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Cambridge trainee teachers in their own words: Emily Williams

Faculty of Education News
Friday 17 September
This article is one of a series of interviews with Faculty PGCE alumni about their experiences as trainee teachers at Cambridge and their views on recently-proposed Government reforms which, if implemented, could lead to the University withdrawing from initial teacher education. Emily Williams completed the General Primary PGCE this year and has just started her first job at Histon and Impington Park Primary School – a Cambridge partner school and part of the Histon and Impington Brook School Teaching School Hub.


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New project will seek to address mental health problems in ‘critical’ first years of life

Christine O'Farrelly
Wednesday 8 September
A new project led by Dr Christine O’Farrelly will aim to develop a tool to identify early mental health needs in very young children, laying the basis for personalised support that could be crucial to improving children’s life chances.

Read the full story

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Cambridge trainee teachers in their own words: Beth Lamont

Faculty of Education News
Monday 6 September
As part of an ongoing series of interviews in the context of planned Government reforms to teacher training, former PGCE trainee Beth Lamont discusses both her experiences of the course and the potential impact of the proposed changes, which could lead to Cambridge withdrawing from teacher education. Beth completed the Secondary Science PGCE this year, specialising in Biology, and is now starting a job with Hadrian’s Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust in Northumberland, where she also grew up.

Read the full interview.

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Profile: Barry Rogers

Barry Rogers
Friday 27 August
Executive educator whose doctoral research explores how workplace learning programmes can make a lasting difference, even when they come up against the reality of people's busy working lives.

Read the full interview.

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Cambridge trainee teachers in their own words: Jess Landy

Jess Landy
Sunday 22 August
This is our latest interview in a series with former Cambridge PGCE trainees in the context of new Government proposals which have put the course under threat. Jess Landy completed the Secondary History PGCE and is currently Head of History at Comberton Village College in Cambridgeshire, a University of Cambridge partnership school. She has also been a mentor for trainees from both the Cambridge course and other university-based programmes. Jess explains why these courses play a vital role in preparing teachers for long careers in the profession, by equipping them to relish the job, even when the going gets tough.

Read the full interview.

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University response to the Government Initial Teacher Training Market Review

Faculty of Education News
Wednesday 18 August
The University of Cambridge has now published its full response to the Government's market review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT). 

Our overall position remains that, while we support the objective of promoting consistently high-quality teacher training, we are deeply concerned that the proposals themselves would require us to adopt a model within which we could no longer guarantee the high standards we have achieved to date. The market review proposals appear to confuse quality with uniformity and conformity. We cannot, in all conscience, envisage our continuing involvement with ITT should the proposals be implemented in their current format.

Read the full response.

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Cambridge trainee teachers in their own words: Fabiha Alam

Fabiha Alam
Monday 9 August
In the context of recent proposals to reform initial teacher training, which could threaten the future of the Cambridge PGCE, recent alumni have been telling the Faculty about their own experiences training to teach at Cambridge. Fabiha Alam has just completed the Secondary Science PGCE, specialising in Biology, and will start teaching at one of the University’s partner schools in St Neots in September. She describes the support that she had throughout the course during the pandemic, and how it taught her to strive for constant improvement in the classroom.

Read the full interview.

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Cambridge trainee teachers in their own words: Katharine Kidd

Katharine Kidd
Friday 6 August
We have been speaking to recent trainees about new Government proposals to change initial teacher training (ITT) and their experiences on the Faculty's initial teacher education courses, which may have to be withdrawn if the proposals are implemented. Here Katharine Kidd, who has just completed the Secondary PGCE in Modern Languages, explains why she benefited from a choice of routes into teaching, Cambridge’s strong network of partnership schools and the tight integration of theory and practice that the course provides. 


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Heads reveal how ‘overwhelming’ Government guidance held schools back as COVID hit

Stressed teacher
Thursday 5 August
Headteachers and school leaders have described how an ‘avalanche’ of confused and shifting Government guidance severely impeded schools during the critical first months of COVID lockdown in a new study.


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SNA Connect: Cambridge’s new hub for Social Network Analysis

Logo for SNA Connect
Friday 30 July
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a growing, but still relatively niche academic field, so when the pandemic hit, many specialists were cut off from the conferences and workshops on which they normally depend to meet and collaborate with fellow-researchers. In response, graduate students at the Faculty of Education created ‘SNA Connect’, a programme of online seminars which has brought together scholars from 37 different countries to explore how networks can be framed, visualised and measured both within the social sciences and beyond.

In this interview, Tom Cowhitt, a PhD researcher at the Faculty, explains what SNA is, and how the project has kept scholars connected during a time of remote research. 


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World's poorest children missing out on pre-primary education

Picture of children
Wednesday 21 July
Eight in 10 of the world’s poorest children – almost 50 million boys and girls - are missing out on vital education in the first few years of their life because of a chronic lack of funding in pre-primary education, according to a new report published today.


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Go platform: why academics need to organise, collectivise, and ‘socialise’ social media

Image: Ravi Sharma, Unsplash
Thursday 8 July
A significant perception shift about how academics and universities share their research on social media is urgently needed according to new analysis which calls for a more ‘subversive’ approach to engaging audiences online.

Read the full story.

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Professor Martyn Rouse, 1945 - 2021

Faculty of Education News
Thursday 24 June
With deep sadness the Faculty announces the death of Professor Martyn Rouse. In 1986 Martyn became a Tutor at the University of Cambridge Institute of Education, later to become part of the Faculty of Education.  He was a Senior Lecturer when he left to take up the Chair of Social and Educational Inclusion at the University of Aberdeen in 2006. From 2000 to 2006 he was also Director of Studies at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge.

Martyn made many significant contributions to the development of thinking and practice regarding inclusive education, in this country and abroad.  This was influenced by his earlier experiences working in London secondary schools, which enabled him to talk in an authentic way about education drawing on his experiences brilliantly to illustrate concepts in a way that brought them to life. Martyn never lost touch with his roots as a school teacher and this informed his research and postgraduate teaching in the University. 

A natural communicator and collaborator, Martyn understood the importance of working strategically to develop close ties with and between schools, Further Education Colleges, Local Authorities and Higher Education. In the 1990s he was part of a regional group consisting of Local Authority Inspectors, HMI and Institute staff which aimed to ensure that programmes and development projects were jointly owned and located in practice and the needs of the field. With typical empathy he recognised that at the end of a long day what tired teachers needed were professional development opportunities that came to them. This propelled his work with colleagues within the University to develop a part-time Master’s of Education. Under his leadership as Director of the MEd, it was to became the first part-time degree to be established in Cambridge.

Martyn's courses were both intellectually demanding and fun. He brought life and humour to his teaching, while also being a careful listener, actively encouraging students to think and follow their ideas through for themselves. As a supervisor Martyn was generous with his time, patient and supportive. He encouraged his students with wisdom and kindness. He helped to launch the academic careers of PhD students who are now leading researchers and teacher educators making significant contributions of their own. Martyn also respected and supported students who struggled with some of the rigours of academic work, building their confidence by believing in their capacity to learn and contribute to the field.

Alongside his Faculty activities, Martyn began to develop the international work that was to become such an important aspect of his contribution to thinking about human rights and inclusion. His research and development work for international organisations reflected the same level of generosity and commitment that characterised his work at home. He worked with colleagues at Unicef, OECD, the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, and Open Society Foundations to document efforts to improve inclusive practices for children with disabilities. His contributions to educational development and inclusion many countries, particularly in Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans were deeply appreciated by colleagues in the region, and he continued this work in retirement by serving as Special Needs Advisor to the Christine Witcutt Memorial Fund Edinburgh Committee. 

In 2006 Martyn was appointed to the first Chair of Social and Educational Inclusion at the University of Aberdeen. With Lani Florian, he established the highly regarded Inclusive Practice Project. This extraordinarily innovative approach to initial teacher education in Scotland put inclusive principles and practices at the very heart of teacher education and professional development. Through creative pedagogical approaches it challenged and supported student teachers to find ways to build their classrooms as communities in which all children and young people are valued and all can achieve. The Inclusive Practice Project has left a lasting legacy, shaping major changes in initial and continuing teacher education programmes in many countries around the world. During his time in Scotland Martyn chaired several national education committees and was a founder member of the Scottish Teachers Education Committee’s Inclusion Group, which was instrumental in the production of the National Framework for Inclusion. In 2015, in recognition of his outstanding service to and achievements in education, Martyn was awarded the Scottish Qualifications Authority Fellowship, the SQA’s highest accolade.

Throughout his academic career Martyn published widely, including co-authoring the book Achievement and Inclusion in Schools, which won the NASEN/Times Education Supplement Academic Book of the Year 2008 and is now in its second edition. His 1991 co-edited book, Supporting Schools, was reissued as a Routledge Library Edition in 2018, a testament to the enduring influence of his work.

To know Martyn was to smile when you thought of him. He was devoted to his family: his wife, Lani Florian, his children Samuel Rouse and partner Ann Mundroina, daughter Heloise MacAndrew and husband Michael, grandchildren, Joshua, Theodore and Esmee MacAndrew, his brother Robert and wife Uschi, nephew Alex and niece Carina Rouse. He loved people, fine wine, food, music and sports. His reputation for finding the best cafés and restaurants and food markets wherever he was in the world was legendary. He was fun, generous, sociable and warm. He will be greatly missed. 

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The (imaginary) trip to the zoo that measures how children think about thinking

Zoo Task booklet detail
Monday 14 June
A simple game in which children plan feeding time at an imaginary zoo could significantly improve how we measure young people’s metacognition – the all-important ability to ‘think about thinking’.

Read the full story

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Extra classroom time may do little to help pupils recover lost learning after COVID

Netherhall school
Friday 28 May
Adding extra classroom time to the school day may only result in marginal gains for pupils who have lost learning during the COVID pandemic, a study says.

Read the full story

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Strategies for future lockdown learning risk emphasising platforms over practice

Image: Thomas Park, via Unsplash.
Monday 24 May
An international review of how technology was used early in the COVID school lockdowns suggests that important strategies to support effective remote learning are being neglected in the rush to embrace digital tools and platforms.

Read the full story here.

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It’s good to talk (for ancient as well as modern language learners)

Book cover
Friday 21 May
A growing body of evidence suggests that learners of ancient languages can master them with greater fluency and more enjoyment when they use them in conversation, just as students of modern languages do. Much of that work has now been compiled in a new book, co-authored by Steve Hunt (subject lecturer for the Classics PGCE teacher training course at the Faculty of Education) and Dr Mair Lloyd (Open University).


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Physical activity may help to close the wealth gap in school attainment by improving self-control

Children running
Thursday 20 May
Guaranteeing every child the opportunity to participate in certain types of physical activity could support their academic attainment and help to close the achievement gap between wealthy and less-advantaged pupils, new research indicates.


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How research evidence is transforming national policies on parental conflict and childhood outcomes

Faculty of Education News
Thursday 13 May
A body of academic research, including that of Professor Gordon Harold, is being used to inform an expanding programme of policy measures aimed at improving the life chances of young people who are affected by parental conflict.

Read the full story here.

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Supporting mums’ mental health enhances their role as a child’s first pretend playmate

Faculty of Education News
Friday 7 May
Helping parents with higher levels of depression or anxiety could also improve their ability to engage in important and potentially ‘protective’ forms of play with their children, new research suggests.


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Faculty PGCE graduate receives ‘Teacher of the Year’ award

Claire Williams
Wednesday 28 April
A former Primary PGCE trainee from the Faculty of Education has been named ‘Teacher of the Year’ by her local authority , after parents at her school praised her ‘astounding’ support during lockdown.

Read the full story here

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Teaching pupils to ‘think like Da Vinci’ will help them to take on climate change

Vitruvian Duality (Catherine Gethrie) / Vitruvian Man (Leonardo da Vinci, public domain image from Wikimedia Commons)/ Stressed Vitruvian Man (Jubalani)
Friday 23 April
A radically reformed approach to education in which different subjects teach connected themes, like climate change or food security, is being proposed by researchers, who argue that it would better prepare children for future crises.

Read the full story here.

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Cultivating ‘multilingual identities’ in schools could help reverse national crisis in language-learning

Feet on floor with signs saying Hass and Liebe
Thursday 22 April
More young people may choose to study foreign languages to GCSE if they are encouraged to ‘identify’ with languages at school, rather than just learning vocabulary and grammar, new research suggests.

Read the full story here.

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Dr David Whitebread (1948 – 2021)

David Whitebread
Thursday 15 April
With great sadness the Faculty is announcing the death of Dr David Whitebread. David was a member of the University since 1986, first at Homerton College, and at the Faculty of Education from 2001. 

David was an influential academic and researcher in developmental psychology and early childhood education. He was internationally recognised as a leading authority in the understanding of self-regulation and metacognition in young children. He enjoyed travelling, giving lectures and undertaking consultancies in many countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Chile, China, India, Poland, Uganda, the USA, and Tanzania. He was actively involved in research and international outreach programmes with the LEGO Foundation, establishing a long-lasting collaboration which impacted the lives of many children by providing opportunities for learning through play. 

Before joining the University, David taught in primary schools for 12 years. This gave him many of his biggest professional strengths: a deep understanding of educational practice, wide collaboration with teachers, and a fun-loving, playful way of conducting his teaching and projects.

During the time when Homerton College was the home of initial education, David was the Manager of the Primary PGCE course and established the Early Years specialist route for trainees wanting to work with the 3-7 age group; he continued to teach on the course until his retirement.  As a result of this, David’s passion and knowledge influenced generations of teachers (and of course the children they taught), many of whom have gone on to become eminent practitioners and researchers in the Early Years sector, working in local partnership schools, nationally and internationally. David established and defined much of the ethos of the Primary PGCE course, understanding that students, like children, learn best when they are cared for.

David worked continually to improve educational policy. He campaigned against changes to the school starting age in the UK, high stakes testing in the early years, and advocated for the importance of play-based education. He frequently spoke to the media and government about improving the quality of young children’s lives. 

His publications for academic and general audiences include a 2011 book entitled ‘Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education: A Guide for Students and Practitioners’ (SAGE), and ‘Teaching and Learning in the Early Years’ (4th Edition 2015, Routledge). 

With generous support from the LEGO Foundation, David founded the research centre for Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), which he oversaw until his retirement. The PEDAL centre is committed to forming new generations of researchers dedicated to understanding the role of play in child development and education.

David was a kind-hearted supervisor of PhD and Masters students, for which he was recognised by the University of Cambridge's Student-Led Teaching Award in 2015.  He also generously supported many Faculty colleagues in developing their research profiles acting as a teacher and mentor. 

Professor Susan Robertson, Head of Faculty, said: “David’s passing is a huge loss to the psychology and education community and he will be hugely missed by everyone who knew him at the Faculty. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his wife, Linda Whitebread, their daughters Elisabeth and Sarah, and with David’s friends, former students, and colleagues.”

A digital condolences book has been set up here

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Poor children are being ‘failed by the system’ on road to higher education in lower-income countries

Image: Gift Habeshaw, via Unsplash
Wednesday 7 April
A generation of talented but disadvantaged children are being denied access to higher education because academic success in lower and middle-income countries is continually ‘protected by wealth’, a study has found.

Read the full story here

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Global evidence for how EdTech can support pupils with disabilities is ‘thinly spread’

Image by EdTech Hub
Friday 26 March
An ‘astonishing’ deficit of data about how the global boom in educational technology could help pupils with disabilities in low and middle-income countries has been highlighted in a new report.

Read the full story here.

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Inside the Upside Down

Diffraction
Friday 26 March
A new critical analysis suggests that our relationship with hugely successful series like Stranger Things, and particularly some of the more performative acts of fan-worship around them, provides us with a template for new ways of thinking and engaging with the world which, arguably, are stranger still.

Read the full story here.

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Late Romans used educated guesswork to interpret ancient hieroglyphic writing

Obelisk at Luxor (the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes), where Ammianus Marcellinus described hieroglyphs in his Res Gestae.
Tuesday 23 March
A new study by Frances Foster, who studies ancient education at the Faculty, shows how Romans sometimes interpreted the relics of their ancient antecedents by using educated guesswork to supplement what they actually knew - rather like modern-day visitors might when viewing exhibits at a museum.

Read the full story here.

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On placement in a pandemic: Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown
Friday 19 March
Thankfully, schools have reopened for the last few weeks of term, but for most of it, trainee teachers have been undertaking placements online. In this short series of articles, we have been asking Faculty trainees what that experience has been like, and what they have gained from it.

In this, final article, Chloe Brown, from the Primary PGCE course, explains how it has sharpened her ability to anticipate potential barriers to learning, and why she now believes that learning to teach remotely may actually help, rather than hinder, the training experience.

Read the full interview here.

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Tyler Denmead’s ‘The Creative Underclass’ on virtual tour

Book
Tuesday 16 March
Dr Tyler Denmead is undertaking a virtual ‘tour’ of his book, The Creative Underclass, starting this month. The book was originally published in 2019, and draws on his earlier experiences as the founder of an arts programme for marginalised youth in a US city. In so doing, it raises uncomfortable questions about the role of cultural projects in wider processes of urban regeneration, and how they might easily help to perpetuate exactly the sort of social and racial injustice that they seek to address.

Read the full story here.

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Video-led feedback programme reduces behaviour problems in children as young as 12 months

Mother and toddler
Monday 15 March
A home-based parenting programme to prevent childhood behaviour problems, which very unusually focuses on children when they are still toddlers and, in some cases, just 12 months old, has proven highly successful during its first public health trial.

Read the full story here.

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School closures may have wiped out a year of academic progress for pupils in the Global South

School in Kampala, Uganda. Image: Bill Wegener, Unsplash
Tuesday 9 March
As much as a year’s worth of past academic progress made by disadvantaged children in the Global South may have been wiped out by school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have calculated.

Read the full story here.

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On placement in a pandemic: Lucy Rockliffe

Lucy Rockliffe
Friday 5 March
This article is from a series which asks how trainee teachers have found the experience of undertaking remote school placements during the pandemic, and what they have gained from it. Here, Lucy Rockliffe, a trainee Biology teacher, explains how teaching online has strengthened her grasp and appreciation of certain aspects of her practice: from classroom communication, to the importance of building positive and productive connections with students.


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‘Micropopulism’ may be turning education into a battlefield in the culture wars

Protest
Friday 5 March
A new analysis of education debates on both social media and in traditional media outlets suggests that the education sector is being increasingly influenced by populism and the wider social media ‘culture wars’.


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On placement in a pandemic: Louis Lescure

Louis Lescure
Friday 26 February
In this short series of articles, we ask current PGCE trainees about their experiences undertaking school placements remotely. Here, Louis Lescure, who is on the Faculty's Primary PGCE course, shares some thoughts.

Read the full interview here.

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Faculty student wins Masters’ dissertation award for third year running

Simone Eringfeld
Wednesday 24 February
A highly-innovative, multimedia research project which examines the ‘post-coronial’ future of higher education has won the British Educational Research Association’s annual Masters Dissertation Award.

Simone Eringfeld, the recent MPhil graduate who undertook the study, is the third Faculty of Education student to win the BERA prize in as many years, following the successes of Thu Thu and Joyce Kim in 2020 and 2019. The award recognises ‘academic excellence and rigour in research by a Master of Education student’.

Read the full story here.

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On placement in a pandemic: Alex Morgan and Abby Wilson

Faculty of Education News
Friday 19 February
How have this year's PGCE trainees adapted to teaching remotely on their school placements - and how is it preparing them for entry into a profession where their skills are likely to be needed more than ever? 

In this new series of short articles, we ask current trainees about their experiences of being on placement in a pandemic. Here, Alex Morgan and Abby Wilson, who are studying on the Secondary PGCE Modern Languages course (to be French and Spanish teachers) offer their reflections.

Read the interview here.

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CLAREC: The new Cambridge Latin American Research in Education Collective

CLAREC logo
Thursday 18 February
Just a few months after its official formation, Cambridge’s new Latin American Research in Education Collective (CLAREC) is attracting widespread interest and engagement – and not just from within Cambridge alone. Through a thriving programme of talks, research seminars and a reading group, the collective aims to increase the visibility of Latin American knowledge and perspectives in education research – one of many academic fields which has too often focused more heavily on European and North American knowledge systems.  

In a recent interview, three of its members explained how it began, why the collective matters, and the difference they hope it will make.


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‘Left behind’ adolescent women must be prioritised within sustainable development agenda - report

Three women carry water in Ethiopia
Thursday 11 February
The needs of millions of overlooked, ‘left behind’ adolescent women must become a more significant priority within international efforts to end poverty by 2030, a UK Government-commissioned report is urging.

Read the full story here.

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Early behavioural problems predict adolescent mental health difficulties, study shows

Girl
Thursday 11 February
A substantial proportion of adolescent mental health and behavioural difficulties can be predicted years before they arise, a new study indicates.

Read the full story here.

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Profile: Nathan Cain

Nathan Cain
Friday 5 February
Nathan Cain grew up in Bury and Manchester, and is a part-time doctoral student with the Faculty – having already completed PGCE and Masters courses here. As a child, he had undiagnosed disabilities, which led to him being marked out by his own head teacher as a ‘problem’ child. Fifteen years later, his research focuses on trying to find out what head teachers really value – and whether that is truly expressed in the roles they have to perform in schools.

Read the full interview here.

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Teaching pupils empathy measurably improves their creative abilities, study finds

Faculty of Education News
Wednesday 3 February
Teaching children in a way that encourages them to empathise with others measurably improves their creativity, and could potentially lead to several other beneficial learning outcomes, new research suggests.

Read the full story here.

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Disabled teachers cannot be sidelined in drive for more inclusive schools

Teacher in classroom
Friday 29 January
One of the first academic studies to examine the working lives of disabled teachers in England has called for urgent change after finding evidence of significant workplace discrimination and barriers to their career progression.

Read the full story here.

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Dr Nicola Rollock to join Faculty as Distinguished Fellow

Faculty of Education News
Thursday 28 January
Dr Nicola Rollock, whose work as both an academic and public intellectual has been widely acclaimed for challenging racism and prejudice in education and wider society, is to take up a three-year appointment as Distinguished Fellow at the Faculty of Education.

Read the full story here.

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Digital Education Futures Initiative launched at Cambridge

DEFI launch
Thursday 28 January
A newly-launched University of Cambridge project aims to explore the possibilities that digital technologies have opened up in the field of education – many of which would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. The Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI) is based at the Cambridge college, Hughes Hall, and a number of members of the Faculty of Education are involved in its core team.


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Thought experiment on post-COVID Cambridge suggests that for universities, blending is a new beginning

Student in library
Wednesday 27 January
A research project which asked University of Cambridge staff and students to describe their biggest hopes – and darkest fears – for post-pandemic higher education has found that many would support a permanent, but partial, shift to online learning.

Read the full story here.

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Holocaust Memorial Day: The aftermath of the Hans Asperger exposé

Spiegelgrund
Wednesday 27 January
To mark Holocaust Memorial Day (27 January 2021), the Faculty is revisiting an article by an alumnus, Rabbi David Ariel Sher, published by the British Psychological Society last year, while David was studying with us. The piece elucidates how the celebrated reputation of the Viennese doctor and pedagogue, Hans Asperger, was ignominiously shattered as Asperger’s thorough enmeshment in the Nazi machinery of death became known.

Read the full article here.

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Profile: Fenella Symes

Fenella Symes
Monday 25 January
This time last year, Fenella Symes, 21, was on a high-flying course in pharmacy, which, given her aptitude for science, seemed a natural choice. Then she surprised pretty much everyone by leaving early and embarking on the Primary PGCE course at Cambridge instead. It was quite a leap; but six months later she is glad she trusted her gut and made the choice she did. Here, she explains why.

Read the full interview.

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Faculty will welcome Cambridge Foundation Year students as part of landmark University programme

Foundation Year image
Wednesday 13 January
Education will be one of the subjects on offer to students from the Cambridge Foundation Year: a new programme offering talented students from backgrounds of educational and social disadvantage a new route to undergraduate study at the University of Cambridge.

The one-year course, which is initially being run as a pilot scheme, is aimed at applicants who have the ability to succeed at Cambridge but have been prevented from reaching their full potential by their circumstances. It will prepare students for further learning and offer them the chance to progress straight to an undergraduate degree at Cambridge.

Read the full story here.

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In Ethiopia, schools still lack basic means to contain COVID, as pupils return after months of interrupted learning

Faculty of Education News
Monday 14 December
Many schools in Ethiopia lack the hygiene facilities and infrastructure to control COVID-19 effectively, as they reopen for the first time after months of disrupted learning, new research indicates.

Read the full story here.

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Demigods and monsters

Hercules
Monday 14 December
Is there more to the Percy Jackson adventures than meets the eye? A new article by Frances Foster, from the Centre for Research in Children's Literature, suggests these novels may be challenging modern myths as well as old ones. 

Read the full story here.

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Foreign aid cuts put girls’ education at risk

Girls in school
Thursday 26 November
The UK government’s 2020 spending review includes a cut in international aid, from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%. Research shows that this will have severe effects on the lives of girls worldwide.

This article, by Professor Pauline Rose, is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons Licence.

You can read the original article here


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University outreach programme improves self-belief in prospective students

Graduating students at Cambridge
Wednesday 25 November
The initial results from an evaluation of a higher education outreach programme suggest that it significantly increases prospective students’ self-belief about their ability to learn and thrive at highly-selective universities.

Read the full story here.

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Spill-over effects show hidden value of prioritising education of poorest children and marginalised girls

Faculty of Education News
Friday 20 November
International development projects that target the education of the world’s very poorest children and marginalised girls also significantly improve other young people’s attainment, according to new research that suggests such initiatives should become a priority for international aid.

Read the full story here.

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‘Learning pathways’ show how children who miss out on best start could be guided towards better reading and writing by age 11

Child being read to
Thursday 12 November
The early talk and communication that children experience when very young, though essential in preparing them for school, has no direct impact on their reading and writing skills by age 11, new research shows.

Read the full story here.

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Profile: Nicola Morea

Nicola Morea
Monday 9 November
What do you do if you love the idea of teaching, but also feel passionate about research? In Nicola Morea’s case, the answer is: do both. At the age of 29, he has already completed a PGCE and Masters with the Faculty, and is now part-way through his PhD. He has also been a professional teacher, head of department, and mentored another Faculty trainee. He told us why he made the decisions he has, and how he has managed to maintain an active interest in teaching, research, and school leadership.

Read the full story here.

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Road named after Cambridge’s first female Professor of Education

Rudduck Way road sign
Monday 2 November
The University of Cambridge has honoured its first female Professor of Education – Jean Rudduck, who died in 2007 – by naming a road after her on the new Eddington campus in North West Cambridge. Fittingly, Rudduck Way is located immediately opposite the main entrance to the pioneering Cambridge University Primary School, which many members of the Faculty of Education played key roles in helping to establish.

Jean Rudduck was well-known for championing the potential of ‘pupil voice’ as a means of achieving school improvement and changes to teaching and learning. Her ideas were taken up not just across the United Kingdom, but in many different countries around the world. She was joint Director of Research at Homerton College during the 1990s and made major contributions to building the College’s reputation as a centre for research and innovation. She also played an important role in helping to create the vision for the new Faculty of Education which emerged in 2001. She was subsequently appointed Professor of Education by the University, the first woman to hold such a senior role in the subject area at Cambridge.

Rudduck Way was named as part of a wider process through which the University received more than fifty suggestions for names for streets and roads on the new Eddington development. More than 50 such nominations were received altogether. Other names used on the site include those of the biblical scholar, Miles Burkitt; the archaeologist, Dorothy Garrod, and Alan Turing, the pioneering computer scientist.

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Profile: Madeline Platt

Madeline Platt
Friday 30 October

Madeline Platt, 22, is a trainee on our Early Primary PGCE course, and has been passionate about working with children for as long as she can remember. Because she has dyslexia, however, she was told by some that she would never be able to pursue an academically-based career. She told us about the journey that led her to a teacher-training course at Cambridge, what it’s been like joining the Faculty during a pandemic, and why she is starting to think that teachers are basically ‘superhumans’.

Read the full interview here.


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Paul Hirst (1928 - 2020)

Faculty of Education News
Thursday 29 October

The Faculty is saddened to announce the death of Paul Hirst, a former Professor of Education at Cambridge and Head of the Department of Education – one of the institutions that predated the modern Faculty.

Professor Hirst was a widely-respected scholar of the philosophy of education and educational theorist, whose work proved particularly influential as new, degree-level courses for trainee teachers emerged in the 1960s. 

He first came to Cambridge as a student after the Second World War. Having worked as a teacher and then as a researcher in Oxford and at King’s College London, he returned in 1971 to take up a post as Head of the Department of Education. At the time, he described himself as joining “a group of people … who are beginning to contribute significantly to work in the philosophy of education.” His lectures, which were renowned for their highly performative style, were a popular course highlight for many students.

Part of his legacy to Education at Cambridge in its present-day form arose from the active role he played in building connections between the University, the Department of Education, the Institute of Education and Homerton College, on the basis that these separate bodies would work more effectively in unison than apart. This was an aim realised during his lifetime, both with the establishment of the Faculty of Education, which drew on the foundations laid by these earlier institutions, and the granting of full college status to Homerton in 2010.

Professor Susan Robertson, Head of Faculty, said: “Everyone at the Faculty will be deeply sorry to hear of the death of Paul, who was not only a prime mover in many areas of educational theory and research, but someone without whose groundwork, the Faculty might not exist today. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with his family.”


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Free, online course launched to help adults promote children’s social and emotional learning through play in times of stress

PEDAL Mooc cover image
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Faculty of Education researchers have helped to develop a new, online course, which enables both parents and other adults who work with children to support their social-emotional learning and wellbeing through play during times of change or stress.

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Faculty of Education News
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Children use make-believe aggression and violence to manage bad-tempered peers

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2020 PEDAL studentships announced as Centre takes on record number of PhD candidates

Faculty of Education News
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Four PhD candidates have been awarded PEDAL studentships – which cover the cost of a PhD course in the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) – for 2020.


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