
Mary Moyosore Taiwo
This research investigates teachers’ practice in Nigerian classrooms where children with disabilities are being educated alongside their non-disabled peers. The research aimed at developing an understanding of how teachers with the experience of inclusive practice are developing their classroom inclusive practice. Qualitative data was generated through the use of semi-structured (non-participant) classroom observations and follow-up semi-structured interviews with teachers. The framework for participation (Black-Hawkins, 2014; Black‐Hawkins, 2010) was used as a theoretical framework to guide the process of data generation, data analysis and interpretation. Data analysis was carried out through a combination of both deductive and inductive approaches to qualitative data analysis. This paper focused on one aspect of findings that emerged. This is the collaboration between teachers and other teachers, as well as their collaboration or the ability to work with other support (resource) staff available within the school context. This aspect of inclusive practice was found to be the least developed in terms of teachers practice with regards to the inclusion of children with disabilities. The implications of this and the possible way forward are all discussed.
Using international survey data to inform policy and practice in mathematics education - what can we learn about subject pedagogies from international survey data? (paper13-4)
There is currently limited reporting of findings from international studies such as Programme of International Students’ Assessment (PISA), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Reports from those sample-based studies are often restricted to high-level summaries, through league tables of country performances and analyses of trends over time without necessarily identifying associations within the data or measures of impact that could be linked to particular practices. More could be gained by policy makers and the teaching profession if the data are analysed using advanced quantitative techniques to identify the principal associations with educational performance. In particular, recent and current policy initiatives in learning and teaching can be evaluated in relation to student achievement, to directly support the planning of future teaching programmes and to target resources accordingly. This presentation will report on such an analysis, using multi-level models to identify principal associations with educational performance in mathematics for Scottish students in TIMSS(2007). Scottish education policy was in a period of transition when the data was collected in 2007, with the Scottish Government’s flagship Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) being implemented across schools and local authorities. The transformational change-in-practice sought by CfE policy reflected research that discussed curriculum and assessment policy implementation, and constructivist approaches to learning and teaching in mathematics education. A conceptual framework was developed to reflect this reform agenda and social constructivist development in STEM education. Analyses and findings in this research raise questions over whether those reform practices and students’ experiences as reported through the survey questionnaires are as significantly associated with achievement as claimed. Discussion of findings and strength of associations will be used to guide and inform future practice, prompting further research on focused experiences and practices.
Stream 16: Language Research
The role of mother tongue teachers in language maintenance – promoting positive Daighi attitudes in Daighi classrooms (paper16-1)
Language attitudes are one of the essential elements to maintain a language (Bradley and Bradley, 2002). This study contributes to the understanding of how Daighi teachers plan to promote positive language attitudes to Daighi in classrooms, also, how they are practicing their plans. In the pilot study, two supplementary Daighi teachers of 6th grade students (11 to 12 years old) were interviewed, and one of each of their classes was observed. Based on the initial analysis of recorded interview data and field notes, the findings supported the view that developing students’ interest in the language is one of the top priorities. Also, both teachers emphasized on the importance of language ability improvements. The findings also indicated a variety means of positive language attitudes promotion. This paper then summarizes both shared methods in language attitude improvements, as well as the different means suggested by the teachers. Students’ reactions to the practice of each type of positive language attitudes promotion are also discussed, so as to evaluate how effective the practiced language teaching methods are. Thereafter, the relation between Daighi teachers’ planned positive language attitudes promotion and its practices are assessed. This paper concludes with how teachers’ perceived strategies in promoting positive attitudes to Daighi matches or mismatches their practices.
Bradley, D., & Bradley, M. (2002). Language endangerment and language maintenance. London: RoutledgeCurzon.
Portuguese as a Foreign Language Education in Brazil: policy enactment and curricular development for PEC-G students (paper16-2)
Michele Saraiva Carilo
This paper reports a research study designed to investigate policy enactment in Brazil and the perceived lack of specific Language Education policies for Portuguese as a Foreign Language(PFL). The study has been guided by the following research questions:1) How are current policies being enacted in order to develop curricula for PFL courses offered by Brazilian universities to PEC-G students?; 2) In what ways do federal and/or local Language Education guidelines influence curricular development of PFL courses?; and 3) To what extent do sociocultural themes, such as citizenship and social justice, inform and shape current curricular development of PFL courses? As a direct result of the lack of specific policies, universities responsible for PFL students have been borrowing policies from other contexts disregarding local realities and intercultural differences in favour of providing so-called magical solutions. It can be argued that such solutions deny power that specific and tailored language policies can have to allow students to gain access to education, to engender a sense of belonging, and to grant citizenship. In Brazil, academic mobility programmes, as the Programme of Undergraduate Students Exchange(PEC-G), allocate students from around the world in Brazilian universities. However, students from countries where the Portuguese Proficiency Exam(CELPE-BRAS) is not applied must attend PFL courses before matriculating. To understand how language education policies are enacted for curricular development of PFL courses, data will be gathered through documentary analysis and in-depth semi-structured interviews with co-ordinators of PFL courses from eleven Brazilian Federal Universities. The analysis of the interviews will involve coding and axial coding policy documents and interview transcripts and notes fine-grained reading and re-reading. Based on Charmaz’s approach in Constructivist Grounded Theory, in which involves deductive, inductive, and abductive theorising, comparisons and contrasts are identified within and across interview transcripts. Findings will be used to make recommendations for future PFL language policy development at Higher Education Level.
Interweaving research methods: Transparadigming as a skill in university language teacher trainers (paper16-4)
Transparadigming is a new term to refer to the skill of the individual in using different research methods across and within the two paradigms of qualitative and quantitative research methods – the focus is on the individual. Transparadigming differs from research triangulation in that the same researcher develops and uses the research skills, whereas in research triangulation, different researchers may work together across paradigms – the focus is on the research.
Teacher trainers in the tertiary sector are increasingly skilling up in different research methods in order to help prepare their students to solve real life problems for their studies and their future careers. In language teacher education, the current post-methods approach to teaching means that trainers need to enable their student teachers to develop theoretical and practical understanding of many different teaching approaches and methods, and this needs to be supported by a broader and deeper understanding over the range of research methods.
In this paper, I discuss workshop tutors’ perceptions of transparadigming in a master’s course, based on their interview data and from an emic, insider perspective, in order to show the tutors’ intentions and how transparadigming works. Beyond transparadigming, the tutors also reflect on the ways in which research methods, languages, literacies, and language teaching methods are interwoven through classroom interaction in the language teacher training process.
I conclude that in this context, transparadigming is part of a wider skill base in teacher trainers. Through the layers of fabric of the discourse, trainers weave together qualitative and quantitative research methods, and interlace content, languages, and teaching methods with these research methods in order to support learners in constructing their own understanding – to build the fabric of the mind.
Stream 17: Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Education
Person-related factors in (outdoor) educators that support the social and personal growth in learners (paper17-1)
Outdoor education pursues as one of its main goals the social and personal growth of programme participants, such as problem-solving, perseverance, communication skills, or trusting in others and oneself. These learning outcomes map well onto the four capacities of the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence, as well as the key competencies demanded by the European Commission and the OECD for all learners in formal education. This paper summarises the literature on factors creating effective outdoor leadership, and describes the set of competencies that are widely considered to have a crucial impact on the safe and sustainable learning process of participants in outdoor education programmes. Based on this, parallels are drawn to the literature on effective teaching, which looks into behaviours, strategies and attributes of school teachers, and their impact on students’ attainment. Next, preliminary results are presented of an ongoing research project using standardised measures on emotional intelligence, personality, and leadership styles with (outdoor) educators. Finally, based on the literature review and empirical data, practical implications for outdoor educators and school teachers are discussed.
What's love got to do with it? Probably everything. (paper17-2)
When outdoor educators and their students travel through nature the experiences they have are likely to be very different to those in the class room. Through direct experiences in nature we might exercise and develop the virtue of attention whereby the moral significance of our relationships with nature are based on the attention we pay to them. But how do we get people to pay attention in the first place? I will present self-reported data from students who attended a masters course that I teach. The data are derived from written and oral testimony where students reported deep thinking and/or deep feeling relating to one particular nature-based activity they were asked to do. By locating their experiences within theories of epistemological diversity this presentation explores how a value orientation can be developed that can influence moral action.
Opening the garden to the public: Display of horticultural achievements as a manifestation of the ability to exercise power (paper17-3)
Open Gardens are a nation-wide phenomenon that people open their private gardens to the public for charities. Historical contexts indicate that showing one’s horticultural achievements is an inseparable aspect of Open Gardens. However, it has not been examined by existing studies, for example, Lipovská’s (2013) latest research into the motivation of opening. This paper therefore investigated garden opener’s perspectives on attention-seeking. Participant observations in 31 different gardens and 47 semi-structured interviews with garden openers, helpers, volunteer organisers and workers of an organisation that runs Open Gardens were conducted. As a result, it was revealed that garden openers’ intention to show others what has been achieved in their gardens is tacitly presented. In order to meet the expectation of visitors and volunteer organisers who are responsible for inspecting the garden quality, the openers make considerable efforts to develop their gardens. This points sheds the light on different forms of power deployment in the pre-opening period. I argue that Open Gardens would be unique in the sense that one could notice power exercises in absence of observable existence of the powerless. The paper is concluded by raising a doubt about whether the identification of an agency over which power is potentially exercised is necessary to detect one’s ability to use power.
Stream 19: Theory and Philosophy
A Moral Philosophical Perspective of Citizenship Education (paper19-1)
Moral philosophical perspectives such as deontological ethics (Arthur & Harrison, 2012), utilitarian ethics (Tarrant & Tarrant, 2004), virtue ethics (Carr, 2006), care ethics (Zembylas, 2009, 2010) and the capabilities approach (Nussbaum, 1997, 2006; Pfister, 2012) feature sporadically in the philosophy of education literature on citizenship education. Given that each of the philosophical perspectives has its strengths and limitations, it is counter-intuitive to think that citizenship education should be informed exclusively by a single moral philosophical perspective. Yet there is little discussion of a plural moral philosophical perspective of citizenship education in the research literature. In this paper I argue that a plural moral philosophical perspective of citizenship education that is without the dangers of moral relativism is plausible. I also make the observation that core issues concerning citizenship education are embedded in debates about the development of autonomy in education. The discussion of autonomy also includes reference to the related notion of authenticity and how both concepts might inform a conception of citizenship education based on a plural moral philosophical perspective. A plural moral philosophical perspective informs a progressive or good citizenship education that is gender sensitive, encourages empathetic understanding, promotes social and political activity as well as virtuous behaviour.
Contrasting conceptual accounts of well-being and their implications for education (paper19-2)
In the broad area of moral philosophy, critiques of well-being values have recently increased. Often underpinning analysis are contrasting theories of well-being e.g., subjective constructs that value highly reflections on personal experiences and individual fulfillment, and objective theories which emphasize more through specific criteria the societal benefits of well-being. Without detailed recourse to such theorizing, education policy making has recently tried to tease out the relationship between thriving personally and showing moral integrity towards others via a number of rather superficial and dissimilar curriculum statements. The paper, in trying to improve coherence in this area, reviews contemporary critiques of well-being and argues that a hybridized mix of subjective and objective influences, would if referenced by learners own reflective informed thoughts and emotional needs, represent the most productive prospect for education-related developments. The priorities for achieving this form of progress begins by reviewing the main curriculum planning issues which merit analysis if well-being theorizing is to more closely connect with educational gains. Thereafter, the main challenge discussed is how teachers can maximize the benefits of pedagogical practices in holistic learning environments where there are clear connections between well-being values, subject knowledge and learners previous learning experiences.
Critical engagement or “selective” affinity? Neoliberalism, tyrannical participation and the meanings of student engagement (paper19-3)
Recently the focus of research on Student Engagement (SE) has shifted from normative, atheoretical pieces (Trowler 2010) to a more critical discussion of the construct itself, how it is deployed and what underlies its popularity. Examples include Trowler's (2015) portrayal of SE as a "chaotic conception", Ashwin & McVitty's (2014) exploration of the meanings of SE, Gourlay's (2015) denunciation of the "tyranny of participation" and recent publications from Zepke arguing that SE as portrayed by the "mainstream" (2015) is an "orthodoxy" (2014a) which enjoys an "elective affinity" with neoliberalism (2014b). SE has been described (Kahu 2013:758) as a “meta-construct”, or as “vague” (Vuori 2014). While Ashwin & McVitty characterise SE as “shifting and chang[ing] even when there is a shared sense of the focus and level”, this paper argues that it not so much “shifts” or “changes” but that different aspects of a multi-faceted construct become more or less visible within a particular context. While research has typically focused on the behavioural (Zepke 2014a), cognitive (Ashwin et al., 2014) or affective (Kahu, 2013) dimensions, it has seldom considered the intersectionalities of these, and in particular, where students engage congruently along one or more of these dimensions and oppositionally or not at all along others. The deployment of the construct similarly positions SE as something students do or don’t do, rather than representing the nuances of how and to what extent students are engaging variously with different objects and along the different dimensions, within a particular context. Data from interviews of students who identify as “non-traditional” within their own study contexts and from the #RhodesMustFall movement raise concerns about the potential limitations of current framing. This paper addresses these by way of an amended model, and argues that SE itself is a nuanced and multi-faceted construct, albeit deployed "chaotically" in particular contexts for particular purposes. It posits that SE requires more than a static, binary or hierarchical conceptualisation if it is to be understood in its complexity and harnessed usefully in policy and practice.
Stream 1: Childhood, Inclusion and Diversity
Inside a nursery, a primary one and a primary three Scottish classroom: The role of adults in responding to diversity in schools. (poster01-1)
According to the Equal Opportunities Commission (2007), since the mid-1970s the amount of classroom assistants (CAs) in Scottish schools rose from around 1000 to approximately 15,000 by 2007. This growth emerges as a strategy of the Scottish Executive to raise educational standards and support teachers in their job.
There has been a general concern about CAs supporting students with additional support needs (ASN) and challenging behaviour; especially when CAs work with students outside the classroom and, therefore, remove the immediate responsibility of those students from the teachers (Stead et al., 2007). “Too often this leads to the most vulnerable pupils being further isolated from the teaching their peers experience. As a result, the pupils most in need of effective high quality professional attention are least likely to get it” (Balshaw, 2010, p. 337).
This qualitative small-scale research project explores the role of classroom teachers and classroom assistants in responding to diversity in: a nursery, a primary one and a primary three Scottish classroom. The main research question of this study was: How do adults respond to diversity in schools?
Observations and interviews were used to build three case studies, which gave detailed account of how adults responded to diversity in each classroom illustrating their practices and their reasoning behind them.
The results of this small-scale research illustrate how CAs had the main responsibility of students with ASN and how in some cases these students were not able to participate in the classroom activities because they had to leave the classroom to receive the support they needed.
Love, Passion and Professionalism. The Early Years Professional. (poster01-2)
In 2006 the National Review of the Early Years Childcare Workforce, in Scotland, led to a program of development which saw Early Years Practitioners move towards degree level qualifications. Almost ten years on Early Years Practitioners still struggle with what it is to be professional and where they fit within a multi-agency profession. The aim of my research is to investigate the identity and status of the Early Years Professional drawing mainly on current sources, however historical literature will also give a perspective on what is a rapidly emerging profession. Other countries have gone through a similar process of development so it will be useful to consider those perspectives in relation to Scotland. By using a critical theory approach the project will examine the discourse of the Early Years Professional. Using a number of methods, such as interviews, focus groups and an interactive website, which will comprise of blogs, forums and live chats, data will be gathered to examine the dichotomy of care and education and how this impacts upon professional self-awareness. My research aims to fill a gap in the literature, where there is less on Early Years Lead Practitioners, to provide a comprehensive comparison to Early Years Teachers.
Attitudes & Practices of Recovery in Asian & UK Youth Athletes (poster01-3)
Exercise adaptations to training and recovery have been extensively studied in adults. Studies in youth populations are limited. Recovery practices in youth athletes across the world are often influenced heavily by coaches and their experiences. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to establish current practice and attitudes towards recovery in youth athletes. Athletes were surveyed in Asia (n=85) and the UK (n=53). Athlete’s ages ranged from 13-18 years with 86% male across the groups. An online questionnaire was conducted with the groups to assess practice and attitude to recovery. Athletes in Asia and the UK believe sleep and nutrition to be the most important recovery factors compared to contrast, active recovery, ice and compression. Attitudes towards recovery differed between athletes in Asia and the UK with the respect to the perceived benefits of sleep (88% believe in it in the UK v 67% in Asia, X2 16.5, p<0.01, ES=0.9), nutrition (92 v 58%, X2 19.0, p<0.01, ES=0.66), active recovery (70 v 51%, X2 5.09, p=0.02, ES=0.28) and compression (43 v 25%, X2 5.0, p=0.02, ES=0.46). An analysis of open answers suggests Asian athletes rely more on ‘feel’ to justify recovery. Analysis of the combination of techniques suggests that recovery attitudes can be clustered into 4 main groups. These can be summarised as; Traditional (where using active recovery, nutrition & sleep predominate), Intervention-based (stretching, cold & compression), Nutrition-based (stretch & nutrition) and Basic (sleep & active recovery). Within Asia, the Traditional approach dominates (76%) whereas in the UK Nutrition-based (38%) just exceeds Traditional (34%; X2 28.0, p<0.01). Analysis of the open answers suggests behaviour in Asia is ruled by what the coach says and in the UK by educated self-decision. There are different beliefs in the benefits of sleep, nutrition, active recovery and compression but it seems that youth athletes still favour active recovery, nutrition and sleep. They may do this for different reasons as coaches seem to dictate to athletes more in Asia. This suggests there is a need to understand the evidence base for current recovery practices in a youth population.
“In class I’m ignored and I think it has to do with my body weight”: Experiences of obese adolescent girls at school. (poster01-4)
Many obese adolescent girls experience body weight related teasing and social isolation at school. Obesity and body weight related teasing in particular are associated with impaired educational attainment. This study aimed to obtain insight into (i) body weight related experiences of obese adolescent girls in the school environment and (ii) how body weight and school experiences are perceived to influence educational attainment. Four obese Scottish adolescent girls participated in a focus group, which was audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Using NVivo, data were analysed following an inductive thematic analysis approach. Participants’ responses were clustered into hierarchical themes. Emergent themes were peer relationships, physical education, eating in school, school clothes, perception about classroom teachers, attitudes towards school, educational attainment in comparison to peers, and factors influencing educational attainment. Participants reported low self-confidence, sadness and lack of friends at school and while in school they experienced body weight related isolation, peer rejection and bullying (Quote: “In my school I felt I didn’t belong anywhere because my friends are mean to me sometimes.”). From the findings it was evident that all adolescent girls, despite their negative experiences, have a positive attitude towards some aspects of school. For example, it was evident that the adolescent girls take their education seriously and that they perform well academically (Quote: “I’m doing really, really well in school. It would be me getting compliments for my work...”). It was perceived that a lack of friends in class helped to become less distracted from learning (Quote: ”I was in the same class …. for two years and I didn’t really like most of them. So I got my head into work.”). Emphasis on education could be interpreted as a coping mechanism to gain rewards and avoid peer contact and thus peer rejection. These findings highlight the importance of an interdisciplinary approach involving school, weight management services and parents to promote mental, emotional and social wellbeing of obese adolescent girls at school.
Assessing the Feedback Process: how should public engagement with science activities acquire feedback from children and young people? (poster01-5)
Public Engagement with Science (PES) is a heterogeneous field incorporating communicative, consultative, and participative formats that bring together scientists, practitioners, and publics in different ways (Rowe and Frewer, 2005). Akin to the progression of contemporary childhood sociology (Prout and James, 1997) and children’s rights (UNCRC, 1989) there has been encouragement for PES to further embrace participative engagement formats (House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, 2000). However, little exploration of public views on PES has taken place (Jensen and Buckley, 2014) with children’s and young people’s opinions especially marginalised. In order to better understand the perceptions of children and young people regarding PES, there needs to be an appropriate feedback process. Over the next two years, I will undertake a collaborative co-construction research project that aims to explore the preferences of children and young people in providing their views, and investigate the professional feedback requirements of PES practitioners. This research incorporates two main strands, primarily employing a focus group method. The first strand involves children and young people engaged by the SCI-FUN Roadshow (a communicative PES scheme that visits schools) and prioritises an exploration of feedback preferences with the support of an advisory group. The second strand seeks an articulation of feedback requirements considered important from the perspective of University of Edinburgh PES practitioners. At the end of year one, these contributions will be integrated to form a feedback process to be trialled in year two. The research outcomes have significant potential in providing important guidance for PES practitioners on a suitable feedback process for children and young people.
Stream 3: Sociology of Education and Educational Policy
From Misconceptions to Common Practice: How Systematic Literature Review Can Improve the Quality of Research in Social Sciences? (poster03-1)
Kotryna K. Grinkeviciute
An old scientific joke based on Newton’s Third Law of Motion says that for each scientist there is equal and opposite scientist (Petticrew & Roberts, 2006). This is especially true when it comes to writing literature review in social sciences where scholars often ‘cherry pick’ studies of their interest leaving literature review process a biased piece of work. This issue, however, has been recently addressed by a number of scholars who adopted systematic literature review methodology into policy making and education research (e.g., Anderson & Stillma, 2013; Boaz, Ashby & Young, 2002). Despite this, there are little guidelines and many misconceptions on how systematic literature review could and should be adopted outside its original development for experimental studies including Cochrane reviews for randomized controlled trial studies in healthcare. This presentation will introduce the audience to an author’s own experience conducting systematic literature review within sport, psychological and youth development literature to look at ambiguous topic of developing interpersonal skills. The challenges faced by the author will be discussed and some insights offered, so that social scientists could continue improving the quality standards of ongoing research by being more comfortable with uncomfortable systematic literature review methodology.
How might adult learning facilitate or limit women’s autonomy and participation in the private and public sphere (poster03-2)
Liberal adult education is concerned with dispersing the knowledge to the people from all walks of life to provide opportunities to integrate them into the society. On the other hand there is another outlook that associates education with power. Critical pedagogy is concerned with the lives of the oppressed people who are suffering from discrimination. In this sense, education aims to create dialogical relations which facilitate transformation of the realities of the people including inequalities. According to Freire “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes ‘the practice of freedom’, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world”. Transformation of the reality of women in Iran through informal education may be considered by approaching adult education’s contributions in UK. Adult education as it is conceptualized in the UK is a relatively new term within the academic arena in Iran. However, lifelong learning is being understood in the Iranian society through accessing knowledge ‘from cradle to grave’. In practice in the Iranian context delivery of education for the adults is mostly associated with either job training, life skills development or literacy and numeracy as tools to build capacities for citizens to integrate them into the Islamic revolutionary society. When it comes to women’s education the influences of high female enrolment rate in tertiary education raises the issue of women’s participation in the public sphere and its political implications.The importance of women’s adult education is rooted in women’s socio-political and economic status.
Stream 7: Digital Cultures and Education
Modernization of education on WeChat: a virtual ethnography study of Chinese early childhood education (poster07-1)
The modernization of education has been a continuous and contentious process in China and has been a discourse governing the public discussion on education since 1990s. However, the meaning and scope of ‘modernization’ has been interpreted in different ways. As the foundational stage, early childhood education (ECE) has attracted much public attention in China during these years. The modernization of Chinese ECE has invited discussion from many different stakeholders, including parents. As one of the most popular Chinese social media, WeChat has become an important platform where parents can form groups from various locations and professions to discuss, share and comment about Chinese ECE practice and compare it with ECE in other parts of the world. The parents’ activities on WeChat constituted many features, which are otherwise not possible in offline activities. First, it provides parents a secure and free platform that they can share ideas and values on education. Second, parents can connect with other parents and compare different ECE practice and give instant comments or feedback. In this research, a virtual ethnography approach will be used in a parents’ discussion group in WeChat. Through the in-depth online observation, parents’ relevant discourse on modernization of education will be analyzed. The preliminary research found that in WeChat platform, there were three dominant discourses of modernization of education among parents: the equalization of moderation with westernization, the advocation of Chinese educational values in the name of western pedagogy, the adjustment of Chinese education with western educational values.
Digital games and disengaged learners: a narrative ethnography (poster07-2)
"The narrowing of the curriculum and constant drive towards testing leads inevitably to disaffection and boredom amongst pupils.” (Courtney, 2015)
Formal and informal learning are becoming increasingly polarised as schools concentrate on individual accountability and assessment, in contrast to the more collaborative and creative approaches available in informal learning particularly online and in digital gaming. Schools are training ‘autonomous problem solvers’ whereas increasingly people are working in teams, collaborating and using a range of expertise (Jenkins 2005). Are learners becoming disengaged with school, rather than learning, within a school culture which relates less and less to the practices they are encountering in their everyday lives?
Taking a narrative ethnographic approach, interviews, observation and textual analysis will be used to uncover the personal perspectives of a group of learners, disengaged from school and formal learning, and reveal how they construct knowledge within a digital gaming ecology. I will compare these perspectives to learning experiences within the formal context of the classroom in order to throw light on the nature of the participatory culture which is a growing part of young people’s cultural reality. My aim is to add to understanding of how new technology such as digital gaming can contribute to educational engagement and lifelong learning.
Stream 8: Higher Education
International Mobility in Higher Education: Understanding the Dynamics of Inequality and Social Stratification in the Brazilian Educational System (poster08-1)
Alice Dias Lopes
Brazil is currently undergoing an expansion of opportunities in higher education for the previously disadvantaged working classes. Starting in 2004, the Brazilian federal government is implementing educational policies intended to expand access to public Higher Education. However, at the same time that the expansion of Brazilian Higher Education began, the Brazilian Federal Government established the Science Without Borders Program (SWB) in July 2011. The aim of the program is to promote the expansion and the internationalisation of science and technology, and increase Brazilian competitiveness through international exchange and mobility. The program intends to distribute 101,000 scholarships in four years for undergraduate and graduate Brazilian students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields of study.
Using the lens of Effectively Maintained Inequality theory, my research extends the hypothesis that the increasing demand by middle and upper classes for internationalisation of higher education is a strategy to effectively maintain educational inequalities. I explore these issues using the High School National Exam (ENEM) datasets. The Anísio Teixeira National Institute for Educational Studies and Research (INEP) coordinates the ENEM. The ENEM datasets contain information on students’ tests scores, and students’ socioeconomic background. Students’ performance in the ENEM is considered an eligibility criterion for participation in Science Without Border program: students must achieve 600 points or more in the ENEM in order to apply for the scholarship.
I analyse how the predicted probability of participating in the SWB is associated with differences in students’ socioeconomic characteristics, using probit regression models. Therefore, I can explore whether the increasing demand for international mobility in higher education is a strategy to maintain educational inequalities. Later, I discuss the results considering its consequences for Brazilian educational inequality.
Student and staff conceptualisation of critical thinking in Masters’ academic writing (poster08-2)
Andrew Gordon Drybrough
Critical thinking is considered to be an essential feature of higher education in the UK, North America and Australasia. Although it is embedded in national and international educational qualification frameworks at post-graduate levels, the conceptualisation of critical thinking can be quite vague and elusive a concept, where there is little actual agreement over its definition. It has been conceptualised in various ways; from logical and reasonable argumentation to cognitive skills and dispositions, and can include the criticality and critical pedagogic movements. It also has epistemological and social developmental aspects to it, and its meaning and application can differ significantly between academic domains and disciplines. This presentation will begin by providing an overview of the literature before surveying how these different conceptualisations can be applied to academic writing.
Most research has examined how so-called experts in the field have conceptualised critical thinking, but very little research has been done on what students understand it to mean and how this manifests in their academic writing. The proposed research aims to compare the conceptualisation of critical thinking in academic writing among teaching staff and students in two different Schools at the University of Edinburgh, employing a mixed methods research design. The findings of this research can feed back into how additional guidance and support can be given to and provided for students through pre-sessional and in-sessional programmes to help them develop and improve their critical thinking and writing skills at university.
Stream 10: Physical Activity for Health
The relationship between social support and physical activity in adolescent girls: a systematic review and meta-analysis (poster10-1)
Physical activity interventions aimed at adolescent girls have had limited effect on increasing physical activity. A better understanding of the correlates and determinants of physical activity behaviour specific to adolescent girls could inform more successful intervention design. Previous research has identified an association between social support and physical activity in other populations although the nature of the relationship between social support and physical activity in adolescent girls remains unclear. This systematic review aimed to synthesise evidence on associations between social support and physical activity in adolescent girls, considering the relationship direction and the effect of different types and providers of social support on this relationship.
Search terms representing social support, physical activity and adolescent girls were identified and used to form a search strategy that was adapted for different databases. A systematic search of 14 electronic databases was undertaken including research published until January 2015. Reference lists of included studies and experts in the field were consulted. Cross-sectional and longitudinal articles published in English that reported an association between any aspect of social support and physical activity in adolescent girls between the ages of 10-19 years were included. Studies that focused only on clinical, overweight, or performance populations were excluded. The extracted data were analysed by performing random effects meta-analyses, separating results by provider and type of social support.
98 studies were included for analysis. Small but significant positive associations between all providers of social support except teachers and physical activity in adolescent girls.
This review identified positive associations between total social support on adolescent girls’ physical activity. Future research should investigate how aspects of social support can be successfully implemented into physical activity interventions aimed at adolescent girls.
Physical activity research with ethnic minority groups in the United Kingdom; a scoping review (poster10-2)
Important health inequalities exist in the UK. Some ethnic minority groups are at higher risk of developing major diseases such as type II diabetes. Lifestyle factors such as physical activity (PA) are theorised to contribute to this. The aim of this scoping review is to map PA related research that has been conducted with ethnic minority groups in the UK. A 5-stage framework for conducting a scoping review (Arksey and O’Malley, 2005), was adopted. A comprehensive search was conducted in 10 electronic databases and five guideline websites. Searches were limited to publications after 2004, following the publication of the UK Chief Medical Officer’s landmark report on the impact of physical activity on health, until September 2014. Studies were restricted to those of English language with no restrictions by age or study type. The inclusion criteria for study selection was: i) UK-based; ii) involving one or more of the ethnic minority groups specified; and iii) PA included as an outcome, risk factor, confounder, mediator or topic being discussed. Data extraction variables included study location, study type, population, and methodological characteristics. Studies were categorized into main research areas using Sallis and Owens’ five phase behavioural epidemiological framework (Sallis and Owen, 2002). Database and guideline website searching produced 3,253 initial records. Following removal of duplicates, 1,839 articles underwent title and abstract screening with full-text screening conducted on 173 articles. Data extraction took place on 153 articles. The results of this review highlight the limited number of intervention studies that have been conducted in ethnic minority groups in the UK, despite these groups typically displaying lower levels of activity. Physical activity is commonly discussed, or embedded within, a wider focus on disease prevention or management rather than studies having a primary aim on the promotion of PA. Despite considerable research activity in this area since 2004, there remains significant gaps that need to be addressed, particularly in relation to strengthening the evidence base for effective interventions in these groups.
An 8-week workplace walking intervention increases physical activity behaviour and reduces sitting time. (poster10-3)
Walking is a popular physical activity, with established health benefits. Recently, efforts to increase population levels of physical activity (PA) have included a focus on promoting walking. In Scotland, Paths for All deliver an 8-week workplace walking intervention that includes several behaviour change techniques including on-line goal setting, self-monitoring through pedometers, and social support. In 2014, the intervention was delivered to 3800 employees and the purpose of this study was to examine changes in the amount and type of PA and sitting behavior following this intervention.
After registration for the intervention, all participants received an email invitation to participate in the study. From 418 participants who were recruited at baseline, 150 (mean age = 41.66; ±11.49 years; 119 women) provided PA data at both baseline and 1-week post-intervention. Participants completed an on-line version of the 7-day recall IPAQ-Long (Craig et al., 2003) to assess weekly minutes of self-report PA and sitting. The data were screened and subsequently paired sample t-tests and Cohen d-statistics were used to identify significance and meaningfulness of changes in each of the sub-types of physical activity and sitting time.
There were small significant increases in walking for transport (+109 mins (46%); CI = 50.79 to 166.52), leisure time walking (+55 mins (24%); CI = 8.78 to 101) and total walking (+192 mins (34%); CI = 93.91 to 291.93). There were no significant changes in other types of PA. There were significant small-medium decreases in time spent sitting both during the week (-302 mins (12.65%); CI= -302.13 to -424.81) and at the weekend (-83 mins (14%); CI=-83.34 to 132.54).
A workplace walking intervention can lead to increases in PA, primarily through increased walking. Although not a specific target of the intervention, sitting behavior was reduced, over and above the increased amount of time spent walking, possibly providing additional health benefits. Future research with a controlled design and objective measurement would be valuable.
Why do older adults start and continue to walk with organised walking groups? A systematic review of the factors associated with starting and continuing to walk with organised groups (poster10-4)
Background: Despite the health risks associated with physical inactivity, many older adults do not achieve the minimum physical activity (PA) guidelines. Walking in groups is potentially an ideal way for older adults to increase their physical activity. The aim of this systematic review is to identify the factors (including determinants, correlates, associations and motivations) related to older adults starting and continuing to walk in organised groups. Methods: A search strategy has been developed including key search terms relating to older adults, walking/ PA and organised walking groups. Extensive searches will be carried out in electronic databases (e.g., Medline and Psychinfo). Studies will be included if they focus on older adults in walking groups. They must examine the relationship between walking or PA (subjective or objective measure) and socio-demographic, personal/behavioural, psychological, social and environmental factors when participants start a walking programme and/or maintain their walking (i.e., >6months). Data will be extracted to address the aim of the study. Results: Data will be extracted to examine the strength, size and direction of the associations between walking/PA and identified socio-economic, personal/ behavioural, psychological, social and environmental factors (at the start and maintenance). The differences between the factors relating to starting and continuing to walk with organised groups will be considered. Discussion: Factors most strongly associated with both starting and continuing to walk with organised groups will be identified. A distinction will be drawn between the modifiable (e.g., self-efficacy) and non-modifiable (e.g., age), as modifiable factors are more adaptable to change. Differences in factors relating to starting to walk and continuing to walk will be detailed, as different approaches may work at specific stages of behaviour change. The findings will inform organisations promoting walking interventions for older adults and potentially PA strategy.
Stream 11: Human Performance Science
Human Performance Science: Applications from High Performance Sport (poster11-1)
Tony Turner and Amanda Martindale
The need for a multi-disciplinary approach to human performance enhancement has been established (Richardson, 2012), including development and application of performance enhancing practices to facilitate both physiological and cognitive improvements. The integration of research, development and application to deliver innovative solutions to real world human performance problems represents a challenging and exciting opportunity (Jones & Mehr, 2007; Bishop, 2008). This poster highlights some of the research and applied interventions developed within high performance sport settings by the Human Performance Science Research Group at the University of Edinburgh and demonstrates how this can be applied to other high performance domains such as aviation, military, driving, and crime scene examination. Current and future topics for collaboration are also presented. This multi-disciplinary approach combined with a unique understanding of high performance environments can generate a wide range of methods and strategies for optimising training and human performance.
What is this Trait Called Grit? A Qualitative Exploration of Grit in Human Resources (poster11-2)
Grit is a psychological construct defined as “perseverance and passion for long term goals” (Duckworth et al., 2007, p. 1087) which has recently been shown to predict future success of individuals in a range of domains including children, students, military cadets and teachers. Indeed grit has shown to be a better predictor of success than other variables such as IQ. However, existing research has been dominated by measurement through self-report and performance outcome and no qualitative studies exist that seek to test the construct definition from the perspective of those experiencing the demands of the situation. Furthermore the generalizability of the construct to other domains such as business has not been addressed in the literature. The current study examined the understanding of grit construct in the real-world business environment of a Human Resource team. Qualitative techniques were used to generate rich, in-depth data to reveal a definition of grit and identify characteristics of gritty individuals in this environment. The study followed a three-step mixed method approach, derived from Jones et al. (2002) and Jones et al. (2007) using a sample of 31 team members of an international HR department. Those stages were: Stage 1: focus group. Stage 2 individual interviews including a team-member ranking. Stage 3 questionnaire. The results revealed a framework of grit in human resources consisting of a definition and crucial characteristics of the ideal gritty individual in HR. Additionally, in order to answer the question if the in the literature established concept can be applied to the HR environment the team member ranking and the grit questionnaire were evaluated and a rank order correlation was performed to evaluate whether work colleagues judgements on grit corresponded to the data from the grit scale. The outcomes of this study develop a better understanding of grit in business and might be useful for further research studying how grit can be developed. Moreover, the results might give suggestions how peoples’ awareness of specific characteristics can change their performance towards more success.
Reappraisal of Pre-Performance Anxiety as excitement: a sporting context (poster11-3)
Recent research has shown that a simple intervention in which participants reappraise anxiety as excitement with self-statements can have a positive effect on performance in in public speaking, maths, and singing.(Brooks 2013). Within sport, Jones et al (2009) have established a theoretical framework for explaining the relevance of appraising stressful situations as either challenge or threat. Therefore the aim of this study was to examine the impact of Brooks’ (2013) reappraisal intervention and interpret findings within the theoretical model proposed for sport performance. 25 Trampoline gymnasts (10 male, 15 female), who compete for their university were recruited and quasi-randomly allocated to two groups of approximately even ability. Performers were asked to perform under two conditions; firstly a trampoline move that made them anxious, secondly a competition routine of their choice. The experimental group was given a self-statement intervention ‘I am excited’ ‘I can do this’ while the control group were not given any intervention. Each participant completed short self-report scales following each condition to assess threat and challenge (Gaab 2009) State anxiety and self-confidence (Wilson et al 2007), and mental effort applied to the task (Wilson et al 2007). British Gymnastics and Gymnastics Ireland qualified judges assessed the performance according to the respective bodies’ guidelines producing performance scores. In addition to determine if the intervention might be differentially effective to high or low trait anxious individuals all participants completed a validated sport specific trait anxiety measure (Wilson et al 2007). Comparisons between both groups will be made focusing on perceptions and performance. It would be ideal to see a simple technique, such as this, have a positive effect on the performers.
Reliability and test sensitivity of the Wingate 6 and 30 second anaerobic capacity tests in recreationally active males and females (poster11-4)
To accurately quantify the influence of an intervention, it is important to know the typical variance in test performance. This study assessed the performance reliability of the 6 and 30 sec Wingate tests in males and females. An additional aim was to quantify the ability of the tests to detect the smallest worthwhile change (SWC) in performance. Participants completed four trials each comprising of a single 6 sec cycle sprint against 7.5% body mass resistance, a 15 min seated recovery, and a single 30 sec cycle sprint against the same resistance. Peak power output (PPO) and mean power output (MPO) were calculated for each sprint. Reliability was assessed by changes in the mean (W.kg and %) and standard error of measurement (SEM;W.kg and %) for PPO and MPO. Smallest worthwhile change was calculated by multiplying the smallest worthwhile effect of 0.2 (based on the Cohen’s d effect size) by the between-subject SD. If the SEM < SWC, the sensitivity of the test to detect a genuine performance change is ‘‘good’’; if SEM = SWC, the test is ‘‘satisfactory”; if SEM > SWC, the test is ‘‘marginal’’. For both sprints, there was no significant difference in PPO or MPO between any pairs of trials for either gender. For males, PPO in both sprints demonstrated SEMs ≤ 3.9% in all between-trials pairwise comparisons. For MPO, SEMs ≤ 2.9% were found in all comparisons. For females, PPO demonstrated SEMs ≤ 6.5% in all comparisons. Random variation in MPO in the 6 sec sprints fluctuated between comparisons. For the 30 sec sprint, MPO was more stable, with CVs ≤ 5.0% in all comparisons. While performance was not significantly different across trials for PPO or MPO for both genders in either sprint duration, test sensitivity was “marginal” for all measures except 30 sec MPO for males, which was “good”. In conclusion, familiarisation may not be required to establish consistent performance in recreationally active males and females during the 6 and 30 sec Wingate tests. However, the generally marginal test sensitivity suggests that using a recreationally active sample may not allow determination of genuine performance differences.
Utilising flow characteristics to improve gliding performance in swimming (poster11-5)
Unlike marine mammals, humans did not show a continuum for aquatic locomotor optimization during evolution. The human shape is neither smooth nor well tapered. However, performance does not depend only on swimmers’ genetically defined morphological characteristics but also on other factors that are controllable and can be adjusted by swimmers. In this poster the general methodological approach followed to assess experimentally three controllable factors that contribute to gliding performance is presented. This is i) the head angle when gliding in swimming ii) the gliding depth and iii) the effect of full body swimming suit. Moreover, information is also provided as to how computational fluid dynamics can be applied to simulate the water flow around swimmer’s body and the effect of the independent variables.
Identifying Cognitive Demands on Expert Decision Making in Transplant Surgeons (poster11-6)
Studies examining the acquisition of expertise in surgeons have shown that experience and ability to make competent judgments impact surgical performance more than innate technical abilities (e.g. steady hand, visuo-spatial ability) (Norman et al., 2006). Therefore, the aim of this project is to improve the understanding of expertise in transplant surgery. In order to gain theoretical and practical insights into this topic, the proposed study investigates the following research questions – what are the cognitive demands on expert decision making in transplant surgery and what are the implications for training? In-depth interviews, following the Applied Cognitive Task Analysis (Militello & Hutton, 1998) protocol were conducted with 4 expert transplant surgeons. Professional occupation, expertise level, and willingness to participate in the study served as the selection criteria. Recognition by fellow colleagues and number of years of experience were used as indicators of expertise level. A Cognitive Demands Table (Militello & Hutton, 1998) was used to organise and analyse the data. This table consists of four elements: ‘Difficult cognitive element’, ‘Why difficult’, ‘Common errors’, and ‘Cues and strategies used’. During the first stage of data analysis, a cognitive demands table was developed for each interview. Later on, these tables were contrasted to identify common and conflicting themes in the data provided by multiple participants. Finally, an overall table was produced to summarise the findings of the study. Building upon the existing knowledge, the results of the study will shed light on decision making expertise and can be used by surgeons to develop and improve existing training programmes. Keywords: naturalistic decision making, expertise, applied cognitive task analysis, expert vs novice, liver transplantation
Stream 13: Teacher Education
Improving the quality of mathematics education in basic school in St. Lucia: A study of district, school, teacher and student factors (poster13-1)
St. Lucia has focused on achieving Education For All goals since 1990, and has nearly achieved universal access to primary education in 2006. However, this ratio in basic school still has been slightly decreasing from 2007 onwards, because the poor quality of primary education leads to low levels of learning and high levels of dropout. The results of Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations indicate a particularly low level of student achievement, especially in mathematics. Also, the government reported that although basic school teachers are still class teachers, many of them are neither certified nor skilled, especially in the area of mathematics. Nevertheless, despite the growing concern about the quality of education, with an insufficient budget and an inadequate staff, the government has been struggling to collect accurate data and implement the monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects aimed at enhancing the quality of education.
The proposed study will employ two-staged mixed-method design to gain a deeper understanding of mathematics education in basic schools. In the first stage, semi-structured interviews would be utilized to elicit education officers’ perceptions of the past, current and future of curricula, district-level in-service training, and any programs relating to mathematics education. In the next stage, this study will collect both secondary and primary data to assess and determine the extent to which factors affect students’ mathematics achievement in St. Lucia. The study will use secondary data from an annual national assessment, called Minimum Standard Test, has been administered to Grade 2 and 4 students from 1998. To collect more detailed information on the circumstances surrounding the students, all students and teachers at 2nd and 4th grade and principals will complete a questionnaire. Multilevel modeling would be developed to assess the factors since hierarchically organized data are commonplace in educational research settings. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide several implications for policy to improve the quality of mathematics education in basic school in St. Lucia.
Changing the discourse: Self-cultivation for a sustainable teaching profession (poster13-2)
Teaching is multifaceted and complex. It comprises a plethora of activities, roles and emotional elements, a huge pressure of expectation and an increasing degree of tension surrounding its central debates (Cochran-Smith, 2003; Elmore, 2002; Labaree, 2000). Current levels of attrition in the teaching profession are high (Purcell, Wilton, Davis & Elias, 2005; Hanushek, 2007; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003; Menter, 2002) and have been steadily increasing during recent years, prompting calls from within the profession for an increased focus on retention.
There is a body of research focusing on the reasons teachers leave the profession, and further research exploring strategies for rectifying these issues, concepts such as mindfulness and resilience (Day & Gu, 2014). This study, however, contends that it is necessary to change the discourse of the teaching profession. Teaching has long been viewed as a ‘calling’, involving service and sacrifice (Higgins, 2010; Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012) and the success of a teacher depends on the examination successes of their students. This idea of teachers as instruments, existing only for others, pinpoints a central dichotomy; whether it is possible for teachers to exist for themselves and for others or whether there must always be a choice. This study argues that teachers do not have to choose and suggests that the theory of self-cultivation, involving a commitment to being open to the ongoing learning that a process of ‘flourishing’ and ‘becoming’ might involve, is therefore compelling.
This partly philosophical, partly empirical study explores self-cultivation, asking whether teachers are able to flourish in their professional lives, therefore persisting in the profession. This study also considers how any experience of self-cultivation affects a teacher’s professional self in terms of their levels of motivation and self-efficacy. This study will be qualitative in nature and will consider the experiences of ‘flourishing’ teachers currently practicing. Data will be generated through twenty semi-structured interviews, stimulated by autoethnographic writing, to gain a full picture of these teachers’ experiences.
Stream 16: Language Research
Private language school teachers' beliefs and practices on vocabulary teaching in Dalian (poster16-1)
This dissertation reports a study that investigated private language school teachers’ beliefs and practices about vocabulary teaching in Dalian. The primary aim of this research is to explore some popular beliefs and classroom practices about vocabulary teaching and find out to what extent teachers’ beliefs are consistent with their practices. Self-reported questionnaires and interviews were used to collect data. The results show that in general there is a significant positive relationship between teachers’ beliefs and their self-reported practices, but there are still some factors that influence teachers to implement their beliefs, such as washback of exams, teaching materials, lack of equipment, students’ low English proficiency level, etc. Therefore, this study suggests that test designers, material designers, schools and teachers should work together and create good conditions for vocabulary acquisition.
Attitudes toward English as Lingua Franca (ELF): A comparative study between Indonesia and Japan higher institutions (poster16-2)
The global spread of English as Lingua Franca (ELF) has implications for practice in English Language Teaching (ELT) classrooms. ELF research, which has particular relevance to countries like Japan and Indonesia where there is strong attachment to native English norms. Such strong attachment to the native form does not always correlate to students’ actual need of daily English use in reality. Economic growth and globalization in these countries have been the factors of emerging ELF environment where English is used as a unified tool of communication. Therefore, English cannot be taught as a ‘foreign’ language where the context tends to be transitioning to ELF setting. This research presents a study on attitudes toward ELF in ELT. It uses a mixed method approach through the questionnaire on attitudes toward ELF which contains a modified Verbal Guise Technique (VGT) to serve the needs of the study. 70 university students and 4 lecturers from two English departments in Japan and Indonesia were involved in filling out the questionnaire (n=70) and semi-structured interview (n=8). The results highlight positive attitudes towards ELF and factors that influence these attitudes are revealed. It also suggests ways to incorporate an ELF perspective into the ELT classroom. Further, it addresses the gap between theory and practice in research on Global Englishes in Language Teaching (GELT). The study is of interest to those interested in ELT curriculum evaluation and design to meet the needs of ELF users in countries like Japan and Indonesia with an open possibility as reference for further extended contexts.
Native speaker model and ‘standard’ English ideology in English teaching: attitudes of university students, teachers and parents in China (poster16-3)
In the process of internationalisation, English has become a truly global language. The recently developed Global Englishes paradigm examines the use of English among speakers of different backgrounds. Despite the growing research in Global Englishes, native speaker norms and ‘standard’ English have long been the yardstick and the most popular teaching model, especially in non-native English-speaking countries such as China where English is learned as a foreign language. The native speaker model has been the dominant teaching model in China and student’s English proficiency is assessed against skills of native English speakers.
Given the fact that the number of English learners and users far outweighs that of native English speakers, most English communication happens among non-native speakers. Having taken the optional courses of Global Englishes for Language Teaching on the MSc TESOL program, it has generated my interest to explore native speaker model and ‘standard’ English ideology. Previous researchers have focused on learners’ and teachers’ perceptions but little on parents’ perceptive. To fill the gap, this study will investigate parents’ attitudes with the aim to improve the quality of English teaching in China. Using survey for 141 participants in China (80 students, 31 teachers, 30 parents), this research answers two research questions:
1. What are students’, teachers’ and parents’ attitudes towards native speaker model and ‘standard’ English?
2. What are the potential factors influencing their attitudes?
In answer to the first research question, the majority hold positive attitudes and the pronunciation of native English speaker ‘attractive’. Additionally, several factors have been identified, e.g. the familiarity to native English varieties, the understanding of the Global Englishes, stereotype and culture traditions.
This research is designed to examine current teaching model in Chinese universities. It is hoped that this research will provide support for the recommended proposals. Additionally, it provides an initial attempt on parents’ attitudes and implications for innovations in the Global Englishes paradigm.
A Study of Accommodation Strategies in Academic ELF Conversation. (poster16-4)
Largely as a result of the effect of globalization, the common use of English as a Lingua Franca (henceforth ELF) has become a fact of life. The speakers of ELF actively engage in meaning negotiation and shared understanding through skilfully adopting convergent accommodation strategies. Academia has been a domain in which ELF is prominent whereas the research on spoken ELF in this context is still in its early stages. Little research has been conducted on the dyadic interactions between teachers and students in formal academic ELF multicultural context. Hence, the face-to-face conversations from dissertation supervision meetings between ELF college teachers and ELF postgraduate students in the University of Edinburgh have been chosen to be the focus of this research, tackling the question that what communicative strategies the speakers used to achieve mutual understanding and how these strategies are employed in the interactions. Through the method of purposive sampling, six postgraduates with diverse cultural backgrounds and their supervisors were selected as the participants. Through Conversation Analysis methodological approach, six hours of naturally-occurred academic conversations were video-recorded and closely analysed. The strategies of other-repetition were detected, which are used for signalling support, facilitating topic shift and ensuring smooth development of talk. Additionally, pre-empting skills with the aims to avoid potential misunderstanding were also discovered after minimal response and prolonged silence. The findings might have the potential to inform pre-sessional language courses and tutorial program with regard to dissertation organised by TESOL program in University of Edinburgh. Additionally, this study highlights the important role of accommodation in ELF interactions, which might, along with other research on pragmatic strategies in ELF settings, underline the need for developing learners’ convergent skills in English language teaching classroom.
Stream 17: Outdoor Learning and Sustainability Education
Teaching children how to handle contradictory information in Education for Sustainable Development (poster17-1)
Rebekah L. Tauritz
Being able to handle complex and uncertain knowledge is often seen as a premise for sustainable development, but experts generally offer limited guidance regarding how this can be achieved. My study aims to develop our understanding of how to teach children the competences they will need to manage contradictory information (regarding environmental issues), and how to do this in an educational setting. The poster will present a review of literature-based key concepts that will inform the starting point of my empirical research. ‘Uncertainty competences’ is an umbrella term referring to sets of (generic and specific) skills, strategies, knowledge, attitudes and capabilities needed to manage uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity in diverse contexts. The list of uncertainty competences can be divided into three categories: 1) competences that will help learners to engage with and indeed to cherish uncertainty 2) competences that will help learners to tolerate uncertainty 3) competences that will help learners to reduce uncertainty. Developing these competences requires learning environments tolerating, even inviting, uncertainty into the learning process. The poster will further elaborate on potential teaching strategies a teacher might employ to teach learners how to sufficiently reduce their (un)certainty so that they can reach a decision or take action. These strategies need to be adjusted for each learner with respect to the level of uncertainty that they are experiencing and are able to handle at a given moment. Individuals require enough uncertainty to stimulate learning but not too little or too much uncertainty, as that will hinder learning. ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ features subject areas such as ‘climate change’ that are hallmarked by complexity and uncertainty. My empirical research will explore the question: What do concrete, age-appropriate and effective educational methods for teaching specific uncertainty competences look like?
A “Pathway” Model of Learning for School Pupils on Residential Outdoor Education Courses (poster17-2)
Roger Antony Scrutton
Qualitative evidence from about 850 pupil interviews and about 150 teacher interviews to understand the process of pupil learning on residential outdoor education courses aimed at providing educational benefit has been reviewed. This evidence was taken from evaluations of recent large scale intervention programmes aimed at raising achievement since 2000.
Quantitative evidence of benefit for pupils’ learning from these programmes is ambiguous at best, but the qualitative evidence is remarkably consistent across all programmes in claiming benefit for pupils’ learning in both affective and cognitive domains and, through this, shedding light on the learning process created by residential courses.
A pathway of learning that leads from social-affective learning to academic-affective learning and on to cognitive learning is proposed. It is anticipated that this model will be tested quantitatively n the near future.
Stream 18: International Education
Examining international students perceptions of their employability during their one year UK Business masters (poster18-1)
In the UK, connections between higher education (HE) and the economy can be traced to the Robbins Report on Higher Education, 1963 (Yorke, 2004). Since the 1990s, the UK government expanded participation in HE, and actively promoted an employability skills agenda towards building a knowledge economy. Graduate employability is a key policy issue in many countries around the world (Crammer, 2006), and for UK HEIs (see Yorke & Knight HEA Series on Employability). HESA graduate employability indices is advertised on the websites of many UK universities to attract students. For international students, employment prospects is an important motivation for choosing the UK as a study destination (Hobsons, 2014). Yet, discourses on graduate employability in the UK do not explicitly address the employability of international students.
Recent attempts by researchers to explore international student employability in the UK focus on Chinese students (Huang et al., 2014; Li, 2013). As Chinese students make up 28% of the population of non-EU students in the UK (HESA 2015), it is important to understand their perspectives of their employability. In this under researched area of internationalisation, it is also vital to understand the perspectives of their non-EU peers. A longitudinal study, aims to understand how non-EU international students on a one-year masters in a UK Business School perceive they have developed their employability during their studies. As qualitative research on internationalisation benefits from a quantitative foundation (de Witt, 2000), data from HESA will be used to assess trends in international student enrolment at the Business School. A survey will be administered to the student population to select a sample for in-depth interviews which will be held at 3 time points during the MSc academic year.
Despite much anecdotal evidence, it is important to conduct empirical exploration of how graduate employability and internationalisation converge - current discourse on internationalisation of HE in the UK do not explicitly indicate whether this happens or not.
Transition of Young Adults with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities to Further Education Colleges in Scotland (poster18-2)
The transition from compulsory schooling to further education is a significant progression in education for young adults. However, for young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities this transition can be problematic, due to their profound cognitive impairment and the extensive supports they require throughout their lives.
My research explored what further education programmes at Scottish colleges are available to young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities. I focussed on the transition process to further education for young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities, who were between the ages of 16 and 18 years. I interviewed 15 participants for this qualitative research, and used constant comparison analysis to examine their narratives for themes.
The findings were: some young adults with profound and multiple learning disability still encounter physical barriers and discrimination due to disability accessing further education; all five colleges developed and implemented programmes for young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities; participants spoke of the intrinsic and extrinsic value of education for this vulnerable group; and participants explained profound and multiple learning disabilities in terms of supports needed, medical conditions and their attributes. In light of these findings, I discussed the implications for policy and practice and provided some recommendations.
This research contributed scholarly information on transition planning, FE programmes, barriers, mitigating barriers and adjustments made within FE for young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Moreover, it complemented existing literature on the problematic nature of transition planning and the difficulty accessing further education is for this vulnerable group.
profound and multiple learning disabilities, profound and complex needs, further education, Scotland, Trinidad, transition planning, further education programmes, post-16
Stream 19: Theory and Philosophy
Stuck in the churn - Youth Unemployment, Social Justice and Nancy Fraser in a Scottish Context (poster19-1)
This study will be working with approximately 30 young people (aged between 16-25) - looking at their experiences of growing up in an area of Edinburgh. Specifically, the objective of the study is to work with young people caught in the 'churn' - trapped in a cycle of poorly paid and unstable employment, government training schemes and short term educational interventions. Utilising a narrative approach, I aim to capture their educational and employment experiences (both at school and post-school, as well as capturing important life events) in order to interrogate their experience in terms of social justice. I plan to use the framework of social justice developed by Nancy Fraser to ascertain what their experiences can tell us - questions of social justice and young people remain an under-theorised area of academic research. Contemporary issues such as widening inequality, attacks on the rights of young people, the increasing concern of government thinking around 'employability' and 'flexibility', concern about a 'precariat' class and the growing realisation that the notion of the 'foot-in-the-door' of the employment market is disappearing for a growing section of the youth population mean that social justice issues particular to young people should be moving to the foreground of our thinking. As James Côté concluded in a paper last year “as a result of several decades of this negative treatment, declining status, and targeting as legitimate targets of exploitative labour practices, the youth segment of the work force…now constitutes one of the most economically disadvantaged groups of the entire population and very few people object to this situation, seeing it as normal and justified.” In order to explore these issues, the narrative approach utilised in this study will allow us to remove the distance between theory and reality, hearing the stories of those at the front-line of the 'churn' before unpacking what they can tell us from a social justice perspective.