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Events and News

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Forthcoming 2015

Lunchtime seminar with CAPREx Fellows from Makerere University, Uganda

Tuesday 8th May, 13:00-14:15, Faculty of Education, DMB GS5

Further details available from Talks.Cam or download the flyer.

October 2014

BIBAC Conference newsletter, October 24-26 2014The 1st International Building Interdisciplinary Bridges Across Cultures (BIBAC) Conference took place in Cambridge from 24th-26th October.  Jointly hosted by Homerton College, Churchill College and the Faculty of Education, the conference was an outcome of the interest, energies and formulation of compelling topics covered during the Creativities in Intercultural Arts Network (CIAN) public forum series held over four weeks in September-October 2013.  The conference brought together educators, scholars, arts-practitioners, musicians and dancers from 10 different countries to collaborate in exploring the complex worlds of interdisciplinary and intercultural research practice in action.

Click on the image to view the BIBAC newsletter as a pdf, or click here to view in your browser.  Further information about the CIAN Network are available via the website:  You can sign up to the network free of charge to receive our regular newsletter.  Past issues can be accessed via the CIAN hompage.

September 2014

Kei Miller at launch of Give the Ball to the Poet in Glasgow 2014Congratulations to Kei Miller who was awarded the prestigious Forward prize for the best poetry collection of 2014 at a lively ceremony held at the Southbank Centre, the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 30th September.  Founded in 1991 by William Sieghart to celebrate excellence in new writing, the award seeks to identify and promote emerging poets and broaden the audience of poetry, numbering among previous winners household names such as Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Carol Ann Duffy.  Kei won the award for his collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet), described by the judging panel as a 'stand out' book. 

Link to full report by Carcanet

Examples of Kei Miller reading are available via the online Poetry Archive.

July 2014

Forthcoming Caribbean poetry anthology reviewed in SWAN, Southern World Arts News:

Young readers in the Caribbean and around the world are in for a treat with a vibrant new anthology of poetry titled Give the Ball to the poet.

Timed to coincide with the 2014 World Cup and the Commonwealth Games (23 July to 3 August in Glasgow, Scotland), the book has its own exciting tempo, with memorable word-play by writers from across the Caribbean region."

Read full review:

Give the ball to the poet - New Caribbean anthology publication

Give the Ball to the Poet - book cover imageEdited by Georgie Horrell, Aisha Spencer and Morag Styles

Illustrated by Jane Ray with a foreword by Grace Nichols

Published July 2014, Paperback, £9.99

Give the BALL to the poet is an exciting new anthology of Caribbean poetry aimed primarily at 11 to 16 age group but with great appeal for all. 

In its pages you will find many well-known and loved Caribbean poets, while also discovering lively new voices. With an emphasis on the music of Caribbean poetry as it is spoken, this collection ranges from the light-hearted and lyrical to the serious and thought- provoking. Jane Ray’s ravishing illustrations complement the poetry and bring the Caribbean to life.

Published in time for the Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, 2014), the anthology features some outstanding poetry on sporting themes; one of several works specially commissioned for the book is a tribute to Usain Bolt by Mervyn Morris. Give the Ball to the Poet distils the essence of a vibrant range of traditions in a celebration of human struggle, endeavour and achievement.

Publication will be celebrated with launches in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cambridge and London.

This anthology is part of the Commonwealth Poetry Project funded and published by the Commonwealth Education Trust (CET)

Follow us on Twitter @CPP and on Facebook

For further information, please contact Sabine Edwards/Research Assistant:

June 2014

Registration for the BIBAC conference 

Registration for conferences is via the University of Cambridge Online store.  Discounted rates available for students and for CIAN members.  Further details available from the BIBAC conference page

BIBAC Conference poster image

March 2014

BIBAC Conference 24-26 October 2014

Call for Papers for BIBAC Conference

BIBAC2014 is a 3-day international conference to be held from the 24-26 October 2014 in Cambridge, UK. Themed 'Building Interdisciplinary Bridges Across Cultures’ the conference provides a platform for scholars, educators, researchers, creative arts practitioners, performers and composers to sculpture interventionary frameworks and challenge ways of thinking, presenting and researching in the nascent fields of interdisciplinary arts practice.

Visit our BIBAC conference page for further information and to download the Call for papers. 
Deadline for submissions 30th April 2014.

Commonwealth Observance Day 10th March

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers at Westminster Abbey (10 March 2014)Several members of the Commonwealth Poetry Projects team were delighted to be invited to accompany visiting South African poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers when she performed her specially commissioned poem at Westminster Abbey at the Observance Day Service in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. 

Welcome to new staff

We are pleased to welcome Joy Martin who will be with the CCE Admin office for the next four months, primarily working with the Commonwealth Poetry Project team and offering support across other projects as required.

February 2014

At the end of January we said a fond farewell to Sally Roach who has served as office manager at CCE since 2008, quietly ensuring the smooth running of all aspects of the Centre's activities.  Sally will be greatly missed, but we know that all those who have had dealings with her over the years will join with us in wishing her well in her future endeavours. 

At the same time we are very pleased to welcome Kate Jones who joins the CCE administrative office team from 3rd February, taking on responsibility for travel arrangements and offering support across the range of CCE initiatives.

January 2014

Education is Key signLeadership for Learning Most Significant Change Ghana Project Launched

Sue Swaffield and Louis Major led a two-day research capacity building workshop for colleagues from the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana, funded by the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund, with matched support from the Commonwealth Centre for Education (CCE). They introduced the participatory monitoring and evaluation approach known as 'Most Significant Change' (MSC) technique to the thirteen participants, who will now go on to use MSC technique in partnership with a number of schools in the field. MSC was contextualised to the CCE's/UCC's Leadership for Learning (LfL) Ghana initiative established in 2009. Sue and Louis also visited several LfL schools during the trip, and held discussions with potential users of a mobile phone-based system that it is intended will support the continued expansion of the LfL Ghana programme.

Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, South African poet and core team member of ZAPPCommonwealth Observance Day 2014

We are delighted to announce that Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, renowned South African poet and core team member of CCE’s Southern African Poetry Project (ZAPP) has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Education Trust to write and perform a poem at the annual Commonwealth Observance Day celebration, to be held at Westminster Abbey. Commonwealth Day has been celebrated around the Commonwealth, on the second Monday in March, every year since the 1970s. In recent years, it has shifted away from celebrating a singular day and towards celebrating Commonwealth Week, with Commonwealth Day as its centrepiece. The theme for this year is ‘Team Commonwealth’.  For further information please visit the Commonwealth Week events page at RCS.

Making educational research count for children with disabilities in Malawi, Kenya and Uganda.

Nidhi Singal is co-leading a new project which aims to address the exclusion of children with disabilities from quality education by establishing a wide network of partners from a variety of sectors including UK and African universities, NGOs, educational managers and coordinators, practitioners and government staff in Kenya, Malawi and Uganda.

The activities and approach developed aim to i) increase local stakeholders’ capacity to understand, interpret and use primary research and ii) facilitate the development of a co-created research agenda in each and across the participating countries.

The project will build on the current collaborations between the University of Birmingham, the University of Cambridge, the International NGO Sightsavers and specialist education communities in the three target countries, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda.

2013 Cambridge International Development Report - image of coverThe 2013 Cambridge International Development Report, Working out our future together: Four steps towards ending global poverty'  from the Humanitarian Centre includes some very interesting articles including contributions by Dr Nidhi Singal (‘Inclusive education’ is not enough; we need empowering, quality education for all) and Madeleine Arnot (Should gender equality goals do more to promote the right to be respected?).  For further information about the Humanitarian Centre see:  The full report is available for download in pdf format.

October 2013

The Caribbean Poetry Project are delighted to announce the launch of the Teaching Caribbean Poetry Handbook, published by Routledge.  The book represents the culmination of the first three year phase of the collaboration between the Centre for Commonwealth Education in Cambridge and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago.  The project has also worked closely with the Poetry Archive to make recordings of caribbean poets widely available online. 

ZAPP logoThe Southern African Poetry Project (ZAPP) was formally launched at the Melville Festival of Poetry in South Africa (20th October) and the University of Witwatersrand (22nd October) with readings from eminent South African poets, including the South African poet laureate Prof Keorapetse Kgositsile.

Twitter button Facebook button Follow ZAPP on Facebook and Twitter

September 2013

Professors Neil Dempster and Greer Johnson of Griffith University Brisbane, Griffith Institute for Educational Research, will be visiting the Faculty 7th-10th October to work with Sue Swaffield, David Frost and John MacBeath on a book proposal about the ongoing work of Leadership for Learning (LfL). 

August 2013

Welcome to New Staff

Louis Major joined the Centre for Commonwealth Education on 5th August to work as the Researcher on the Leadership for Learning Ghana programme. Louis is taking over from Stephen Jull who officially left at the end of July but will be around assisting with the transition for a few weeks. Louis, who won an Early Career Researcher Prize at BERA 2012, is just completing his PhD at Keele, and is working with Sue Swaffield for the equivalent of 3 days a week. Welcome to Louis, and many thanks and good luck to Stephen!

Inclusion under the RTE

Akanksha BapnaThe Centre for Commonwealth Education is delighted to announce the award of a Reciprocal Visiting Scholar Fellowship to Dr Akanksha Bapna, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Civil Society in New Dehli and Dr Nidhi Singal, Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education. The CCE fellowship award funds a four week visit to Cambridge in September 2013 to prepare the groundwork for a large-scale impact evaluation to study the classroom (teacher attitude, teaching-learning processes etc), school (social inclusion etc), family (household resource allocation, decision making etc) and student outcomes (social, cognitive etc) of students from socioeconomically weaker sections attending private schools through the reservation clause of the RTE. The aim is to develop a project bringing together qualitative expertise and quantitative methodology to develop a robust mixed-methods based impact evaluation. The CCE fellowship provides an opportunity to develop the project and seek long-term engagement in various areas of educational development, also providing for a follow up reciprocal visit by Nidhi in 2014.

Bio: Akanksha Bapna holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge and a Masters' degree in International Education Policy from Harvard University. She is currently working on K-12 policy, bridging the gap between policy and practice. Her focus is the efficient use of public funds and increased equity and quality for education. In the past, Akanksha has worked with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to build education research capacity for the Haryana State Government, Department of School Education.

CCS website

July 2013

Asare JohnsAsare Johnson meeting another visiting fellow from Ghana (July 2013)on, CCE visiting fellow (2nd from left), with Jenny and Pauline from the Cambridge-Africa programme meeting up with Dr. Dodoo-Arhin, also from Ghana and a visiting fellow at Engineering (Wolfson College, 19th July).

Cambridge-Africa logo

See also Cambridge-Africa facebook page:

Funding awarded to the Centre for Commonwealth Education from the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund:

  1. Sara Hennessy, Bjoern Hassler and Maurice Galton and Professor Callie Loubser of UNISA, South Africa have been awarded £5,000 for a one week intensive workshop held in Cambridge earlier in June. The UNISA team are collaborating with CCE on the development of 'Advanced Diplomas in Education' (ADEs), a new qualification in the South African national qualifications framework, aimed at providing school-based professional development opportunities for practising teachers. ADEs are part of the response to a national review of the minimum requirements for teacher education in South Africa and place increased emphasis on the teacher's role as a knowledge worker. The Cambridge workshop built on work carried out during 2012 and an earlier workshop in Pretoria, providing the chance to evaluate and refine existing modules while also developing new materials and resources. All materials developed for this project will be made available as Open Educational Resources to enable their use by teachers across sub-Saharan Africa

  2. Sue Swaffield and Prof Yaw Ankomah of the University of Cape Coast have been awarded £5,000 for research training for colleagues in Ghana in a participatory monitoring and evaluation approach known as the ‘Most Significant Change’ (MSC) technique. The research training will be led by colleagues from Cambridge and contextualized to the CCE’s/IEPA’s Leadership for Learning Ghana programme ( The plan is for an introductory two-day workshop for 10 participants, who would then practise the technique with schools in the field, before reconvening at a follow-up two-day workshop. This pattern is designed to support high quality learning through initial consideration of the technique, practical application in a familiar context, and subsequent reflection including possible adaptation and potential further use. The proposed three-stage process will be enabled through matched funding from the CCE.
  3. Elaine Wilson and Dr Rovincer Najjuma, Makere University , Uganda have been awarded £1,500 for travel with a view to starting collaboration on Developing a Quality Culture in Initial Teacher Education.
  4. Maurice Galton, Dr David Good (University of Cambridge) and Dr Euzorbia Mugisha Baines, Makerere University, Uganda have been awarded £7,000 to support research by Dr Baines From Entry to Exit: A comparative study of Internal Quality Assurance Systems in Graduate Training in Makerere University, University of Ghana and Cambridge University. Maurice and Dr Good will be acting as mentors for Dr Baines who has also been awarded a University of Cambridge funded CAPREX Fellowship. As part of the Fellowship she will be hosted by the Centre for Commonwealth Education in early 2014.
  5. Sara Hennessy, Alicia Fentiman and Dr Betty Nannyonga, Makerere University, Uganda have been awarded £6,699 to support research by Dr Nannyonga Shortening the shadow between gender and Mathematics. Sara and Alicia will be acting as mentors for Dr Nannyonga who has also been awarded a CAPREX Fellowship. As part of the Fellowship she will be hosted by the Centre for Commonwealth Education in early 2014.

June 2013

Caribbean Poetry Project Nominated for NEXUS Communicator of the Year Award 2013

The Nexus Commonwealth Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the countries, organisations, citizens and values of the Modern Commonwealth. This award recognises efforts to communicate the spirit, values and activities of the Modern Commonwealth though innovative approaches and particularly reaching out to new audiences beyond the 'Commonwealth family'. We are thrilled that the enthusiasm and hard work of Morag Styles, David Whitley and Georgie Horrell here in the UK, together with Professor Beverley Bryan, Sandra Robinson, Sharon Phillip and the team in The University of the West Indies has been recognised in this way.  For further information about the Caribbean Poetry Project visit the CPP website.  For information about the Nexus Commonwealth Awards click here.

UNISA / CCE collaborative workshops (Mon 3rd - Fri 7th June 2013)

As part of the UNISA ADE project, CCE are currently hosting a team of nine UNISA colleagues for a week-long intensive workshop.  Led by Professor Loubser, the UNISA team are collaborating with CCE on the development of 'Advanced Diplomas in Education' (ADEs), a new qualification in the South African national qualifications framework, aimed at providing school-based professional development opportunities for practising teachers. ADEs are part of the response to a national review of the minimum requirements for teacher education in South Africa and place increased emphasis on the teacher's role as a knowledge worker. The Cambridge workshop builds on work carried out during 2012 and an earlier workshop in Pretoria, providing the chance to evaluate and refine existing modules while also developing new materials and resources.  All materials developed for this project will be made available as Open Educational Resources to enable their use by teachers across sub-Saharan Africa.

May 2013

Publication news

John MacBeath and Sue Swaffield contributed a chapter: Ghana: Resolving the Tensions Between Colonial Values and Contemporary Policies to a new volume School Level Leadership in Post-conflict Societies: The importance of context, edited by Simon R.P. Clarke and Thomas A. O'Donoghue, published by Routledge on 29th April.

Appreciating Caribbean Poetry (Fri 28th - Sun 30th June 2013).

Places are now available on the 'Appreciating Caribbean Poetry' weekend course at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. The course is designed to enhance your appreciation – whethe

Photograph of Madingley Hall, venue for Appreciating Caribbean Poetry weekend course

r for confidence in the classroom or simply for pleasure. Three members of the Caribbean Poetry Project  team will introduce key topics within Caribbean poetry and consider some exciting poets, such as John Agard, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Derek Walcott. There will be opportunities to read, share and perform Caribbean poetry.  The deadline for registration is approaching so please visit the course website for further details.  Bursaries are available.

CIE/LfL Initiative

Sue Swaffield and Faculty colleagues David Frost and Panayiotis Antoniou, have been awarded a £40k research grant by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) for a Leadership for Learning (LfL) pilot involving nine schools three each in Malaysia, New Zealand and Northern Europe. The project is aiming to test the applicability of Leadership for Learning, within teacher professional development, in different contexts. The grant is for one year and CCE is part funding the initiative. Sue is the critical friend for the schools in N Europe and NZ and Suseela Malakolunthu (University of Malaya) is the critical friend for the schools in Malaysia. A dedicated website has been set up where schools can access resources and post materials. Following a process of school portraiture and questionnaires, schools will identify a priority for development during the project. As a pilot a key purpose is to inform a hoped for extension to many more schools in the future.

Cambridge in Africa logoWellcome Trust - Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research (WT-CCGHR)

The inaugural lecture of the Wellcome Trust - Cambridge Centre for Global Health Research (WT-CCGHR, with a focus on Africa) will take place in Cambridge from 5:30-7pm on 2nd May 2013, with GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley speaking about 'Harnessing the power of science and the private sector: a 21st century model for international development'. The event will be opened by Professor David Dunne (Director of the WT-CCGHR and the Cambridge in Africa Programme). For more information about the event and speaker, and to register (free) to attend, please visit: gavi-lecture-eventbright.

April 2013

Commonweatlh Intercultural Arts Network (CIAN) Commonwealth Intercultural Arts Network (CIAN) Logo

The Centre for Commonwealth Education is proud to announce the award of three Reciprocal Visiting Scholar Fellowships to leading Commonwealth researchers working in the field of intercultural arts practices.

Hosted by Pam Burnard, the Fellows will visit Cambridge for 4 weeks from 21st September - 20th October 2013, and will collaborate on the formation of a Commonwealth Intercultural Arts Network (CIAN) to share research and performance practices; plan and develop a joint research bid on intercultural arts practice; link projects across the Commonwealth; co-author scholarly articles and create a website which addresses intercultural arts practice and pedagogy in diverse settings.  During this initial visit the team will present a series of 4 weekly public seminars, culminating in a one day conference in Cambridge.  Further details ...

TPD in Crisis Series: Open Educational Resources in sub-Saharan Africa

Sara Hennessy and Bjoern Hassler are participating in an online forum on Teacher Professional Development in Crisis: How can we give teachers in fragile contexts the learning they want and need? The forum brings together international experts, practitioners, and teachers to address the poor quality of professional development available to many teachers across the world, and aims to build an online community around research, ideas and strategies so hlep teachers everywhere to get high-quality professional development.  This three month special forum is hosted by the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).  View blog.

March 2013

Caribbean Poetry Project Team attend an observance for Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey

Montage of CPP team attending Commonwealth Observance at Westminister Abbey

Members of the Caribbean Poetry Project met at Westminster Abbey on Monday 11th March to take part in a special service for Commonwealth Day. They were also joined by Susan Tan, a doctoral student, who led a lively writing workshop as stimulus for the Commonwealth essay competition. The team were seated fittingly at Poets' Corner with Burns, Coleridge, Wordsworth [and Jane Austen] looking down. John Agard wrote a delightful poem for the event and performed it beautifully. The queen wasn't well enough to attend but Prince Philip chatted to John, apparently asking why modern poets didn't write like Kipling! The team then joined John at the Commonwealth Centre for tea, meeting with several people interested in the project and the work of the Centre. The team were delighted to be able to take part in such a special event.

See for further information.

February 2013

Opportunity: Rwanda Aid

Rwanda Aid is seeking two experienced and intrepid teachers / teacher trainers to volunteer to initiate an exciting and innovative teacher training programme in Rwanda, starting either in September 2013 or January 2014. They will be working in rural South West Rwanda supporting teacher development and training in two or three schools on a day by day basis. Volunteers benefit from an induction programme in the UK and in Rwanda, and will have the support of experienced UK consultants and Rwanda Aid’s Rwandan Education Officer. They will be provided with secure but basic housing, and all living and travel expenses will be met. Sponsored by HSBC Global Education and approved by the Rwandan Ministry of Education, the scheme would involve volunteers working for a year, over two six month periods. For further information and instructions on how to apply, download flyer.

Royal Commonwealth Society - Youth Enterprise Day

Photo of Susan Tan giving creative writing workshop at the RCS Youth Enterprise day 18th February 2013

Photos show PhD student Susan Tan with a group of students, and meeting HRH The Prince of Wales.

On Monday 18th February, Susan Tan (PhD student), representing the Centre for Commonwealth Education, gave a creative-writing workshop for students from around the region as part of a youth seminar organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society. Taking the Commonwealth Essay competition as a starting point, Susan used the creative-writing session to encourage students to explore different ways of expressing their views on the issue of employment and employability in the Commonwealth.  The day concluded with an opportunity for students to deliver their proposals on tackling youth unemployment in the Commonwealth to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. RCS Press release.

Funding for Reciprocal Visiting Scholar Fellowships 2013

In order to support the pursuit of collaborative research between the Faculty of Education at Cambridge and colleagues in Commonwealth countries, CCE are pleased to announce the launch of a Fellowship programme to fund reciprocal visits between a Cambridge academic and a Commonwealth counterpart.  The aim is to offer funding towards travel and accommodation for a visiting to scholar to come to Cambridge for up to one month, and for the Cambridge academic to visit the partner institution, for up to one month. Proposals should involve comparative research based on themes around developing high quality teaching and research in initial and continuing teacher education, and the training of teachers in the Commonwealth. Further information and application details are available to download.  Please note that this programme is only available to current staff of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. We are not able to consider any external applications.

Commonwealth Essay Competition 2013

Royal Commonwealth Society and Write Around the World logo

We are delighted to announce that CCE together with Cambridge University Press and CIE are promoting the Royal Commonwealth Society's 2013 Commonwealth Essay competiton. Run by the RCS since 1883, the Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s oldest and largest schools’ international writing competition. Past winners include the Prime Minister of Singapore Mr Lee Hsien Loong and author and journalist Elspeth Huxley. For 2013 the competition takes the theme ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’. Students are invited to explore all manner of enterprise in their submissions, with topics tailored to both Junior and Senior students. Creativity is encouraged and answers can be submitted in a number of formats, whether that is an essay, a letter or a poem.  Further information is available via the competition website. Entry details and a competition booklet are available to download.

British Library recordings tabBritish Library Poetry and Keynote Recordings... 

A collection of recordings made by the British Library at the Conference on The Power of Caribbean Poetry - Word and Sound, held in Cambridge in September 2012, is now online and available to listen to.  The recordings include readings from poets John Agard, Christian Campbell, Kei Miller, Mark McWatt, Mervyn Morris, Philip Nanton, Grace Nichols, Velma Pollard, Olive Senior, Dorothea Smartt and special guest Linton Kwesi Johnson, who gave a lecture on Jamaican poet Michael Smith; keynotes from Mervyn Morris, Olive Senior and Professor Beverley Bryan; and panel discussions on the Caribbean Poetry Project 2010-2012 and the teaching of Caribbean poetry.  For more information about the Caribbean Poetry Project or the conference, visit the project website.

Old Enough to Know, Book cover image

Old Enough to Know: Book Review...

Colleen McLaughlin and Susan Kiragu’s book Old enough to know: consulting children about sex and AIDS education in Africa has received a positive review in this months Journal of Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning. experts and researchers in the field of sex and HIV/AIDS education, we have all along known what should be taught in sex education, but little did we know how to do it. Old Enough to Know significantly addresses this pedagogical challenge. … I would recommend it to anyone who wants to gain pedagogical insights about how to overcome the sociocultural barriers to the provision of sex education to young people in Africa...

Kitila A.K. Mkumbo, Dar es Salaam University, Tanzania

The full review is available at:

Tony Booth, CCE Research Fellow,

recently visited India, working with teacher educators and State administrators from Gujerat and Andhra Pradesh, on three days of seminars, workshops and school visits aimed at understanding how an Index for Inclusion might be developed in India. Funded by Save the Children, the visit will be followed by a further workshop in Delhi in April 2013. Tony has also been invited to speak at the International Productive Practices Conference in Delhi on issues of inclusion to a wider group of educators in India.

John Agard

Congratulations to John Agard who has been awarded the prestigious Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2012.

We are delighted by the news that John Agard, renowned Caribbean poet and a member of the Caribbean Poetry Project advisory panel, has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry for 2012.  The medal has been awarded annually since 1933 and has been held by such distinguished names as WH Auden, Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin. The Poetry Medal Committee nominated John on the basis of his work over several years, with particular mention of his most recent published volume, Alternative Anthem: Selected Poems (2009) and his book of children's poems Goldilocks on CCTV (2011). When told of the news by poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, John said 'I couldn’t believe my ears and it took a little time to sink in. I am delighted as well as touched to be in the company of such names as Charles Causley, Norman MacCaig, Gillian Clarke, Stevie Smith, Derek Walcott. I am deeply thankful to the Poetry Medal Committee who supported my nomination for this honour and to all who supported my work over the years.'  The medal will be presented to John by the Queen in 2013.  Further information is available via the following links: Palace Press Release, New Writing North, and the Telegraph.

Selected CCE news items from 2012

Book Publication

A Common Wealth of Learning: Millennium Development Goals Revisited, Edited by John MacBeath and Mike Younger
Published 26th November 2012 by Routledge

CCE Book cover

Arising from the Centre for Commonwealth Education's 2010 conference on Millennium Goals Revisited: Transforming Teaching, Learning and Leadership in Commonwealth contexts, held in Mauritius, A Common Wealth of Learning takes a look at the millennium development goals that were set out at the start of the century. Utilising a far reaching set of case studies from a large percentage of commonwealth countries, this book looks at what the colonial legacy has left us with; and what we can do to progress. Chapters discuss;

  • Partnerships for Leadership and Learning
  • Quality Education and the Millennium Development Goals Revisited: Reflections, Reality and Future Directions.
  • Assessing the Impact of Education Sector Policy Reform in Low-Income Countries: Developing a Comprehensive, Intervention-Focused Research Programme
  • Education of Quality for All: Myth or Reality!
  • Bridging the Gap Between Research, Policy and Practice in Africa
  • Transformative Models of Practice and Professional Development of Teachers
  • Partnerships for Leading and Learning: The Contribution of the Centre for Commonwealth Education

Learning Circles in Malaysian primary schools

John MacBeath, Maurice Galton and Suseela Malakolunthu are collaborating on an initiative to develop Learning Communities across diverse ethnic groups in Malaysian primary schools. The aim is to address the divide between national schools which use Malay as the medium of instruction and vernacular schools that use Tamil and Mandarin. While the national schools cater for all ethnic students of Malaysian origin, the vernacular schools are typically confined to the Indian, especially Tamil speaking, and Chinese communities. A recent trend also shows more ethnic students registering in vernacular schools. With respect to teaching and learning, all three streams of schools are controlled centrally, following the same broad guidelines for administration, curriculum / syllabus, and assessment. On completion of primary education the students join common secondary schools. How well the three streams of students integrate academically and socially in secondary schools has become a major concern in recent years, with increasing polaristion along ethinic lines. The government Vision School policy attempted to address the issue with some success, but there is a need for further research.

This project aims to create mixed Learning Circles of teachers by establishing a network of schools and supporting them, using the Leadership for Learning framework developed by John MacBeath. It will be piloted with English teachers from 10 schools in the Gombak District in Kuala Lumpur. Through the combined approach of working with school headteachers, promoting teaching practices that shift focus from procedural pedagogy to subject matter content, and providing a support network so that any problems that arise can be shared, it is hoped that the Learning Circles will result in improved relationships, greater understanding and respect between different ethnic groups.

Caribbean Poetry Conference

From 20-22 September, CCE and Homerton hosted an inspirational, highly successful and truly international conference on The Power of Caribbean Poetry - Word and Sound. The conference brought together a combination of legendary poets and expert academics, offering delegates the opportunity to attend readings and poetry entertainment sessions as well as participating in academic sessions and teacher focused workshops.

Mervyn Morris, John Agard, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Olive Senior and Christian Campbell

Photo: (left to right) Mervyn Morris, John Agard, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Olive Senior, Christian Campbell

The conference was featured in the University of Cambridge publication, Research Horizons. The full article and several blogs posted by participants are available on the conference page. Further information and a full conference report available from the Caribbean Poetry Project website.

Additional items from 2011-2012 can be viewed here.