Research Seminars and Events Spring 2019

Research Events Spring and Summer 2019

The professional capital and expertise of A level Geography authors who define, curricularise and legitimise knowledge about place in endorsed textbooks.

Emma Rawlings Smith, teacher of Geography and Doctoral student.

Thurs 6th June, D105, No 15 University Road at 12.45.

School textbooks are a common educational resource, yet there is remarkably little research with the author, rather than textbook, as the central concern. Drawing on data collected from semi-structured interviews, questionnaires and a Q sort with nine A level geography textbook authors, this paper presents some of the insights about the choices authors make when faced with a multitude of decisions about content selection, while coping with constraints such as time, space and assessment requirements. This research will provide valuable insight to the role of authors as agents of change during periods of educational reform. Those with an interest in geography education, curriculum change and the border between school and university will find this particularly interesting.

Mental Health in Schools Conference
on Wednesday 5th June 2019: Supporting professionals to talk about mental health issues experienced by children and young people

We are proud to announce that the School of Education (University of Leicester) will be hosting its first Mental Health in Schools Conference on Wednesday 5th June 2019. The conference aims to support professionals in talking about mental health issues experienced by children and young people. Designed for those working with children with mental health difficulties in both Primary and Secondary school settings, the Conference will explore issues including self-harm, social media, mental health needs of vulnerable groups and understanding mental health needs from a parent's perspective. A full list of speakers will be announced shortly but will include expert contributors from child psychiatry, neurodevelopment, social media and self-harm research. The day will provide great opportunities for schools to network in a supportive environment and for teachers to contribute their perspectives.

Please register your interest by emailing The cost for the conference, to be held at Stamford Court, Leicester, is £150 per person including lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Research Seminars: The School of Education regularly hosts a range of research seminars on key issues and research methods led by colleagues, research students and outside speakers. Our next two events for February and March are outlined below. All are welcome to attend. Bring your lunch and join in the conversation.

An exploration of the treatment of student ‘errors’: One teacher’s atypical use of a bald ‘no’ and its implications

Fay Baldry, Lecturer in Mathematics Education and Doctoral student

Mon 29 April 12.45-2.00 ED005 (107-111 Princess Rd East)

This discussion will explore teachers’ treatment of errors as they occur both within and outside of Initiate-Response-Evaluate (Cazden, 1988) interactions. Data are drawn from a classroom-based video study in England, involving three participating secondary mathematics teachers and six classes. Here, the focus is on one of those teachers, whose lessons contained the widest range of treatment of errors. This included facilitating extended peer-to-peer turn-taking and bald negative evaluation of student contributions; the later appeared to be atypical, both in relation to the other teachers in this study and the wider literature. Analysis showed that, for this teacher, indirect evaluation of errors was associated with teacher-initiated interactions, whereas bald negative evaluation was associated with student-initiated exchanges. Consideration is given to the interactional patterns related to the occurrence and treatment of errors, and the potential impact on learning opportunities for students.

The need for a temporal turn in educational organisations

Dr Phil Wood (Reader, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln)

Tuesday 19 March 12.45-2.00 D105 (15 University Road)

The management of modern educational organisations, in the maintained schools, FE and HE sectors, appears to be in increasing disarray, from the acute recruitment and retention crisis in schools, through overwork and exploitation of staff in FE and HE, to the financialization of the whole education sector. In this talk I will sketch out how I think two factors play an important role in this continued shift. Firstly, educational research has followed a damaging course by focusing on 'leadership and management' rather than organisational sciences leading to a fragmentation of issues which can more usefully be understood through an organisational lens. Secondly, consideration of many of the most pressing issues demonstrate a distinct lack of focus on the complexities of time and the temporal. I will use two examples, focusing on organisational rhythms and workload, to illustrate why I think a temporal turn and a focus on organisations is important in finding new ways of thinking about educational issues and creating more sustainable contexts within the sector.

Monday 25 February 2019 12.45-2.00 in ED005 (107-111 Princess Road East) Sarah Adams & Professor Wasyl Cajkler

Learning how to teach for positive mental health: lessons from research lessons in primary school placements

Mental health is now a global priority, and in the UK, education is positioned at the forefront of the ‘crisis’ in order to reduce mental illness whilst also promoting and supporting positive mental health. One mechanism available to primary schools to educate children about their mental health and wellbeing which is supportive of staff development is through the use of lesson study. In 2018, a group of four student-teachers used lesson study in collaboration with their school-based mentors to teach mental health issues to young children as part of the PSHE curriculum in their schools. Lesson study was used as the vehicle for inquiry into mentor and student-teacher collaborative practice. The student-teacher participants were interviewed and their resulting 5000-word assignments were analysed from the perspective of practitioner research (Cochran-Smith et al 2009).  In addition, the four mentors were interviewed about the implementation of lesson study in relation to the teaching of mental welfare and how they perceived this supported the development of the student-teachers skills in relation to mental health education. This allowed for an integrated analysis of the participant experiences in this context. Systematic thematic analysis of the assignments and interview transcripts allowed the research team to identify conditions for successful use of lesson study to teach about mental health, while also supporting the development of both mentors and student-teachers as practitioners working from an inquiry stance (Cohcran-Smith and Lytle 2009).  We will be presenting the findings of this small-scale exploratory study and considering how this model of practice can be developed in the future.

Wasyl Cajkler is Professor of Education at the University of Leicester and Chair of the Lesson Study Research Group. Sarah Adams is a Lecturer in Primary Initial Teacher Education.

Tuesday March 5th 12.45-2.00 in ED008 (107-111 Princess Road East)

Dr Laura Guihen

Exploring Creative Approaches to Qualitative Researching

This session will report on a National Centre for Research Methods funded training course I attended in November on the theme of Creative Approaches to Qualitative Researching. I will share what I learned about creative methods both as an approach, and as a means of generating social science research data. I will investigate some of the practical and ethical issues in using creative methods. I will then explore some creative forms of dissemination.

Dr Laura Guihen is a Lecturer in  Education at the University of Leicester



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