MA Education

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How can comics be used to support young people's meaning-making with museum collections

As a comics artist and educator, I have a strong interest in the application of comics in educational contexts outside the formal classroom, particularly in museums and heritage settings. Previous studies involving comics suggest that this art form is particularly well-suited for narrating personal viewpoints and interpretations. With this in mind, I designed a small-scale research study in order to investigate how creating comics may support young people’s meaning-making with museum collections. The study is aimed specifically at individuals from the adolescent age range (10-19 years old) – an age group that is often overlooked in museum and gallery education in favour of activities for younger children or families. The study involved a group of eight participants, recruited through local arts organisations. Due to the lockdown restrictions, this study took place online, through a series of Zoom workshops. Participants engaged with an online collection of an art museum, and selected objects that …

Status: Live|Last updated:May 10, 2022 12:09 PM
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Black underachievement: will more black history in schools make a difference?

Along with other ethnic minorities, Black Caribbean students continue to be amongst the poorest achieving groups in English schools. Additionally, black history remains significantly underrepresented in the English National Curriculum. This dissertation project researched whether introducing more black history into the English National Curriculum could be a strategy for increasing academic satisfaction and reducing underachievement of Black Caribbean students. The documentary review examined the central theme of knowledge and power and the aims and values of the current National Curriculum for England. It also explored Critical Race Theory (CRT), specifically applying the concepts of interest-convergence and interestdivergence to the National Curriculum and the role of ‘acting white’ in black underachievement. Finally, the documentary review also examined the impact of social media and TV and explored how they were utilised in the portrayal of the black community. A cross-sectional design approach was used to…

Status: Live|Last updated:April 13, 2022 5:37 PM
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Examining Effective Secondary Physics Pedagogy in the UK: A Review of Literature from 2010- 2021

Pedagogy is arguably a contested term, encompassing classroom practices, the theories that underpin practice and wider contexts of school cultures and society beyond schools. This thesis focuses on effective teaching practices specifically in secondary school physics with this wider picture in mind. An exploration of the general literature on effective pedagogy was a necessary step towards understanding how this resonates with research specifically concerning secondary school physics teaching. From the general literature, techniques such as regular low-stakes feedback, pupil active participation, lesson objectives, meta-cognition and scaffolding emerged as particularly important. Pupils’ prior conceptions about scientific ideas and the use of practical laboratory work are also important themes within science pedagogy. It is also recognised that features of effective practice are often linked to constructivism and social constructivism, and teaching practices are often evaluated through measurements of pupils’…

Status: Live|Last updated:February 16, 2022 5:21 PM
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‘What can we learn from the children?’ A case study into children’s reading for pleasure habits, attitudes and desires in one primary school setting

This case-study offers an exploration of the role children’s voices have in promoting reading for pleasure and the lessons that can be learnt from listening to the children themselves with regards to their reading for pleasure habits, attitudes and desires. By encouraging children to explore and vocalise their reading for pleasure habits, attitudes and desires, it was hoped that both teachers and students would gain a better understanding of how to promote reading for pleasure. Over the course of a week, and following the relevant research ethics approvals, a group of 28 Year 5 students within one primary school setting participated in a reading for pleasure questionnaire, where their reading for pleasure habits, attitudes and desires were explored. Following this, 10 participants were identified to attend a followup focus group, 5 children who identified as having a high reading for pleasure and 5 children who identified as having a low reading for pleasure. Two months from the first data collection, two foc…

Status: Live|Last updated:February 16, 2022 5:18 PM
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How do we assess multilingual children for dyslexia with an approach founded on research-based evidence and theory?

This dissertation concerns the identification and assessment of multilingual children with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) in a primary school setting in order to help teachers provide targeted intervention. The principles of assessing children with a multilingual background is established through the examination of relevant literature. Key themes are established as a result of a non-systematic analysis, based on studies by researchers working in this field and eight research articles are selected for closer examination. A thematic review of the articles revealed the key findings, namely that multilingual students can be assessed in English, even if they have been learning the language for a limited period of time. Using a predictor approach will help to identify children at risk of dyslexia, therefore the assessment should not be delayed. Children identified early should be given remedial assistance to alleviate reading difficulties. Recommendations are made for the assessment of multilingual pupils.

Status: Live|Last updated:February 16, 2022 5:15 PM
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Distorted Mirrors and Blurry Windows: Portrayals of Characters with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Recently-Published Picturebooks

Within the UK there is a growing demand for critical exploration of whether, and how, all children’s lives are reflected in the books they read. Bishop’s (2003) metaphor of literature acting as mirrors and windows forms the premise of this research. She argued that all children should be able to see themselves and others reflected, and valued, in the books that they read. In England, 15.5% of all school-age pupils are registered as having Special Educational Needs and/or a Disability (SEND). The aim of this paper was to investigate prevalence and portrayals of characters with SEND in recently-published picturebooks with a specified sample of the nominated titles for the Kate Greenaway 2021 medal. Ten picturebooks containing humans were found to have portrayals of at least one character with SEND. When comparing the findings of this study to previous research in the field, it can be argued that prevalence of characters with SEND has improved. 22.7% of books in the sample were found to include a character with …

Status: Live|Last updated:February 16, 2022 5:13 PM
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An exploration into the exclusion of children with SEND from primary school

The issue of school exclusion has made national headlines and is a complex topic that continues to be the subject of rigorous debate. This is unsurprising given the 60% increase in the number of children permanently excluded from school in England in the last five years (Partridge et al., 2020). It has been widely recognised that children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) are disproportionately represented in exclusion statistics; alongside children from poorer backgrounds, children who are known to Social Care, and children from certain ethnic minority groups (Department for Education, 2012; Gill et al., 2017; Timpson, 2019; Ofsted, 2020; Partridge et al., 2020). This research study is an exploration into the exclusion of children with SEND from primary schools within a focus locality in England. The aim of this research was to investigate why children with SEND could be excluded from primary school and how the number of exclusions could be reduced, from the perspectives of school sta…

Status: Live|Last updated:February 16, 2022 4:57 PM
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How does a partial withdrawal class for English oral language purposes affect developing perceptions of social integration in new arrival EAL children?

Children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) often struggle with the transition when moving to a new school, where they are unable to communicate or interact with their peers. This difficulty can often lead to social isolation and unhappiness for these children, at a time where they are trying to rebalance their identity. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore the link between language proficiency and social integration and to see whether a partial withdrawal class for language learners would affect the participants’ social integration within the classroom and wider school. A case study approach was used for this study. The children were provided questionnaires, and teachers and parents were interviewed before the partial withdrawal class. The first observation of the children was also undertaken. A second and third observation and questionnaire were conducted immediately after, and a month after the partial withdrawal class. A second set of interviews with teachers and parents were also compl…

Status: Live|Last updated:February 16, 2022 4:54 PM
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STEADYING, JUGGLING, INNOVATING: A THREE-STAGED EXPLORATION OF LEADERSHIP DURING A PANDEMIC

The international COVID-19 pandemic produced three national lockdowns in England between 2020 and 2021, two of which involved unprecedented periods of school closures. Widespread school closure is an unheard-of phenomenon in the English school system, resulting in challenges to leadership not previously encountered. Due to the unprecedented nature of the circumstances, leadership research in this context is non-existent in the English school system. This research, which explores leadership in a rural primary school, also addresses another gap in the research literature: rural schools, which are underrepresented in both research and policy in recent history. This interpretative case study investigates one headteacher’s leadership style, role and priorities before, during and after lockdown. The headteacher was interviewed and their Senior Leadership Team completed a questionnaire. The results of both were analysed and comparisons between the three periods were drawn. Research findings illustrate that leade…

Status: Live|Last updated:February 11, 2022 7:46 AM
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A quest to find an authentic artistic voice: could lingering in a liminal space nurture creativity?

This reflective autoethnographic research into my art making utilises art-based research methods. I sought to discover if a liminal space could nurture my creativity and examine what factors inhibited or enabled art making that was authentic and meaningful to me. Through investigation into threshold concepts and creative process I come to understand the complexity and paradoxical nature of a liminal space. The research fits within the social constructionist framework through which meaning is co-constructed between self and other. Using the visual method of photo elicitation generated both knowledge and data. As a data set the visual was enlightening, influencing how I engaged with written data. Initially I was struggling to make meaningful artwork. A surprise external prompt, a Eureka moment, took me in a direction I had not anticipated. I entered the liminal space with a purpose and it allowed me to think differently. My artwork took on deep personal meaning, a visualisation of my own creative pro…

Status: Live|Last updated:November 15, 2021 3:40 PM
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