• The Power of Music to Change Lives?

    Dr Anna Mariguddi On Saturday 25th June 2022, the much anticipated (second) National Plan for Music Education (NPME) was published entitled; ‘The power of music to change lives’. The (non-statutory) document represents political ideology (as does the Model Music Curriculum and Ofsted Research review series: music). Despite leaning towards traditional Western Art values, the NPME’s […]

  • The Right to Play: Are young children free to determine their own actions?

    Dr Jo Albin-Clark I recently saw an art exhibition with Mark Titchener that got me thinking about how far young children are free to determine their own actions. Previously my research interests have been about how teachers observe playful learning (Albin-Clark, 2021, 2022) and develop critical awareness about children as holders of rights (Albin-Clark and […]

  • ‘Bridges’ and ‘Phonics’, and How to Navigate Both

    Dr Karen Boardman As I respond to yet another message on social media about why I am suddenly ‘crossing bridges’ from early reading advocacy to the teaching of Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP), I am wondering why I feel the need to explain my position yet again. Firstly, it is not either/or – it is both. […]

  • What Does it Mean for Teachers to be True to Themselves? Can a Critical Creative Process Support our Articulations of Self?

    Victoria Inyang-Talbot As I prepare to share parts of my research at the International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry later this month in Cape Town, I cannot help but meditate on the question that has preoccupied me for a long time, and is key to my research project. The famous quote, ‘to thyself be true’, spoken […]

  • Not from Keith: What can Posthuman theory and an old Easter card do?

    Opening up Conversations about Performativity, Playfulness and Creativity in the Early Years of Primary School. Dr Jo Albin-Clark I’ve inherited a bag filled with my primary school books and creations. One thing catches my attention, a faded card with an adult drawn chick shape decorated with scrunched up tissue paper. Inside, a young hand has […]

  • The problem is often the solution: The future of video-based learning

    A year ago, in March 2020, we saw a global adoption of an online video-based learning approach in the higher education sector as a strategy to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infection and to prevent person-to-person transmission around university campuses. Since then, we’ve found ourselves switching between online and blended learning to mitigate the impacts […]

  • Normalising ‘special’: Covid, online learning and those with special educational needs

    A year ago, I was wondering how some educational practices could be changed in category from ‘special’ to ‘normal’ as a result of socially distanced practices, and what that might mean for our relationship with normality. Online access to education had previously been campaigned for by disabled students with limited success, and where it was […]

  • After a Year, is it Time to Log Off?

    In this morning’s tutorial with a postgraduate our conversation meandered here and there, touching on writing, juggling deadlines and inter-weaving theoretical ideas with the blessed Harvard referencing. It reminded me of the best things about being a university tutor – I was actually helping! Except, I was sitting in my house with my laptop perched […]

  • Gendered Double Imbalances in Higher Education

    Some of you might have seen the Tweets and blogs making the rounds regarding the sexual harassment and exploitation (sexual and not) of female academics. I read them with a profound sense of knowing sadness: whilst I have been lucky to not be in these women’s places, the misogyny and gendered power imbalances are evident […]

  • To the Moon and Back: Summing up the ISR/EHU Covid-19 Blog

    When we had the idea to ISR blog in the week after lockdown in late March, we could not have imagined that it would have such resonance. Since the start of April we have had nearly 50 posts, charting our immediate response as an academic community to a once in a 100-year event. In receiving, […]

  • Returning to ‘normal’: Better or Worse for those with special need and/or disabilities?

    In uncertain times, it is unsurprising that evoking the idea of ‘normal’ provides a source of comfort. ‘Normal’ implies a predictability and coherence that many of us crave. Both a return to the ‘old’ normal and a re-imagining of a ‘new’ normal are presented as potential reassurances of a more familiar and comprehensible future. It […]

  • Listen up! Schools have always been much more than places for Education

    As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, schools in England have radically shifted form. After temporarily closing for the majority of children, they have remained open for some. The sector is in the midst of planning how to bring more children on site safely. Alongside this, extraordinary attempts have been made to sustain relationships with […]

  • Covid-19, Higher Education and the rise of video-based learning

    Given the rapid shift to focus on online video-based learning due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is evident that we need to develop understanding of how this mode of learning will impact student engagement with their course and learning. Also, what measures can be used to determine its success? Video-based learning has a long history […]

  • Towards a ‘Next Normal’: HE and Reflection at Speed

    Those who lead – people, educational or research programmes, engagement activities or even entire organisations in Higher Education, like every other sector globally, are now confronting the challenges of how to move forward in a world where everything we do has the potential for radical change. However, despite common references to a ‘new normal,’ realistically […]

  • Covid-19: An Opportunity for Nature and Outdoor Education

    Since March headline stories have abounded across news outlets suggesting the positive impact that the decline in human activity, as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, is having upon the natural world. The National Geographic (April 2020) reported ‘carbon omissions are crashing’ and forecast a  9% drop in Europe this year, elsewhere observations were recorded […]

  • We Make the Road by Walking: A ‘Kinder’ Society after COVID-19?

    “In December 1987, Myles Horton and Paolo Freire, two pioneers of education for social change, came together to ‘talk a book’ about their experiences and ideas” (Bell, Gaventa & Peters, 1990. p xv) The seminal book that ensued, ‘We Make the Road by Walking’, marked a major landmark in the development of participatory education for […]

  • Lockdown and Educational Inequality: Some Reflections

    In 1970, Basil Bernstein famously wrote that education cannot compensate for society. Bernstein may have been writing fifty years ago, but recent reports on the impact of school closures on disadvantaged children and young people resonate with his conclusions. Despite decades of government rhetoric about inclusion, the empirical reality of social inequality has been exposed […]