Brexit ‘hitting foreign languages in schools’

By Dr Adam Cooke, Lecturer in Languages Education School of Education, University of Birmingham I am sure, at some point, that many of us in the UK language teaching community has had to defend the place of language learning in our schools. Thankfully we have always been mightily equipped to justify modern foreign languages in … Continue reading “Brexit ‘hitting foreign languages in schools’”

No better tonic than fresh air?

By Victoria Saunders, Lecturer in Primary Teacher Education School of Education, University of Birmingham I am reflecting on this as I am stood in my street watching my three-year-old daughter attempt to ride her bike. An 8-year-old boy who lives at the top of the road, and who my daughter has never met before, is … Continue reading “No better tonic than fresh air?”

Should dogs be introduced to the classroom?

By Alison Broad, Director of Primary Education School of Education, University of Birmingham Dogs have traditionally assisted humans and their supportive roles continue to evolve and diversify. There are now courtroom facility dogs (Kaiser 2015) and even funeral therapy dogs, offering ‘love and support to the bereaved’ (Snead, 2018). More than half of Canadian universities … Continue reading “Should dogs be introduced to the classroom?”

How can we tackle the decline of modern languages?

By Dr Adam Cooke, Lecturer in Language Education School of Education, University of Birmingham The idea that languages may be struggling as a curriculum area is hardly new. The legendary Eric Hawkins first discussed a crisis in language learning way back in 1976. The issues so prevalent then: limited take up during the later secondary … Continue reading “How can we tackle the decline of modern languages?”

Is the new teacher retention plan feasible?

By Frances Child and Dr Anita Soni School of Education, University of Birmingham From offering cash incentives to a cut down on paperwork, recent plans by the Department of Education, led by Education Secretary Damian Hinds, have set out to tackle the apparent teacher retention crisis in the UK. This serious attempt to address the teacher … Continue reading “Is the new teacher retention plan feasible?”

Happiness is in a good book

By Rachael Hunter, Research Fellow at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues The child, through emulation, can develop the love of reading that the adult possesses. On the other hand, the child can enhance the adult’s virtues of open mindedness, optimism and courage, which come from a life less tainted by experience. The mental health … Continue reading “Happiness is in a good book”

School progress measures are a missed opportunity for a fairer and more informative approach

By Tom Perry, Teaching Fellow, ​ University of Birmingham,  MA School Improvement and Educational Leadership Research Manager, Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) The Progress 8 measures of school performance compare pupils’ GCSE results across 8 subjects to those of other pupils with the same primary school SATs results. There are many reasons … Continue reading “School progress measures are a missed opportunity for a fairer and more informative approach”

The persistence of white privilege in higher education: isn’t it time for radical change?

By Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice Centre for Research in Race and Education, University of Birmingham Yesterday it was reported in The Guardian that Oxford University has yet again failed to address issues of diversity and inclusion in terms of its student intake. The Guardian reports that one in four Oxford colleges … Continue reading “The persistence of white privilege in higher education: isn’t it time for radical change?”

Star Wars Day: Virtues in a Galaxy, far far away…

By Jason Metcalfe, Research Associate Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham Star Wars resonated with a worldwide audience, and there is no doubt this was due to the array of moral and spiritual elements present throughout the films. For those out of the loop, May 4th is Star Wars Day, selected as … Continue reading “Star Wars Day: Virtues in a Galaxy, far far away…”

How Europe can hear the voices of young Syrian refugees

By Michelle Pace, Professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University, and Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham In the last two years, European governments have increasingly emphasised the importance of new arrivals learning the local language and embracing values. In Denmark, where I am now an economic migrant, there has … Continue reading “How Europe can hear the voices of young Syrian refugees”