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REAL: Events


UKFIET conference, Oxford, 17-19 September 2019

Members of the REAL Centre are taking part wide range of paper presentations and discussions at the UKFIET conference. The focus of the conference in on Inclusive Education Systems: Futures, Fallacies and Finance.

See here for timings of presentations’

UKFIET 2019 REAL Centre programme


Learning to Play and Playing to Learn Conference, 2nd July 2019

200 academics, policy actors and practitioners spent the day discussing the possibilities of play-based learning in low income countries as well as in low resource settings in middle- and higher-income countries. The conference was jointly hosted by REAL and PEDAL Centres, the one-day event provided an opportunity for participants to build a shared vision for the future of play-based learning.

Conference opened by DFID Chief Scientific Advisor
The conference was opened by Professor Dame Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor who highlighted that DFID is prioritising funding of evidence on early childhood development given its importance to future opportunities, and that it is even more vital for the most marginalised; and Dr Erum Mariam, Head of Director of BRAC, Bangladesh, who spoke about Play Labs in Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees.

Panel discussions on exploring play
This was followed by three panels that explored how play contributes to early learning in low income settings; how to measure and assess play; and, what the future of play looks like. Drawing on a range of expertise from different geographical contexts, as well as across academic disciplines and from policy actors and practitioners, we heard about:

  • How domestic and donor funding of early childhood education is extremely low, and so is an urgent need for expansion if play-based learning is to be effective
  • How the role of play is crucial to a child’s development – particularly for children who have grown up in a violent or traumatic context
  • The need to understand the links between play and issues such as mental health, psychosocial support, and child protection
  • The need to understand the benefits of different forms of play, what needs to be measured, and how best to measure play
  • The vital importance of understanding context in defining and measuring play
  • The need to understand and address the potential misalignment between parent, politicians and teachers’ perceptions of play and its potential benefits.

Lego duck Challenge #playingtolearn
There was also some time for a LEGO duck building challenge! and throughout the day, there was active tweeting via the hashtag #playingtolearn.

With thanks to the LEGO Foundation
The PEDAL and REAL Centres are extremely grateful to the LEGO Foundation for supporting this event and getting us all to think more creatively about play.

Montage of conference images


The REAL Centre PhD Student Seminars - Easter Term 2019

Easter 2019

The REAL Centre has a broad programme of Tuesday Seminars from our PhD Students this term. The full listing can be read here.


Comparative and International Education Society's (CIES) 2019

Members of the REAL Centre are taking part wide range of paper presentations and discussions at the Comparative and International Education Society's (CIES) annual conference in San Francisco this year, which focuses on Education for Sustainabilty

See here for timings of presentations’

CIES poster


From Promises to Action: Education and disability in the Global South

Friday 15th March, 10:00-18:30

From Poverty to Action

This event provides an opportunity to critically engage with how we can deliver “inclusive and equitable quality education” (Sustainable Development Goal 4) for children with disabilities.

Speakers, drawing on empirical insights, will explore the complexities and dilemmas encountered, as well as the opportunities in providing education for children and young people with disabilities in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Speakers will include:

  • Professor Tom Shakespeare, Professor of Disability Research, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Elina Lehtomäki, Professor Global Education, University of Oulu
  • Dr Maria Kett, Head of Research, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre, UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Healthcare
  • Dr Matthew Schuelka, Lecturer in Inclusive Education, School of Education, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Elizabeth Walton, Associate Professor in Special and Inclusive Education, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham

Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from session discussants who work in policy and INGO spaces.

The event will be followed by a drinks reception to mark the launch of the new book:

Education and Disability in the Global South: New Perspectives from Africa and Asia. Published by Bloomsbury.

To book your free place, visit the Eventbrite page


The REAL Centre Student Seminars - Lent Term 2019

Lent 2019 seminar listing

The REAL Centre has a full programme of Tuesday Seminars this term. The seminar line up include world

renowned visiting academics and speakers from the REAL Centre. The full listing can be read here.


The REAL Centre Student Seminars - Michaelmas Term 2018

Michaelmas 2018 seminars

The REAL Centre has a broad programme of seminars this term. The full listing can be read here.


CIES Conference, Re-Mapping Global Education, 26-29 March 2018, Mexico City

CIES 2018 Poster

Members of the REAL Centre took part in a wide range of paper presentations, panel discussions and book launches at the Comparative and International Education Society's (CIES) annual conference in Mexico City this year, which focused on Re-Mapping Global Education. 

A full listing of the Centre's activity at the conference can be found here.


The REAL Centre one day conference

Banner for conference

On 9th March the REAL Centre hosted a conference to celebrate the work of celebrating the work of Professor Christopher Colclough and continuing his legacy. The day was opened by keynote speaker Sir Richard Jolly, Institute of Development Studies.

Developments on key themes of Professor Colclough's work were discussed by those who had worked with him, including:

  • States or Markets in International Development Debates
  • Gender and Primary Schooling in Africa
  • Global Monitoring of Education Goals

  • Educational Outcomes and Poverty

The event was recorded and can be watched on You Tube by clicking this link or viewing the recording below.

Watch on YouTube


The REAL Centre PhD Student Seminars - Easter Term 2018

Easter Seminars

The REAL Centre has a broad programme of Tuesday Seminars from our PhD Students this term. The full listing can be read here.


The REAL Centre Seminars - Lent Term 2018

REAL Centre Lent Seminars

The REAL Centre has a full programme of Tuesday Seminars this term. 


The REAL Centre Seminars - Michaelmas Term 2017

REAL Centre Seminars

The REAL Centre has a full programme of Tuesday Seminars this term. The seminar line up include world-renowned visiting academics and speakers from the REAL Centre.


The REAL Centre at UKFIET Conference 2017

UKFIET 2017 Poster

Members of the REAL Centre will be taking part in a wide range of paper presentations, symposiums, workshops and quick fire sessions at this year's UKFIET Conference which focusses on Learning Teaching for Sustainable Development: Curriculum, Cognition and Context.


Easter seminars poster

REAL Centre PhD Student Seminars

REAL Centre seminars on Tuesdays this term included presentations by PhD students. On Tuesday 6th June, one of the shortlisted Varkey Foundation's Global Teacher Prize, Michael Wamaya participated in the seminar, giving this perspective on teaching in disadvantaged parts of Kenya.

On Monday 19th June Professor Fernando Reimers from Harvard University gave a seminar on 'Empowering all Students to Improve the World'.


Conference banner


The conference opened with a keynote address by Ziauddin Yousafzai, Advisor to the UN Special for Global Education and father of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. The event was in association with the British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE). You can view pictures from the day here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/142468238@N08/sets/72157682906338792. Details of the full program for the day can be found here.


#LearningGeneration: Putting Evidence to Work

On Friday 27 January the REAL Centre hosted a presentation and discussion on the Education Commission's #LearningGeneration: Putting Evidence to Work. A recording of the live event is now available.


REAL Centre one-day conference

Watch webcast of 'Learning from learning assessments to leave no one behind'- REAL Centre one-day conference which took place 15 June 2016


Highlights from the launch of the REAL Centre

Access alternative formats

I am absolutely confident that the REAL Centre working with CAMFED will be generating much light to guide the global community as we work to educate every child including every girl.

Julia Gillard, Chair of the Board, Global partnership for Education.


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