Seminars and Events

All events are held at 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY unless otherwise stated.

All are welcome to those indicated as ‘public seminars’ in parentheses after the title. These are held on Monday evenings and there is no need to book. If you are coming from outside the Department and would like to attend any of the other seminars or events, please contact the convener(s) beforehand.
Click on the title of the event for further information.

Education in an era of superdiversity: effective ways to reach all learners

04 May 2016 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Professor David Mitchell, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Dr Katharine Burn, Teacher Education and Professional Learning Research Group

In this presentation, David Mitchell will give a preview of his forthcoming book, Diversities in Education (Routledge), which focuses on gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion and ability differences. He argues that it is an indictment on politicians and educators that underachievement and discrimination among diverse learners has been tolerated for so long. He further argues that this situation need not continue for we know enough about its causes and remedies to take effective action. In his presentation, David will address several themes pertaining to diversity, including theories of distributive justice, inclusive education, human rights, an ecological perspective, interest convergence, mismatches of cultural capital, disruptive technologies, and evidence-based policies and practices.

David Mitchell is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has over 200 publications, mainly in the fields of special and inclusive education. He has held visiting professorships and has presented lectures and workshops in over 50 countries. His most recent consultancies with the New Zealand Ministry of Education include a review of the literature on wraparound models of services for students with severe behavioural and social difficulties and a review of educational adaptations for learners from low-socioeconomic families. His most recent books are Contextualizing Inclusive Education (2005/2008) and What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education, Second edition (2014), both published by Routledge. The latter has been or will be translated into six languages. As well, he co-edited a book, Crises, Conflict and Disability: Ensuring Equality, which was also published by Routledge (2014). His next book, Diversities in Education will be published in September.

18th International ECERS Meeting

05 May 2016 -

Email Emily Turner for further information.

Introduction to R for the analysis of educational data

09 May 2016 09:00 - 16:00
IT Room, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Instructor: Dr Daniel Caro, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Quantitative Methods Hub

This course will introduce the R programming language for statistical analysis in the RStudio graphical user interface. During the morning participants will learn the basics of the R language and data analysis in R, including how to create and import data, calculate descriptive statistics, perform regression analysis, and conduct analysis by grouping variables. In the afternoon, international assessments and related data analysis challenges (e.g., plausible values, replicate weights) will be introduced. Hands-on exercises will reproduce main results in international assessment reports with the R package 'instvy' (http://users.ox.ac.uk/~educ0279/). The last part of the workshop will be dedicated to an assignment and answering questions.

Course prerequisites: It is assumed that participants will have a background in basic statistical methods up to, and including, regression analysis. Some familiarity with syntax language from other statistical packages (e.g., Stata, SPSS) is desirable.

Programme

09:00 - 09:30 Welcome, agenda, software installation

09:30 - 10:45 Brief introduction to R

10:45 - 11: 00 Break

11:00 - 12:30 R basics for data analysts

12:30 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 13:30 Complex design of international assessments

13:30 - 15:00 Using 'intsvy' to analyse international assessment data

15:00 - 15:15 Break

15:15 - 16:00 Practise session

Cost: £25 for OU students, £100 for staff and external students

Cost includes lunch, refreshments and all course materials

Click here to make a booking

High-quality teacher professional development, teachers’ co-operation and classroom practices: evidence from TALIS 2013

09 May 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Fabian Barrera-Pedemonte, Institute of Education, University College London

Conveners: Dr James Hall, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Professor Steve Strand, Quantitative Methods Hub

The majority of teachers in developed countries and emerging economies are now expected to engage in activities of professional development (TPD). Recent literature has demonstrated that TPD that is focused on content knowledge, and delivered with greater degrees of collective participation, active learning and longer duration, is associated with teaching practices in specific contexts. The most recent cycle of the “Teaching and Learning International Survey” (OECD/TALIS) gathered information on these dimensions from 31 countries, which opened an interesting opportunity to analyse whether the features of high-quality TPD are globally related to the way teachers develop their lessons in the classroom. However, a realistic approach to this outcome suggests that not only TPD contributes to explaining instruction, but also teachers’ engagement in practices that informally support their professional learning in the school (teachers’ co-operation). I used an Ordinal Regression Model to estimate the relationship between specific classroom practices and each of the features of high-quality TPD, using as controls the “Co-operation among teaching staff scale” and other teachers’ background characteristics. Results suggested that most of the features of TPD seemed to increase the odds of using specific instructional methods in several countries. However, I found a more consistent contribution of teachers’ co-operation on such outcomes across all the 31 countries, from which implications for research, policy and practice are drawn.

Rather than a pill…”: Reflections on parents, children and scientific parenting (Public Seminar)

09 May 2016 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Speakers: Dr Judith Suissa, UCL Institute of Education and Dr Stefan Ramaekers, University of Leuven

Conveners: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy, Religion and Education Research Forum

The background to this presentation is our recent work on the changing discourse of ‘parenting’, where we explore accounts of childrearing and the parent-child relationship in order to suggest a philosophically-informed analysis of the practical experience of being a parent.

Central to this work is a critique of the scientization of the parent-child relationship, focussed on two interrelated issues: the psychologization of this relationship, i.e. that the meaning and significance of childrearing is predominantly expressed in the languages of psychology (specifically neuropsychology); and the professionalization of parents, i.e. that parents are expected to see themselves as learning subjects, who must continuously gain more knowledge (provided by the disciplines of psychology), and so must refine their skills in order to properly raise their children. In our work, our concern is with how the scientific account of parenting defines and restricts both how we think and talk about childrearing and the parent-child relationship and also, therefore, how parents understand themselves.

In this talk, we will focus on Oliver James’ Love-Bombing; Reset Your Child’s Emotional Thermostat, a popular book aimed at parents, which, as we will discuss, exemplifies some of the philosophical, ethical and political problems inherent in the dominant account of scientific parenting.

Dr Judith Suissa is Reader in Philosophy of Education at the UCL Institute of Education. Her research interests are in political and moral philosophy, with a particular focus on questions to do with the control of education, social justice, libertarian and anarchist theory, the role of the state, political education, and the parent-child relationship. Her publications include Anarchism and Education; a Philosophical Perspective (Routledge, 2006) and The Claims of Parenting; Reasons, Responsibility and Society (with Stefan Ramaekers, Springer, 2012).

Dr Stefan Ramaekers is Senior Lecturer in the Laboratory for Education and Society, KU Leuven. Over the last years, his research has mainly focused on a critical investigation of the discourse of ‘parenting’ and the parent-child relationship and on the ‘pedagogical’ significance of educational support. Together with Dr. Judith Suissa of the Institute of Education (University College London) he published the book The Claims of Parenting: reasons, responsibility, and society (Springer). Recently he has started collaborating with Dr. Naomi Hodgson on researching figurations of ‘parenting’ in cultural representations, such as film.

Introduction to multilevel modelling

10 May 2016 09:00 - 16:00
IT Room, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Instructors: Dr Daniel Caro, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Dr Lorena Ortega, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Quantitative Methods Hub

This one-day workshop will introduce multilevel modelling (MLM) for the analysis of educational data. Lectures will be combined with hands-on practical exercises using software packages SPSS and R. Participants will learn to address substantive research questions with MLM following an analytic framework consisting of hypothesis, model specification, critical test, and interpretation of results.

Course prerequisites: Participants need to understand the basics of multiple regression, or other relevant multivariate statistics.

Programme

09:00 - 10:30 Introduction to MLM

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 12:30 MLM in SPSS

12:30 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 14:30 MLM in R

14:30 - 14:45 Break

14:45 - 16:00 Practise session

Cost: £25 for OU students, £100 for staff and external students

Cost includes lunch, refreshments and all course materials

Click here to make a booking

Advanced multilevel modelling

11 May 2016 09:00 - 16:00
IT Room, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Instructors: Dr Lorena Ortega, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Dr Daniel Caro, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Quantitative Methods Hub

Multilevel Modelling (MLM) is a flexible statistical technique that allows us to examine effects of groups or contexts on individual outcomes. MLM has found fertile ground in educational research as it facilitates working with clustered or hierarchical data frequently encountered in the field (e.g., students nested within classrooms, teachers nested within schools, measurement occasions nested within individuals, schools within countries, etc.)

Examples of multilevel research in education include studying the impact of school characteristics on student outcomes and analysing change on subjects measured on multiple occasions.

This one-day workshop will introduce advanced MLM by providing an overview of MLM for change to model longitudinal data and advanced MLM for non-hierarchical data structures (i.e., cross-classified and multiple membership models). Lectures will be combined with hands-on practical exercises using the software packages SPSS and R.

Course prerequisites: Participants need to have attended the Introduction to Multilevel Modelling course or be familiar with multilevel modelling

Programme

09:00-10:30 MLM for change

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45-12:00 Cross-classified models

12:00-12:30 Lunch

12:30-14:00 Multiple membership models

14:00-14:15 Break

14:15 - 16:00 Practise session

Cost: £25 for OU students, £100 for staff and external students

Cost includes lunch, refreshments and all course materials

Click here to make a booking

Introduction to structural equation modelling

12 May 2016 09:00 - 16:00
IT Room, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Instructors: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Carol Brown and Dr Daniel Caro, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Quantitative Methods Hub

The concept of a latent construct is central in the social sciences. A latent construct is a not directly observed phenomenon (e.g., attitude, socioeconomic status) that we can model using manifest (observed) variables (e.g., survey and questionnaire responses, observation scores), by partitioning out residual (i.e., uniqueness, error variance). The structural equation model (SEM) is divided into two parts. In the measurement part of the model, we can inspect whether manifest variables measure the constructs they are intended to measure. This model is called confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) which allows the researcher to test whether an a priori model fits data, and whether this also holds across multiple groups. If measurement is satisfactory, the relationships between constructs can be estimated in the structural part of the SEM. Complex relationships between manifest variables and/or latent constructs can be tested in path-models not possible to specify in the multiple regression framework. During the course we will cover worked examples relevant for educational, psychological and social sciences. Participants need to understand the basics of multiple regression, or other relevant multivariate statistics.

Programme

09:00 - 10:30 Introduction: Basic concepts, models and measurement. From multiple regression to path-models using manifest variables.

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 12:30 Observed (manifest) variables and unobserved (latent) constructs. Specification of measurement models for testing quality of measurement, using continuous and dichotomous manifest variables. Goodness-of-fit indices.

12:30-13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 14:30 Relationships between latent constructs. Specifying structural models to include directional (regression) paths between latent constructs.

14:30-14:45 Break

14:45 - 16:00 Practise session

Software: We will mainly use the Mplus software

Cost: £25 for OU students, £100 for staff and external students

Cost includes lunch, refreshments and all course materials

Click here to make a booking

Narrowing your focus in an ocean of data

12 May 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Michael Maher King, DPhil candidate in Social Policy

Convener: Dr Velda Elliott, Qualitative Methods Special Interest Group

This seminar is aimed at students who are or will be managing a large amount of qualitative data. It will be useful for students who are planning on conducting fieldwork and for students who have recently returned from their fieldwork. After 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork in local social services in Japan I returned to Oxford with several metres of (mostly) neatly filed paperwork, countless hours of interview recordings, hundreds of meeting transcripts, and a large quantity of daily fieldwork notes. The data was predominantly in Japanese though some key sections were in English. This seminar focuses on practical research methods and analysis strategies for effectively managing and making sense of your data. I will share the mistakes I made as well as the things that I would do in the same way again, covering strategies for archiving your data during fieldwork, establishing what is important in your data, systematically ordering your data for analysis, and starting the analysis process.

Advanced structural equation modelling

13 May 2016 09:00 - 16:00
IT Room, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Instructor: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg, Quantitative Methods Hub

This follow-up of the introduction to SEM is an advanced course in which we focus on SEM for longitudinal and multilevel data. Prospective longitudinal data is usually collected over longer periods of time (e.g., yearly) while intensive longitudinal is gathered within shorter time-spans (e.g., numerous times a day). Both cross-sectional and longitudinal data can be collected applying a nested structure (e.g., students in classrooms, parents in families, time-points in persons). Using SEM we can model repeated latent constructs over time, or across hierarchical levels net of measurement error. In this course we will start off with analysis of models in which the time-structure is explicit. We will then introduce multilevel structural equation models (MSEM), in which we specify models in which time is not explicitly modeled. We will end with models in which the time-structure is explicit in multilevel data.

During the course we will cover worked examples relevant for educational, psychological and social sciences. Participants need to understand the basics of multiple regression, other relevant multivariate statistics, and have some exposure to either multilevel regression or SEM.

Programme

Overview of SEM for longitudinal data. Repeated measures and autoregressive models with manifest and latent constructs.

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - 12:30 The latent growth model; Coding of time and error structures..

12:30-13:00 Lunch

13:00-14:30Multilevel factor structures and Multilevel structural models (MSEM) with covariates; Contrasting examples using time-points in students, students in classrooms, and parents in families.

14:30-14:45 Break

14:45 - 16:00 Practise session

Software: We will mainly use the Mplus software

Cost: £25 for OU students, £100 for staff and external students

Cost includes lunch, refreshments and all course materials

Click here to make a booking

The importance of isomorphism for conclusions about homology: a Bayesian multilevel structural equation modelling approach with ordinal indicators

16 May 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr Nigel Guenole, Goldsmiths, University of London

Conveners: Dr James Hall, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Professor Steve Strand, Quantitative Methods Hub

I will describe a Monte Carlo study examining the impact of assuming item isomorphism (i.e., equivalent construct meaning across levels of analysis) on conclusions about homology (i.e., equivalent structural relations across levels of analysis) under varying degrees of non-isomorphism in the context of ordinal indicator multilevel structural equation models (MSEMs).  The study results  show that even minor violations of psychometric isomorphism render claims of homology untenable. I will discuss implications for theoretical and applied work on surveying in multilevel contexts. The article on which the talk is based is available here.

Building mathematical knowledge with programming (Public Seminar)

16 May 2016 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room A

Speakers: Professor Richard Noss and Professor Celia Hoyles, UCL Institute of Education

Conveners: Dr Niall Winters and Dr Gabriel Stylianides, Learning and New Technologies and Subject Pedagogy Research Groups

Youth civic engagement in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement

17 May 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr Liz Jackson, University of Hong Kong

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy, Religion and Education Research Forum in association with PESGB

Traditionally Hong Kong education has been conceived as “de-politicized,” and its population as apolitical and materialistic. However, the youth-led Umbrella Movement of 2014-2015, with its bases in Occupy Central and the National Education controversy of 2012, put an end to such discourses. Though initially perceived as the result of a recent curriculum reform, research reveals these movements reflect youth desires for democratic engagement in political processes not driven by educators or other adults in society. This movement has also given youth from ethnic minority communities an opportunity to identify themselves as local, providing a valuable lesson to these and mainstream youth alike. On the other hand, government responses to these events, as well as intergenerational struggles, have led to a kind of tragic political education for many, who have come to see the Umbrella Movement as a lesson in powerlessness and hopelessness over time. This presentation discusses the political identities constructed by youth in recent years in Hong Kong and civic engagement’s role in civic education.

Liz Jackson is Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Hong Kong, Division of Policy, Administration, and Social Sciences Education. Her research interests include multicultural education, citizenship education, and global studies in education. Her book, Muslims and Islam in U.S. Education: Reconsidering Multiculturalism (Routledge, 2014) won the 2015 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia Book Award and 2014-2015 University of Hong Kong Research Output Prize for the Faculty of Education. Her current research explores global citizenship and civic identity and multiculturalism/interculturalism in Hong Kong.

Foucauldian Critical Discourse Analysis: learning by doing

19 May 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Velda Elliott

Convener: Dr Velda Elliott, Qualitative Methods Special Interest Group

Learning to do Foucauldian Critical Discourse Analysis is difficult because most studies which use it  offer the ‘customary disclaimer’ (Arribas-Ayllon & Walkerdine, 2008, p. 91) that there are not set rules or procedures for conducting FCDA. This is partly to avoid suggesting there is a neutral scientific method that is capable of unveiling an ‘objective truth’ (Graham, 2005), and partly in imitation of Foucault himself in claiming ‘I take care not to dictate how things should be’ (Foucault, 1994, p. 288). This talk will give an account of learning to do FCDA through the apprenticeship of a study, and overcoming the challenge of reviewers and getting a study based on an unusual methodology into print. It will draw on Elliott, V. and Hore, B., 2016. ‘Right nutrition, right values’: the construction of food, youth and morality in the UK government 2010–2014. Cambridge Journal of Education,46(2)  pp.177-193.

Context and the researching and teaching of academic writing

19 May 2016 13:15 - 14:15
Seminar Room K/L

Speaker: Professor Brian Paltridge, University of Sydney

Convener: Dr Heath Rose, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Learning to write in the academy involves acquiring a repertoire of linguistic practices which are based on complex sets of discourses, identities, and values. These practices, however, vary according to context, culture and genre. This presentation discusses how these issues can be taken up in the researching and teaching of academic writing. It will do this, first, by examining how the notion of context is taken up theoretically in linguistics research more broadly and, then, how contextualised understandings of the use of language have been explored by academic writing researchers. It will then discuss ways in which the context in which students’ writing is produced impacts on the texts they are expected to produce and how students can be made aware of, and take account of this in their writing.

Exploring the effects of economic deprivation on the trajectory of conduct problems in preschool children

23 May 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr Edward Sosu, School of Education, University of Strathclyde

Conveners: Dr James Hall, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Professor Steve Strand, Quantitative Methods Hub

Strong associations between economic deprivation and conduct problems suggest a causal link between poverty and conduct trajectories. However, the mechanism of effect remains unclear. Drawing on models of family stress and investment, I will examine how experiences of economic deprivation in early childhood have both direct and indirect effects on conduct problems in the preschool years. The study will draw on a prospective longitudinal data from Scotland using multiple indicator latent growth models (LGM). Approaches to data analysis as well as policy implications of the findings will be discussed.

Measuring and developing second language fluency (Public Seminar)

23 May 2016 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Speaker: Professor Judit Kormos, Lancaster University

Convener: Dr Jess Briggs, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Fluency is an important construct in the assessment of language proficiency and forms part of a large number of rating scales in various high stakes exams and in descriptors of levels of second language (L2) competence.

From a pedagogical perspective, developing students’ fluency in another language is one of the most important aims of language teaching. Previous investigations have analyzed L2 fluency primarily with learners of English as a second language. While such research has contributed significantly to our understanding of fluency in L2 English, little is known about how fluency is perceived and evaluated in L2 French despite the fact that previous cross-linguistic research has uncovered important differences between fluency phenomena in French and English. In the first part of this talk I will present a series of studies in which we investigated perceptions of what constitutes fluent L2 French speech (Préfontaine, Kormos & Johnson, 2015; Kormos & Préfontaine, in press).  Our results suggest that there are important differences in the factors that influence ratings and subjective perceptions of fluency in L2 French in comparison with L2 English. In the second part of the talk I present research evidence for how teachers can assist L2 learners in developing their fluency by means of massed task-repetition.

Judit Kormos is a Reader in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University. Her research interests are psychological aspects of second language learning, motivation, learner autonomy in foreign language contexts, and language learners with special needs.

Examining factors associated with individual differences in overall L2 proficiency development during study abroad

24 May 2016 13:15 - 14:15
Seminar Room K/L

Speaker: Gianna Hessel, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Jess Briggs, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Study abroad research has shown that, contrary to common expectations, the linguistic gains made by study abroad participants are often subtle and subject to substantial individual differences. In this presentation, I will examine the role of a range of learner- and programme-related factors in differential overall L2 proficiency gain during study abroad. The discussion will focus primarily on a number of hitherto unexplored factors, including L2 use anxiety with other non-native speakers, self-efficacy in using the L2 in social interactions, the perceived present-future self-discrepancy, as well as attitudes towards one’s own national group.

The data derive from my doctoral research, which is a mixed methods study of 96 German ERASMUS students on study abroad in the UK, whose English proficiency upon programme-entry was upper-intermediate to advanced. All students completed C-tests of overall English language proficiency and questionnaires that inquired into the students’ mobility history, their L2 learning background, L2 motivation, intergroup attitudes and aspects of the study abroad experience itself, including their social contact experiences. Both instruments were administered at the onset of the study abroad period, one term into the programme and prior to the students’ return. Repeated interviews with a sub-sample of 15 students abroad served to illuminate the observed developmental patterns from an emic perspective.

In examining the factors that were associated with differential overall L2 proficiency gain, I will consider the statistical results on the direction and magnitude of these relationships, as well as the insights gained from the over 40 student interviews on how these factors play out in the process of L2 learning abroad. The implications for research and practice will also be discussed.

Tracing academic writing development as it unfolds: case studies of first-year university students

26 May 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Natalie Usher, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Velda Elliott, Qualitative Methods Special Interest Group

The difference between CHAT and socio-cultural theory

02 June 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Dr Ian Thompson, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Ian Thompson

Interaction, moderation, and mediation: definitions, discrimination, and (some) means of testing

06 June 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr James Hall

Conveners: Dr James Hall, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Professor Steve Strand, Quantitative Methods Hub

In 1986 Baron and Kenny set out to clarify the differences between the terms “Moderation” and “Mediation” as used in the social sciences.  Thirty years later, the seminal paper that this collaboration resulted in (published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) has been cited 57,965 times (Google Scholar on 09/03/2016).  This is approximately 1,900 times year and on average once every 5 hours of every day, of every year, for thirty years.  However and despite this citation record, the uncertainty surrounding these terms has not gone away.  Academics still struggle to define, distinguish and utilise these terms while related under-graduate and post-graduate teaching is still the exception. This talk sets out simple, clear definitions that distinguish “Mediation” from “Moderation” and “Interaction” as well as all three from a number of other commonly-used terms.  Parallel methods for testing hypotheses of Mediation and Moderation are discussed and demonstrated.

Beyond happiness? Pondering the purpose(s) of education (Public Seminar)

06 June 2016 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Speaker: Professor Peter Roberts, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy, Religion and Education Research Forum

Over the last two decades a booming industry in ‘happiness’ has emerged.  Academic research on happiness has attracted widespread media attention and spawned a host of more popular publications, many of which have a strong ‘self-help’ flavour.  Happiness is typically construed as something we all want and ought to pursue; indeed, it is often seen as the ultimate end to which our activities are directed.  Education is expected to enhance, not impede, human happiness.  This presentation offers an alternative way of thinking about the nature and purpose of education.  It acknowledges the importance of certain forms of happiness while also investigating the role education has to play in creating discomfort, uncertainty, and unhappiness.

Peter Roberts is Professor of Education and Director of the Educational Theory, Policy and Practice Research Hub at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  His primary areas of scholarship are philosophy of education and educational policy studies.  His most recent books include Happiness, Hope, and Despair: Rethinking the Role of Education (2016), Education, Ethics and Existence: Camus and the Human Condition (with Andrew Gibbons and Richard Heraud, 2015), Better Worlds: Education, Art, and Utopia (with John Freeman-Moir, 2013), The Virtues of Openness: Education, Science, and Scholarship in the Digital Age (with Michael Peters, 2011), Paulo Freire in the 21st Century: Education, Dialogue, and Transformation (2010), and Neoliberalism, Higher Education and Research (with Michael Peters, 2008).  In 2012 Peter was a Rutherford Visiting Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 2016 he is a Canterbury Fellow at the University of Oxford.  He is the Immediate Past President of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.

Applied Linguistics Research Group seminar (title to be announced)

07 June 2016 13:15 - 14:15
Seminar Room K/L

Speaker: Professor Victoria Murphy, Department of Education

Convener: Dr Jess Briggs, Applied Linguistics Research Group

‘Love is a Teacher’: pedagogical attention in The Brothers Karamazov

07 June 2016 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Professor Peter Roberts, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosphy, Religion and Education Research Forum in association with the PESGB

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov is widely acknowledged as one of the most important philosophical novels ever written.  The Brothers Karamazov deepens and extends Dostoevsky’s treatment of themes addressed in his earlier fiction: the clash of values and worldviews; the tensions between reason, faith and feeling; and the complexities of human relationships.  A key claim made by one character in the book is that ‘love is a teacher’.  Dostoevsky develops a notion of active love, contrasting this with the more abstract principle of loving humankind.  Active love focuses on particulars; it teaches us how to love individual human beings, with all their frailties and flaws.  Iris Murdoch’s concept of attention, adapted from the work of Simone Weil, provides a helpful starting point in exploring some of the broader educational implications of these ideas.

Peter Roberts is Professor of Education at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.  His primary areas of scholarship are philosophy of education and educational policy studies.  His latest book is Happiness, Hope, and Despair: Rethinking the Role of Education (2016).

Considering the role of ontology, epistemology, and theoretical frameworks in the development of your DPhil

09 June 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

Speaker: Julia Pacitto, Centre for Refugee studies

Convener: Dr Velda Elliott, Qualitative Methods Special Interest Group

With reference to the development of my DPhil research which looks at the journeys of refugees and asylum seekers to the UK, this session will engage with key methodological questions such as: what assumptions about the nature of knowledge and social existence are implicit within our research designs? What is the connection between methods and methodology, mid-level theory and theoretical frameworks, and epistemological and ontological orientation? How do these interact/overlap? And, what is the place of each of these within a thesis? I will offer insights from my own lengthy and at times challenging navigation through philosophy and theory in the development of my DPhil project, which uses narrative and semi-structured methods to explore the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers during their journeys into exile. The questions identified above are especially pertinent when undertaking research with marginalized populations, where politics and advocacy often influence the way we think about and do research, and where these more abstract theoretical questions have the propensity to be overlooked.

Youth unemployment: can labour-market Intermediaries help?

09 June 2016 16:00 - 18:00
Seminar Room G/H

Speaker: Dr Andre Kraak, Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL), University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Convener: Dr Susan James Relly, SKOPE

For further information and to register for this event, please click here

Bayesian unknown change-point models to investigate causality in single case designs

13 June 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

Speaker: Dr Prathiba Natesan, College of Education, University of North Texas

Conveners: Dr James Hall, Dr Lars-Erik Malmberg and Professor Steve Strand, Quantitative Methods Hub

Single case designs (SCDs) are widely used to test the effects of interventions in education, psychology, and medicine.  SCDs involve the repeated assessment of an outcome over time (i.e., a time series) within a case, during one or more baseline phases and one or more intervention phases, where the experimenter controls the timing of the phases. There are several challenges to statistical analysis of SCD data. Due to the small sample size, statistical estimates from few observations have considerable sampling uncertainty. This uncertainty is further worsened by autocorrelated errors.

In this talk I will introduce how Bayesian unknown change-point models can be used to confirm the presence of treatment effect. Advantages of Bayesian estimation such as making inferences from small samples, better autocorrelation estimates, posterior distributions (instead of single point estimates), and accommodating several types and distributions of data are particularly useful for SCDs.

The findings of an RCT evaluation of the effectiveness of the Letterbox Club in improving reading and number skills of foster children ages 7-11 years old (Public Seminar)

13 June 2016 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room A

Speaker: Dr Karen Winter, Queen’s University, Belfast

Convener: Professor Judy Sebba, Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education

The poor educational outcomes of children in care are a significant concern internationally. Whilst there have been many interventions developed to address this problem, very few of these have been rigorously evaluated. This paper presents the findings of a randomised controlled trial that sought to measure the effectiveness of a book gifting programme (the Letterbox Club) that aims to improve literacy skills amongst children aged 7–11 years in foster care. The programme involves children receiving six parcels of books sent through the post over a six-month period. The trial, which ran between April 2013 and June 2014, involved a sample of 116 children in Northern Ireland (56 randomly allocated to the intervention group and 60 to a waiting list control group). Outcome measures and findings are discussed. The accompanying qualitative process evaluation that sought to determine foster carer/child attitude towards and engagement with the parcels are also considered. In light of the combined quantitative and qualitative findings it is recommended that the logic model/theory of change underpinning book gifting schemes might benefit from being more clearly defined and that it might help if a clearer role for foster carers was delineated.

Dr. Karen Winter is a lecturer in social work at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research interests include children and young people in care; children’s rights; communication and positive relationships with children; vulnerable families. She has been involved in a number of research projects funded by local government, the ESRC and the voluntary sector. She has published extensively in her area of expertise. Karen is a Board member of the European Social Work Research Association. Outside of work she is also the Chair of the advisory group for Fostering Network Northern Ireland and a non-executive member of the Board for the Northern Ireland Guardian ad Litem Agency where she is also chair of the social care governance committee.  Prior to a career in academia Karen worked as a qualified social worker, team manager in child protection and as a Guardian Ad Litem in a career spanning over 16 years.

The ‘writing up’ process: discussion panel

16 June 2016 12:30 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

Convener: Dr Susan James Relly, Qualitative Methods Special Interest Group

Functions: the growth of understanding

21 June 2016 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Anne Watson, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education

Convener: Dr Gabriel Stylianides, Subject Pedagogy Research Group

This seminar draws on the work of Michal Ayalon, Steve Lerman and myself. We investigated the growth of students' understanding of functions in secondary schools in two countries whose curricula are very different. In doing so, we developed conjectures about the relationship between curriculum and how the different elements that contribute to a mature understanding of functions are coordinated. We also engaged with the extensive literature about covariation and rate of change. Our most recent iterations through the data have led to some insights about the relationships between informal, schooled and formal mathematical knowledge.

The Young Language Learners (YLL) Symposium 2016

06 July 2016 -

EMI Oxford Course for University Teachers

14 August 2016 -

Epistemic fluency in higher education: bridging actionable knowledgeable and knowledgeable action

16 November 2016 16:30 -
Seminar Room G

Speaker: Lina Markauskaite, Associate Professor,  Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation, University of Sydney

Conveners: Dr Ian Thompson and Professor Harry Daniels, OSAT