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Young and Homeless

Exploring the education, life experiences and aspirations of homeless youth

By Tina Byrom and Sheine Peart

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Price: £24.99
Published: 1 August 2017
Paperback / softback, 188 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm

Why do young people become homeless, and what might be done about it? This new study is important reading for academics and students of education, sociology or social work who wish to explore and understand the experiences of homeless young people. Their stories about their aspirations, experiences of schooling and the family breakdowns that culminate in their becoming homeless challenge tired assumptions about homelessness.

Through exploring one effective support service, the book provides positive and far-reaching strategies to assist young people in difficult predicaments back into secure accommodation.

Find out more about this title and buy copies here.

 

Educator Most Extraordinary

The life and achievements of Harry Rée, 1914–1991

By Jonathan M. Daube

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Price: £24.99

Published: 15 August 2017

Paperback / softback, 269 pages, 234 mm x 156 mm

This is the extraordinary story of Harry Rée, ‘the pre-eminent educationalist of the post-War years’. The youngest of eight children, he went to Cambridge and then into teaching, and after ten years as headmaster of Watford Boys’ Grammar School he became a fervent advocate for comprehensives. The first professor appointed at the University of York, he argued for innumerable causes: community education, comprehensives, curricular reform, voluntary suicide, and much else. His life and thought explored such questions as: What can you do if you truly believe in the power of education? What does it mean to live a life committed to public service? Is one person’s compromise another’s sell-out? And what does it mean to be a visionary?

Find out more about this title and buy copies here.

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Congratulations to our authors!

We are absolutely delighted to announce that our book – Guiding Readers: Layers of Meaning by Wayne Tennent, David Reedy, Angela Hobsbaum and Nikki Gamble – is the winner of the UKLA’s 2017 Academic Book Award!

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‘The committee was impressed by the level of scholarship and the clarity of the summary of research evidence on reading comprehension. The chapter on text selection was seen as an important and distinctive element. We felt that the book redefined ‘guiding’ in the context of reading and reading comprehension, and that this was illustrated in a thorough and detailed manner. No doubt about it, this book is a prize-winner!’

We would like to thank the chair, Guy Merchant, and all the members of the panel for this wonderful appraisal and very much look forward to celebrating this prize-winning book at the UKLA International Conference, June 30th – July 2nd in Glasgow.

Buy the winning book

Read the UKLA press release

View the 2017 Shortlists

 

 

Posted by & filed under Author blogs, Author Q & A, New books.

By Suma Din

Suma Din shares her experiences as a Muslim mother in the state school system and describes what inspired her book Muslim Mothers and their Children’s Schooling – a study that gives voice to more than fifty women from a wide range of African, Arab and Asian backgrounds and all social classes, some of them immigrants but many born in the UK.

 

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Could you tell us a little about your professional background?

I read English Language and Literature at UCL and went on to do a PGCE at the IOE, after which I combined ESOL teaching and writing educational books and resources across the humanities curriculum. I moved into Adult Education and worked in the Family Learning sector, running courses for parents to achieve national literacy or ESOL qualifications as well as courses that helped them support their children’s literacy learning at school. Alongside writing and teaching, I’ve always been heavily involved with local voluntary roles such as being a primary school governor and with interfaith work.

What inspired your book?

There were several stimuli that inspired this book, which were equally important, and I outline these in the book’s preface. Of those, the two following areas in particular stand out.

Having been involved with my children’s schools, and as a parent-governor, I appreciate the partnership between the home and school that’s required for the whole school community to progress. However, there are often gaps in this relationship, and in some cases, there is no partnership at all. While there is a body of research on the ways minority parents are interacting with their children’s schooling, I found the experiences of Muslim mothers was submerged within the general narrative of parents, rather than specifically looking at their position. Given that Muslim children constitute the largest faith minority presence of 8.1% in state schools in England and Wales (Sundas, 2015), it seemed only logical to share their mothers’ perspectives on education and their contemporary experiences.

At the same time, out in the public domain, Muslim mothers receive a disproportionate amount of negative press. They are either situated as mothers of ‘jihadi-brides’ or ‘terrorist sons’, or oppressed victims of forced marriages, honour killings or FGM. As I state in the book, these acute problems require attention and robust challenging – but these are not the only lens through which this section of society should be viewed. Only seeing Muslim mothers in these ways does little to encourage better relations between students, staff and parents. Challenging these essentialized views was another incentive to interview mothers and hear what they had to say. When given the opportunity to define themselves, they showed, for example, how they wanted to correct misconceptions about their essentialized public image and explain who they really are and how they would like to be understood. This commonality was found across different ethnic, educational and socio-economic backgrounds.

‘I’m a Muslim woman and a Somali mother so my main identity is a Muslim woman/mother. This covers everything – my religion is a way of life, so, if I want to be a good citizen, mother, woman, I have to be a good Muslim…that’s what I think. That’s my identity.’ 

 – Hibaaq (Chapter 4, p. 51)

‘It’s that need to show, that I’m just a parent and that we’re not all the same, and perhaps undo some of the stereotypes.

Tahira (Chapter 4, p. 56)

As well as these reasons, the questions I was asked when delivering Islam & Cultural Awareness CPD to colleagues clearly indicated there were many misconceptions, for example around how Muslims view school festivals, education and the position of women in the family. One mother in the study illustrates the complexity in her narrative about playground dynamics and contemporary politics. She relates how, during the week the law against forced marriage was being passed, she was asked by another parent she was friendly with: ‘How d’you feel about your forced marriage?’ Their ensuing conversation in Chapter 5, titled ‘Relationships’, demonstrates the need for far more communication about everyday assumptions.

What do you hope readers will learn having read it?

I hope the narratives from the data help readers feel more confident about recognizing the plurality of Muslim families. A small study like this is a microcosm of the diversity among parents from a range of backgrounds. For instance, some participants were very critical about Muslim mothers in their own community; some questioned mosque education teaching styles and timings; others were reflective about their parent’s choices for their own education. This is just some of the variety readers will encounter.

I would like this book to be an introduction to more dialogue between practitioners and parents generally, and Muslim mothers in particular. ‘I didn’t ask as I don’t want to offend’ is a comment I’ve come across regularly when interacting with teachers and other professionals. I hope readers will find some answers to those unspoken questions. As one mother in the study reflected:

‘Every day in the staff room they bring the METRO in and the first page is someone did something. When the staff read this, the only thing they think is it’s not a good religion. Even though they know us as staff, as good, but they get bombarded with the negative. Even for us, as Muslims, what can we say? They never ask directly, but you can see in their eyes and I volunteer and say ‘this is not Islam’. When they have questions, I will go and explain, it’s part of my job’.

Zarah, parent adviser (Chapter 7,  p.114)

Ultimately, hearing mothers’ narratives at a time when there are loud voices of separation and division to compete with, should contribute to a more nuanced perspective for practitioners.

Reference: Ali, Sundas et. al. (2015) British Muslims in Number: A demographic, socio-economic and health profile of Muslims in Britain drawing on the 2011 Census. London. Muslim Council of Britain.

Buy now: Muslim Mothers and their Children’s Schooling by Suma Din.

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Thank you to all those who joined us at the 10th Harold Rosen lecture on 20th March 2017.

The evening was very well-attended, with over 200 people who filled the auditorium of the Cruciform building in London’s Gower Street.

Well-known poet and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen kicked off the event with a few words, followed by a moving introduction from Harold Rosen’s wife, Betty.

The main event was an eloquent lecture from the editor of the collection, John Richmond, who delivered a fitting tribute to Harold Rosen and his contribution to English teaching in the second half of the twentieth century.

In case you missed this wonderful evening, you can watch the video below.

The transcript of the lecture can be downloaded here.

Rosen and his colleagues forged and sustained a new understanding of the purpose and possibilities of secondary school English. Beyond the constituency of secondary English, Harold’s teachings, writings and activities illuminated many more people’s understanding of the relationship between language and learning in any context, whatever the age of the learner and the content of the learning.

Buy now: Harold Rosen: Writings on life, language and learning, 1958–2008 by John Richmond

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rosen_blogUCL IOE Press cordially invites you to attend the 10th Harold Rosen Lecture to celebrate the launch of Harold Rosen: Writings on life, language and learning, 1958–2008.

This new collection, edited by John Richmond, contains over 50 pieces of Harold Rosen’s writings, including some of his stories and poems. John Richmond will be giving the lecture, and will be introduced by Harold Rosen’s son, well-known children’s author Michael Rosen.

This special lecture takes place at 5pm on Monday 20th March 2017 at Lecture Theatre 1, Cruciform Building, UCL, Gower St, London WC1E 6BT.

There will be drinks afterwards in the Cruciform Café, with the opportunity to buy this title at a special 20% discount.

Please RSVP by Friday 10 March 2017 by contacting Sally Sigmund at s.sigmund@ucl.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7911 5565.

Praise for Harold Rosen: Writings on life, language and learning, 1958–2008:

‘Those of us who knew Harold will enjoy hearing his voice again; those who have not yet met him will relish the wit, incisiveness and principle of this remarkable man.’
– Eve Bearne, United Kingdom Literacy Association

 

‘A reader of this collection will appreciate the great contribution Harold Rosen made to education, language and literature.’
– Professor Neil Mercer, University of Cambridge

 

 ‘This is a most welcome bringing-together of the writings of one of the most admired and influential thinkers and doers in the world of English teaching and language education in the second half of the 20th century.’
– Professor Ronald Carter, University of Nottingham and Cambridge Language Sciences, University of Cambridge

This is event is co-hosted by DARE, LATE and UCL IOE Press.

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NEW JOURNAL ADVANCING PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT WITH RESEARCH

We are delighted to announce the first issue of Research for All, a ground-breaking open-access journal that focuses on the importance of public engagement to research and provides a platform for creative thinking about how and where academic disciplines meet with real-world problems. Academic analysis, practical commentary and case studies provide critical reflection on how research can be conceived, developed, disseminated and applied in partnership with those not formally involved in the research community. Peer-reviewed contributions, many co-written by academic and non-academic partners, feature engagement in research carried out in any field of study, with collaborators in any chosen community, industry or organization and in any part of the world. Drawing on this rich field, Research for All launches with a bumper issue which, as editors Sophie Duncan and Sandy Oliver explain, introduces readers and prospective contributors to the range of content and thoughtful contributors that will define the journal. Research for All is free to write for and free to read. We invite contributions about engaged research in any area of study at any time. For more information, visit the journal website or contact the managing editor, Pat Gordon-Smith (p.gordon-smith@ucl.ac.uk). Research for All is a collaboration between the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), and is published by UCL IOE Press. Advancing a culture of public engagement is a central commitment for the NCCPE and for UCL.

 

Research for All 1 (1), Jan 2017: CONTENTS

 

FEATURE ARTICLES

 

PRACTICE-RELATED ARTICLES: Devices for engagement

 

PRACTICE-RELATED ARTICLES: Participatory approaches

 

ARTICLES ABOUT CHANGING PEOPLE

 

ARTICLES ABOUT CHANGING INSTITUTIONS

 

BOOK REVIEW

 

We would like to thank the authors and associate editors who have worked so hard on the articles, and hope you enjoy this first issue. The second issue will be published in July 2017.

 

Sophie Duncan (NCCPE) 

Sandy Oliver (UCL Institute of Education)

Editors, Research for All

 

Pat Gordon-Smith

Managing Editor, Journals

UCL IOE Press

07528 275646

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Posted by & filed under Author Q & A, News.

According to The Department of Education, current statistics show that only 15% of primary school teachers in the UK are male.

Dr David Brody, chair of the Early Childhood Department and Academic Dean of the Efrata College of Education in Jerusalem, Israel, is the author of Men Who Teach Young Children: An international perspective. David reveals that the percentage of male teachers in Early Education ranges from 0.0043% in Israel to 11% in Norway.

Men Who Teach Young Children presents biographies of six talented men from Britain, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Israel and the United States, who have all been working with the youngest children for many years. A cultural lens is used to understand their motivations and reveal the difficulties they faced in choosing the profession, getting trained, working with young children and their parents, and opting to remain in the field.

In an interview for the early childhood website, Storypark, David tells Megan from Mat Time why male teachers are needed in Early Education.

You can watch the interview here:

The role of men in teaching | Dr. David Brody

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Launch of Voices in the Air: Making sense of policy and practice in education by Chris Husbands

UCL IOE Press hosted a book launch party last Monday, celebrating the publication of Chris Husbands’ new book, Voices in the Air.

This dynamic new collection of journalism and policy commentary was written during Professor Husbands’ directorship at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). Friends, colleagues and journalists turned up to the launch held at Blackwell’s Bookshop at the IOE.

The evening began with a warm welcome Chris Husbands Book Launchfrom Laura McInerney, the editor of Schools Week. Laura talked about how she picked up the book on her first day of holiday and was in ‘tears – and hysterics’ by the time she got to page 3. A wave of glee rose from the guests as Laura remarked on blog posts covering topics ranging from a 1940s Meccano manual to the case against grammar schools.

Laura concluded by asking, ‘What do school exams and phone hacking have in common?’ She advised the audience to read page 81 to find out.

Following Laura’s amusing presentation, Professor Husbands stepped forward to reflect on the art of blogging and his thoughts and experiences as Director.

Other guests at the launch included Becky Francis, new Director of the UCL Institute of Education, Mary Stiasny, Geoff Whitty, Titus Alexander and Hugh Starkey.

Professor Chris Husbands has been Vice Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University since January 2016. He was Director of the Institute of Education between 2011 and 2015, leading the merger of the IOE with UCL.

Buy now: Voices in the Air

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How do we teach children about modern day issues such as fear of immigrants and terrorism?

By Marie Parker-Jenkins

New arrivals from the Syrian War have placed the footlight on key issues of immigration and identity. For many, identity is multi-faceted but religion can be a key factor. After fleeing war-torn countries, people may wish to unite around their religious community – particularly if the reason for leaving is connected to freedom from religious persecution. This has been the experience of Muslims, Christians and Jews in the recent Middle East conflict.

Reaching In, Reaching Out discusses how parents are attracted by the opportunity for their children to attend a religious school which reflects the values of the home. Dating back to the 19th Century, there has traditionally been state-funded support for Christian schools in the country – later extended to those established by Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. In such institutions there tends to be more consensus about religious instruction, pupil uniform and school curriculum, which serves as a uniting force.

Added to this, the experience of hostility and discrimination from the wider society can reinforce a decision for people to reach in, as the religious school community is seen as a safe haven from racism. Some institutions may be seen as ‘fortress schools’ in terms of needing a high level of security from this external hostility. Although religious communities have different capacities in terms of financial and social capital to mobilize, crucially they aim to provide a secure environment for their pupils. Only from a position of security is a faith school likely to feel comfortable in reaching out to the external community.

Developing mutual respect and tolerance have been strained recently, in part due to the ongoing fear of terrorism. In the UK, Germany and elsewhere there are calls for more national unity as a reaction to these events. Multiculturalism has been judged to have failed and to have encouraged tolerance of the intolerant.

The move to the political right

Far Right politics show a backlash to the recent flow of migrants entering Europe and a fear of immigrants. In the USA, Donald Trump has capitalized on this, expressing what others may be too fearful to say in a ‘politically correct’ society. So dislike of gays, Muslims, women, disabled and Black communities have all featured in his political statements. Such discourse is said to help legitimize violence, a suggested motive in the death of MP Jo Cox prior to the Brexit vote to leave the European Union.

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, which was significantly influenced by issues of immigration and prejudice, how should we move forward?

We are now confronted by the ‘Prevent’ strategy, designed to stop people become or support terrorists, and the promotion of fundamental ‘British Values in Schools’ as part of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. These policies have replaced the community cohesion and ‘Big Society’ agenda. While the early initiatives focused on all communities, the Prevent and BVS strategies seem to be targeting immigrants and Muslim children in particular, along with a shifting emphasis from learning to live together to preventing and combatting radicalization.

From the Bataclan to the burkini

This sense of unease is felt elsewhere. France particularly has been caught up in debates of immigration, racism and the extent of tolerance towards those who are different. Under French law (1905), the separation of state and religion has led to the development of a secular state which has influence over all aspects of life including choice of dress by religious groups.

If a French House of Fashion introduced beach wear akin to a wetsuit to protect against the elements, it is not likely to be seen as a symbol of terrorism. Yet the use of the burkini or full-cover swimwear has recently led to this allegation, raising issues of gender and choice of dress in the public domain. Ordering Muslim women to take off their clothes at French beaches demonstrates increasing fear, particularly since the Charlie Hebdo shooting and Bataclan attack. People are understandably concerned about national security, but the misguided attempt to ban the burkini was not the way forward.

Unwillingness to integrate in a new society and a desire to have facial covering is perceived as failing to interact and being divisive. This is played out in the media on a daily basis. Muslim women who choose to wear the ‘hijab’ head covering, the ‘niqab’ veil or full gown ‘burqa’ are perceived by some sections of the media as symbolizing terrorism in our midst.

So what is the role of schools in this culture of fear?

Schools are the space where children and young people learn about others; they are not neutral places. Religious school communities claim they do not preach intolerance and that violence and terrorism is antithetical to their beliefs. Yet faith schools and particularly those based on Islamic principles have been singled out as allegedly preaching intolerance.

What should be the position and role of religious schools? Some advocate their abolition, citing them as responsible for the present state of affairs. That is unlikely to happen, not just as a result of a potential backlash from the 11 state-funded Muslim schools in the country, but from Christian and other religious communities which operate nearly six and a half thousand schools.

There is a shift from welcoming minority groups and religious communities to viewing them with suspicion. One of the things we know about young people attracted to terror groups is the lack of belonging. Bridging the gulf between people is through embedded and sophisticated forms of engagement as part of the way forward.

There is responsibility on all sides. Faith schools aim to provide children with a roadmap for their lives but they should not have a license to deny their pupils access to knowledge and appropriate links to the wider society. All schools regardless of their religious character need to make efforts to connect with and engage on behalf of their pupils.  There are a range of possibilities as shown in the book: not for pupils to be in competition, like at sports events, but in cooperation, to work with and learn from each other.

In our lifetime this has never been more vital as we help support young people’s fear of others, played out in the media – and at times expressed in the schoolyard.

Importantly, fear should be dealt with by talk, opening up age-appropriate dialogue and providing opportunities to learn positively about people outside your own religious or non-religious group.

Marie Parker-Jenkins is Professor of Education in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Limerick, researching issues of social justice with particular reference to ‘race’ and ethnicity. Before having an academic career in the UK, she lectured in Bermuda, Canada and Australia where she obtained practical knowledge of children from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is the author of over 100 publications including books, reports, conference and journal articles. Her research has included study of the expansion of religious schools, particularly those based on an Islamic ethos; and in her consultancy capacity, she has provided workshops on such subjects as citizenship, community and social identity. She has taught in five universities before coming to Limerick, and her current research is concerned with responding to diversity within the Irish context.

Buy Reaching In, Reaching Out: Faith schools, community engagement, and 21st-century skills for intercultural understanding