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Research Project funded by the Research Council of Norway

Research Project funded by the Research Council of Norway

Thursday 4 February
Paul Warwick (PI) and Louis Major (RA) will be working with colleagues at the University of Oslo on a project entitled 'Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum'(DiDiAC). Research in Norwegian and English secondary schools will involve design-based interventions drawing on dialogic classroom strategies and on technology developed at the University of Oslo (the micro-blogging tool TalkWall, available online in English and Norwegian). The research team will also conduct a longitudinal follow-up study in Norway with teachers who participate in the initial intervention.

This 4-year project is funded by The Research Council of Norway, with the Faculty of Education receiving approximately £240,000.

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Deaf-friendly teaching with pupils and trainee teachers

Jack Hunt pupils with PGCE students

Tuesday 26 January
Jack Hunt School pupils offer deaf awareness training at PGCE adolescence and wellbeing conference.

As part of the Secondary PGCE's adolescence and wellbeing conference on 8th January 2016, the Faculty was pleased to welcome ten pupils from Jack Hunt School's hearing support unit, who delivered two hour-long training sessions for trainee teachers.

The deaf and hearing-impaired students spoke about themselves, their deafness and their communication preferences in the classroom, explaining how eye contact, lip reading, peer support, humour and patience can support students in overcoming communication barriers. After a question and answer session they worked in pairs to instruct the trainee teachers in basic sign language.

"Sessions like these work both ways," said Martin Barwise, assistant headteacher at Jack Hunt School. "They provide trainee teachers with a focus on deaf awareness and deaf-friendly teaching as well as providing an introduction to British sign language. At the same time the sessions are very powerful in boosting our students' confidence and self-esteem."

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PEDAL Centre Director helps to change Polish education law

Polish President Andrzej Duda meets Professor David Whitebread

Thursday 21 January
Dr David Whitebread, Director of PEDAL, was invited by the Polish Parents' Rights Association, last June 2015, as an expert in Early Years and Primary Education, to give a lecture at Warsaw University. His lecture reviewed the research evidence indicating that lowering the school starting age is likely to be ineffective or counterproductive in relation to raising academic achievement. This arose from the Polish government's decision earlier that year to enact a law lowering the school starting age from seven to six years of age.

David also met Polish President Andrzej Duda in order to help the parent campaigners make their case that this new law should be reversed, and this campaign has now been successful.

Full Report and Video

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Inaugural PEDAL research seminar with guest speaker Professor Kristiina Kumpulainen, University of Helsinki

Professor Kristiina  Kumpulainen, University of Helsinki

Tuesday 12 January
As a guest of PEDAL (the Faculty's new research centre on Play in Education, Development and Learning), Professor Kumpulainen will be speaking at a seminar on Tuesday, 19 January 2016 about current international research on play and how this evidence is reflected in Finnish education policy and practice.

Her talk will also touch on the changing landscape of play in the digital era and how this will impact on learning, educational practice and the professional competencies of teachers.

This seminar will be of interest to academics, teachers and practitioners, as well as to those with a fascination for Nordic social and educational policy.
Booking Details can be found at:

Any enquiries, contact PEDAL via or call 01223 767548.

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Male Teachers in Primary School – Research Award

Male Teachers in Primary School – Research Award

Wednesday 6 January
Paul Warwick, Simon Brownhill and Jane Warwick have been awarded a small grant award from the Newton Trust to investigate the thoughts, ideas and experiences of men who work in the early years and primary school sectors and who are at different stages of their career trajectories.

The research will investigate common discourses of identity amongst these professionals, particularly in relation to societal expectations of the male primary school teacher as a role model for pupils. The focus on identity development over time will provide a unique perspective on what it means to develop as a male primary or early primary teacher.

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Lavender Primary School pupils visit the Faculty of Education!

Primary school children in front of Faculty library

Monday 21 December
Enthusiastic Enfield pupils from Lavender Primary School enjoyed a taste of student life at the Faculty of Education on Tuesday 15th December.

60 Year 6 pupils and their teachers were welcomed to the Faculty for a visit designed to get the pupils thinking about what education really is, what they would like to do when they are older and the higher education opportunities that are available to them.
Full Report and photo.

If you would like to get involved with outreach work at the Faculty of Education, please contact Eve at

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Dutch Minister of Education visits the Faculty

Jet Bussemaker

Wednesday 16 December

The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Dr Jet Bussemaker, paid a one-day visit to the Cambridge Faculty of Education on Wednesday 9th December. Members of her delegation included representatives of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in London, accompanied by others from different areas of teaching and learning in the Netherlands such as higher, secondary, primary and vocational education. Their chief aim was to discuss teacher preparation and ongoing professional development with members of the Faculty’s outstanding Early Primary/Primary and Secondary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses. Read more...

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Let girls learn in conflict settings

Girls in Classroom

Thursday 10 December
Unique threats to girls displaced by conflict prompt exceptional initiative.

University of Cambridge together with the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security spearheaded a gathering of some of the world's leading experts last week. The aim of the meeting was to develop a research agenda that will provide policymakers with the information they need to make evidence-based policy decisions on improving education for girls affected by conflict, particularly those who are forced to flee their homes.

University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz led the meeting along with Ambassador Melanne Verveer, from the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

Professor Pauline Rose of the REAL Centre, who is leading the partnership on Cambridge's behalf, explains the importance of overcoming barriers to girls' education in conflict settings: "It is vital that we smooth disrupted transitions that adolescent girls face in their education journey in conflict-affected settings - this means addressing the obstacles these girls face from home to school, and from school to work. We urgently need a stronger evidence-base to guide policymakers in making sure these girls are not denied their right to education and can support social cohesion for future generations."

Click here for the full story.

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NEW MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development

Faculty of Education News

Monday 30 November
The Faculty of Education of the University of Cambridge invites interested candidates to apply for an exciting new MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development. The MPhil will provide students with the opportunity to assess critically the challenges faced by resource-constrained education systems, as well as possibilities for change. The new Global Goals to be achieved by 2030, agreed by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, presents a key opportunity for students on the MPhil to engage with the role of equality, diversity and inclusion to achieve education and learning goals. The MPhil will address topical issues such as reaching children with disabilities; poverty, gender and education; education in conflict settings and for peace; use of digital technologies; and acquisition of skills for young people relevant to the global economy. Students will benefit from teaching by internationally-renowned Faculty staff who are actively involved in cutting edge research and evidence-based policy advice in international development settings.

For further information and to apply, click here.

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Chinese Executive Leadership Academy Jinggangshan Visit

Faculty staff and Delegation

Monday 23 November
A delegation from the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy Jinggangshan (CELAJ) led by the Vice President Professor Kuang Sheng visited the Faculty of Education to discuss mutual interests in educational leadership and professional development. Dr Elaine Wilson and Dr Fay Turner provided an overview of the ongoing work on the Centres of Excellence Programme in Kazakhstan while Jane Warwick and Linda Fisher outlined the Cambridge approach to Initial Teacher Education.

CELAJ is located in the Luoxiao Mountains in the remote border region between Jiangxi and Hunan provinces, China. It specialises in leadership education and development to promote education and to keep senior government officials abreast of national and international developments.

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Where now for peace education in the twenty first century?

Report page 1

Tuesday 17 November
The Report of the Cambridge Peace Education Research Group's first International Seminar, Autumn 2015, is now online.

Where now for peace education in the twenty first century? An inter-generational group of world-leading scholars discuss...

Also available - the full Programme with abstracts and biographies of keynotes and paper presentations.

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Inspiring... Launch of the Faculty's Working Papers Series

Working papers series

Thursday 12 November
We are delighted to announce the launch of the Faculty's Working Papers Series, with the first paper from Professor Pauline Rose and Dr Rabea Malik: Can Pakistan afford quality education for all its children and young people?

You are invited to read and reply to Professor Rose via the comments box which follows the article. Please note comments are moderated.

We will be publishing papers from Faculty staff and PhD students on a regular basis, and look forward to the Series inspiring discussion about research within the Faculty.

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What happened at the Faculty's Festival of Ideas?

Faculty of Education News

Monday 9 November
This year we hosted two events as part of the University's annual Festival of Ideas. We welcomed a grand total of 284 visitors to the building and both events were enjoyed by all.
Full report and photos of the events.

Many thanks go to Siddharth Pandey for delivering a very engaging talk, the 17 volunteers who made the events such a success and to everybody who helped with the preparation and running of the events.

For more information about the Faculty's outreach work, please contact
Eve Berwin (Schools Liaison Coordinator) at

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Stimulating (Emerging) Story Writing!

Book cover

Monday 2 November
Stimulating Emerging Story Writing! Inspiring children aged 3-7 and Stimulating Story Writing! Inspiring children aged 7-11 are two new professional books that have been written by Dr. Simon Brownhill, a Senior Teaching Associate in the Faculty of Education. The books are packed full of innovative and exciting ways to help educators inspire children between the ages of 3 and 11 to want to create stories and develop their story writing skills.

Underpinned by theoretical perspectives and research findings, these two books are designed to provide busy educators with a wealth of interesting ideas and practical teaching strategies and that can be used with immediate effect in the classroom.

Published by Routledge, the books are considered to be an essential resource for trainee teachers and active professionals in the early years and primary school sectors.
Further details and purchasing information are available at: (3-7) (7-11)

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November Open Day - Centre for Children’s Literature


Monday 2 November
Come learn more about research in children’s literature, the work of the Cambridge-Homerton Research and Teaching Centre for Children’s Literature and opportunities for study, including the MPhil, MEd and PhD programmes.

With a talk from our special guest, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Mini Grey.

2-5pm Saturday 14th November. Full poster details.

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Faculty signs MoU with Education Department of Chaoyang, Beijing

Participants in delegation

Monday 26 October
Professor Jan Vermunt, Deputy Head of Faculty, and Mr Liu Libin, Deputy Head of the Education Department of Chaoyang, Beijing, are pictured signing an MoU between the Faculty of Education and the Education Department of Chaoyang, Beijing.

Also present from Chaoyang were Mr Li jun, and Mr Lu Xueqing, Vice Presidents of the Institute of Education, Chaoyang, Beijing, and Dr Sue Brindley, Faculty PPD Co-ordinator.

The MoU signals the beginning of an exciting project on developing pedagogy in Chinese classrooms and also the development of collaborative research. The project will be co-ordinated by Professor Geoff Hayward, Head of Faculty, and Dr Sue Brindley.

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Award of Future Research Leaders ESRC Grant

 Award of Future Research Leaders ESRC Grant

Friday 23 October
In October 2015 Marisol Basilio was awarded a Future Research Leaders ESRC Grant entitled: "Early Learning Abilities Promoting Success in Education (ELAPSE): Findings from the Millennium Cohort Study and directions of a new longitudinal study". Marisol will lead this 3 years project as Principal Investigator with the support of Professor Anna Vignoles and Professor Claire Hughes as her mentors.

The aim of this proposal is to investigate the developmental mechanisms by which children's early learning skills, life conditions, and opportunities to play result in different later educational outcomes. The project looks at success in education beyond school attainment, including children's socio-emotional experiences in relation to learning and school. To address this question, Marisol will conduct secondary analyses of the longitudinal Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) data in order to distinguish children's profiles, examine developmental trajectories, and estimate models of early child development. The second aim of the project is to conduct a feasibility evaluation for a future longitudinal study of early development, with a significant emphasis on the role of self-regulation and play.

This research will inform educational policy and practices aimed at promoting children's early learning opportunities to reduce later educational disadvantage.

The Future Research Leaders scheme aims 'to enable outstanding early-career social scientists, in partnership with their host organisation, to acquire the skills set to become the future world leaders in their field'

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Sibs, schools or sorting: What drives educational inequality in East Africa?

School children in classroom

Thursday 22 October
The REAL Centre welcomes you to attend the seminar Sibs, schools and sorting: What drives educational inequality in East Africa? by Sam Jones, on Monday 9 November at 12.00 at the Faculty of Education.

Sam Jones, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, will present his research that identifies the unique contributions of siblings, schools and sorting effects to variation in learning outcomes. His study applies a novel technique to UWEZO test score data, covering over one million children across East Africa.

For more information, please click here or visit

RSVP to Diane at

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Watch Live today! - Launch of the PEDAL Centre - 22 October

PEDAL logo

Thursday 22 October
The Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) is launched by the University of Cambridge at 4pm BST today. This ground-breaking research institution will examine the role of playfulness in learning and development in young children.

The PEDAL Centre has been established with a £4 million donation from the LEGO Foundation, a Danish corporate foundation funded by LEGO whose aim is to use play to improve learning for children all over the world.

PEDAL acting director Dr David Whitebread said: “Play opportunities for children living in modern urban environments are increasingly curtailed, within their homes, communities and schooling. At the same time, play remains a relatively under-researched area within developmental science, with many fundamental questions still unanswered. Therefore, an invigorated research effort in this area will constitute a significant contribution to cultural understandings about the importance of play and the development, internationally, of high quality education, particularly in the area of early childhood.”

If you would like to watch the event (either live today at 4pm BST or at a later date) it can be viewed via:

We hope you will join us for this exciting event!
The PEDAL team.

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Festival of Ideas: WOW Lecture: #UpForSchool

WOW Lecture - Professor Pauline Rose

Thursday 15 October
As part of the Festival of Ideas, Professor Pauline Rose will present a WOW lecture: #UpForSchool on Tuesday 27 October from 5:30pm - 6:30pm, St John's College, Palmerston Room, St John's Street, CB2 1TP.

With the highly publicised #UpForSchool campaign and the announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals that will guide international action for the next 15 years, this session considers the key issues in the education debate and implications for future action.

To see more information and to book a place, see:

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Black History Month

Student in library

Tuesday 6 October
Last week marked the start of this year's Black History Month. To celebrate the Faculty of Education's commitment to diversity, we have been featured in an online profile on the Black History Month website's Diversity Dashboard , and will also be featured in their brochure.

The feature highlights the PGCE programmes' encouragement of applications from sections of communities that are under-represented in the teaching profession.

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The Faculty of Education at the Festival of Ideas 2015

Festival poster

Tuesday 6 October
Our Faculty has been taking part in the Festival of Ideas for a number of years and this year is no exception. We will be running two events:

A home in the hills: Indian Summers and the making of India's Little England - Thursday 29th October, 6 - 7.30pm, by Siddharth Pandey. Free of charge (no booking required).

Channel 4's recently concluded, critically acclaimed 'Indian Summers' showed the Himalayan hill station of Simla, brimming with the power politics of the Empire and the Indian National Movement.

Full details pdf.

Find your own superpower! - Friday 30th October 10.30am - 2.30pm (Free of charge, no booking required, drop-in).

Imagination and creativity are all that is required to find your own special superpower. Children are invited to play and learn with art, poetry, games and much more. Why not come dressed as your favourite superhero?

Full details pdf.

We would be delighted to see as many people as possible at this year's events, both of which look set to be hugely enjoyable.

For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering to help at either of the events, please contact Eve Berwin (Faculty Schools Liaison Coordinator) on

Festival of Ideas Video.

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R is for Rabbit

R is for Rabbit

Friday 2 October
The Cambridge Animal Alphabet series celebrates Cambridge’s connections with animals through literature, art, science and society.

"The interest in rabbits, and anthropomorphising them as characters, is perhaps rather a curious phenomenon in British culture"

Dr Zoe Jaques is a lecturer in children’s literature. Her research spans fiction for children from 1800 to the present, and in particular how children’s fantasy participates in questions of what it means to be human. Here she answers questions about rabbits in children’s fiction.

Read the full report.

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