Seminars and Events

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

All are welcome to public seminars 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, please contact the convener beforehand.
Click on the title of the event for further information.

Cumulative educational inequalities over life-course: Social origins and life-long learning in Britain

Erzsébet Bukodi, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

03 November 2014 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

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

Abstract
In the UK policy agenda much importance is attached – and with good empirical support – to pre-school programmes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. But there is far less consensus on the effectiveness of later-life interventions, in particular through various programmes of post-school training. In this paper I will shed some light on this matter. My main objective is to study the role of later-life qualifications – ‘life-long learning’ – in inter-generational social mobility. More specifically, I investigate to what extent individuals acquire qualifications in their later lives and how this form of educational attainment is related to social origins. Especially important here are questions of how far such attainment compensates for or builds on earlier levels of attainment, and how far it serves to narrow or to maintain or even to widen educational inequalities associated with social origins. To address the research questions, I use data from two British birth cohort studies – covering individuals born in 1958 and 1970 – and apply longitudinal research methods.

Effects of pre-school education on outcomes at age 16 and predicted lifetime earnings: findings from the mixed method EPPSE study (Public seminar)

Professor Pam Sammons and Professor Kathy Sylva, Department of Education, University of Oxford

03 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar room A

Convener: Professor Harry Daniels, Director of Research

Abstract: The Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary (EPPSE) project followed 3,000 children from early childhood to age 16.  Its latest findings from age 16 show that their GCSE results and social development were influenced by what happened to them as young children as well as their experiences in primary and secondary school.   In addition to GCSE results and social behaviours,  the latest report included findings on aspirations, mental wellbeing,  engagement in risky behaviours, and post 16 destinations, including NEET.

Key findings:

• Attending a pre-school had a positive influence on GCSE results, total scores as well as grades in  English and mathematics

• Higher quality pre-school improved GCSE scores, English and maths grades and social behaviours.  Children who had attended higher quality pre-school settings also showed more self-regulation and lower levels of hyperactivity at age 16. The quality of pre-school was especially important for children whose parents had low qualification levels

• Attending pre-school, particularly for a longer period, or attending settings of higher quality, predicted a greater likelihood of following an academic pathway (4 or more A/AS levels) post 16.

• Based on GCSE scores, economists at the Institute of Fiscal Studies were able to predict the monetary benefits to individuals and benefits to the Exchequer. Pre-school attendance was associated with a benefit of around £27,000 for an individual over a life time.  This is the first European study to place a monetary value on attendance at pre-school.

• In secondary schools where teachers had a strong focus on learning, trusting relationships with students and gave more feedback on work, students had both better GCSE outcomes and social development.

• Regardless of background, the majority of students had high aspirations, aiming at professional jobs and most wanted to attend university. There were strong gender differences in career choices, with girls who had done poorly in GCSEs lowering their sights more than boys with similar attainment.

• Girls also reported lower levels of well-being than boys.

The findings from 7 separate reports and a composite final report are available from http://eppe.ioe.ac.uk

The study was funded by the Department for Education (1997 – 2014) and was led the by: Professors Kathy Sylva, Edward Melhuish and Pam Sammons at the University of Oxford, and Birkbeck, and Professor Iram Siraj and Brenda Taggart at the Institute of Education, London.

About the speakers:
Professor Pam Sammons is Course Director for the MSc in Education: Research Design and Methodology at the Department of Education in Oxford. Previously she was co-director of the EdD in Educational Leadership at the School of Education in Nottingham and a Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London and Coordinating Director of its International School Effectiveness & Improvement Centre (1999-2004). She has been involved in educational research for the last 30 years with a special focus on the topics of school effectiveness and improvement, leadership and equity in education. She has a particular interest in the evaluation of education policy initiatives including both formative and summative approaches.

Professor Kathy Sylva is Professor of Educational Psychology at the Department of Education in Oxford. She is one of the leaders of the DCSF research on effective provision of pre-school and primary education and on the evaluations of the Transformation Fund and the Early Learning Partnership Project. After earning a PhD at Harvard University Kathy moved to Oxford where she taught Psychology while serving on the Oxford Pre-school Research Group which was led by Jerome Bruner. Her book Childwatching at Playgroup and Nursery School broke new ground by questioning an unbridled ‘free play’ ideology.She was Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Employment during their Inquiry into Early Education (2001). She serves on Government advisory committees concerned with national assessment, evaluation of programmes such as Sure Start, and curriculum for children 0-7 years (2003, 2005-6, 2008). She advised the Scottish Parliament in 2005-6 on Early Years; and in 2006 she advised the Government on the teaching of phonics She has been given honorary doctorates by the Open University and Oxford Brookes University. She is an Elected Fellow of the British Psychological Society and in 2008 she was awarded an OBE for services to children and families.

An evidence-based evaluation of bilingual teaching (CLIL) programmes in Germany: results from the large-scale longitudinal study DENOCS

Dominik Rumlich, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

04 November 2014 13:30 -
Seminar Room K/L

Convener: Dr Xin Wang, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Abstract

Reliable large-scale studies on CLIL are rare (e.g. Pérez-Cañado, 2012) and thus its benefits in comparison to mainstream education are yet to be confirmed. Moreover, the uniqueness of every educational system, societal contexts and the diverging implementations of CLIL render it difficult to transfer research results. Two additional issues further complicate evaluations of CLIL in Germany: The selective nature of German CLIL programmes and two extra English lessons as a preparation for future CLIL pupils. In cross-sectional studies, it remains unclear to what extent the observed differences between CLIL and non-CLIL pupils already existed a priori, a circumstance which might have skewed research results in previous studies that were designed to prove the benefits of CLIL.

DENOCS (Development of North-Rhine Westphalian CLIL Students) is a longitudinal quasi-experimental study with 1,398 secondary pupils that measured, inter alia, students’ general language proficiency in English (with high-quality C-tests), academic self-concept, subject-related interest (scales on a questionnaire) and out-of-school exposure to English. 50 classes were tested right before CLIL commenced (year 6, M age=11.9) and then again after one and two years of CLIL; the first control group consisted of non-CLIL students from CLIL schools (negatively selected pupils), the second one comprised regular/mainstream students from schools without any CLIL provision (unselected pupils).

Statistical analyses show that before the first CLIL lesson pupils in these strands clearly outperform both non-CLIL control groups (H(2)=8.66, p<.000, effect sizes range from large to medium: 1.20 ≤ Cohen’s d ≤ .54; see Rumlich, 2013). A structural equation model (Χ²(10)=17.76, p=.06; CFI=.99; TLI=.97; RMSEA=.03, .00 < 90% CI < .05; SRMR=.01; R²=.61) of the development of pupils’ proficiency, academic self-concept and subject-related interest over two years indicates that there are no (general lang. prof./interest) or just very small (self-concept) effects of CLIL when prior differences are taken into account and pupils’ development is evaluated on the basis of an unselected control group. Yet, when using the incorrectly specified regression models of previous studies on the same data (without controlling for initial differences, without unbiased control group), one incorrectly finds substantial CLIL effects.

These results provide important evidence for the suspected selection and preparation effects – leading to considerable bias in cross-sectional evaluations – and have led to an overestimation of the benefits of CLIL in many of the studies conducted in Germany so far. In my talk, the implications of these findings as well as potential explanations will be discussed critically in the broader context of CLIL research.

References

Pérez-Cañado, M. L. (2012). CLIL research in Europe: past, present, and future. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 15(3), 315–341. doi:10.1080/13670050.2011. 630064.

Rumlich, D. (2013). Students’ general English proficiency prior to CLIL: Empirical evidence for substantial differences between prospective CLIL and non-CLIL students in Germany. In S. Breidbach & B. Viebrock (Eds.), Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in Europe: Research perspectives on policy and practice (pp. 181-201). Frankfurt am Main: Lang.

About the speaker
Dominik Rumlich works as a junior researcher and lecturer at the university of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. His areas of expertise are CLIL, assessment, individual learner characteristics, and quantitative research (methods). He is currently involved in multiple research projects and in charge of a multi-method study on "The school book 2.0". His large-scale PhD project DENOCS will provide the backbone for his PhD thesis with the provisionary title "Evaluating the effects of bilingual education: German CLIL students' foreign language development and their affective-motivational dispositions". His thesis will presumably be completed by the end of 2014.

An introduction to Vygotsky Part 2: the headlines

Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson, Department of Education

05 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

An intervention study on the structure of Chinese writing system for L2 learners of Chinese

Philea Chim, Department of Education

05 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

Can a comparison of the different patterns of attainment in English and mathematics contribute to a more nuanced understanding of school effectiveness?

Fay Baldry, Department of Education, University of Leicester

10 November 2014 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Abstract
Initial exploration of the different effects of predictors on attainment in mathematics and English at the school level revealed that there were differences in their explanatory power. These differences are masked when attainment at GCSE is considered as ‘5 A*-C including English and maths’. Publically available school level data can tell us only so much, however; initial work with the NPD also reveals similar patterns of differences at pupil level. In this session different models will be offered for discussion in order to explore school effectiveness for particular groups of students in the two subjects.

The use of research in policy making, reviews and the work of government (Public seminar)

Ray Shostak, Norham Fellow, Department of Education, University of Oxford

10 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar room A

Convener: Professor Pamela Sammons, FELL

About the speaker: 

Ray Shostak is Honorary Norman Fellow at the Department of Education.  Previously he was the Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, Director General Performance Management and member of the Board of Her Majesty’s Treasury from 2007 – 2011. Ray was awarded a CBE for services to education by HM Queen in 2005.

A study of the relationships between informal second language contact, vocabulary-related strategic behaviour and vocabulary gain in a study-abroad context.

Jess Briggs, Department of Education

11 November 2014 13:30 -
Seminar Room K/L

Convener: Dr Xin Wang, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Quality and Inequality: Do disadvantaged three and four year olds experience lower quality early years provision?

Sandra Mathers, Department of Education

12 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

The effects of cross-group friendships in South African classrooms: a longitudinal study into the mediators of the relationship between intergroup contact and wider attitude generalization using structural equation modelling

Simon Lolliot, Department of Psychology, University of Oxford

17 November 2014 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Abstract
Societies nowadays are becoming increasingly diverse. Within these diversifying societies, however, individuals tend to segregate towards others that are like themselves. It is often at school where children come into contact for the first time with others who are different to themselves in terms of race, religion, or nationality. Given that schools are charged with preparing students to meet, live, and function in society with fellow citizens from diverse backgrounds, it becomes important to understand the effect, and the extent of the effect, that interracial mixing can have on intergroup attitudes, especially in places that have experienced conflict, such as South Africa. In this presentation, I explore the role that intergroup contact with one outgroup can have on reducing prejudice towards other outgroups—known as the secondary transfer effect of contact—using a three-wave longitudinal structural equation model with latent variables amongst South African secondary school students. Furthermore, I tested if these effects of intergroup contact, and the processes (mediators) by which they work, are the same for economic majority (i.e., White South African) and economic minority (i.e., Mixed-race South African) students. The results indicate that, while there is evidence for the secondary transfer effect of contact, the role that socio-historical factors play in shaping our intergroup contact experiences cannot be overlooked.

The rise and rise of testing and use of assessment data in Australia (Public seminar)

Professor Val Klenowski, Queesnland University of Technology

17 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar room A

Convener: Professor Jo-Anne Baird, Educational Assessment

Abstract:

In 2008 testing became high stakes in Australia and since that time we have witnessed the rise of a major industry with the emergence of readily available practice tests for purchase, increased provision of online resources and burgeoning tutoring services focused on National Assessment Program – Literacy And Numeracy (NAPLAN) style tests.  This presentation will critically examine the emergent issues for students, schools, parents and systems and will argue for a more balanced approach of formative and summative assessment with greater professional and system level understanding of the validity of the primary and secondary uses of assessment data.  Empirical evidence is drawn from two recent studies of how assessment data is used by schools and systems for the purposes of accountability and improvement.  One study is an Australian Research Council Linkage project entitled “Ethical Leadership: A collaborative investigation of equity-driven evidence-based school reform” and the other draws on the largest collection and analysis of research data on multiple facets of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education in state schools.  From the evidence of these studies it is concluded that the misuses of assessment data derive from interpretations that cannot be justified because there is too much inference, the interpretation is based on unreliable results or simplistic readings.  Key emergent issues relate to the current evaluation system and whether the major assessment instruments actually assess what constituent communities, governments and the public deem to be of value.  With the requirement for greater effectiveness, equity and quality in education to meet economic, social and political demands major tensions and pressures have arisen.  These will be critically examined. Where there has been some success in the use of assessment data and methods that address some of these demands these are articulated and presented as a way forward in this particular high stakes context.

Listening comprehension strategies during ESL classroom interaction

King Tat Daniel Fung, Department of Education

18 November 2014 13:30 -
Seminar Room K/L

Convener: Dr Xin Wang, Applied Linguistics Research Group

How do we know that someone knows how?

Professor Christopher Winch, King’s College, London

18 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Dr Lorraine Foreman-Peck and Dr Alis Oancea, Religion, Philosophy and Education Research Forum in association with the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

Abstract
This paper considers how professional knowledge should be assessed. The intellectualist arguments of Bengson and Moffett, which suggest that someone’s giving an account of how to F should suffice for attributing to them knowledge of how to F are set out. The arguments fail to show that there is no necessary distinction between two kinds of know-how, namely the ability to F and knowing that w is a way to F, such that the latter is more fundamental. The consequences of this failure for our understanding of professional assessment are then considered. The issue of the assessment of tacit knowledge is then addressed. It is concluded that there is no context-dependent codifiable or articulable propositional knowledge of how to F which could be substituted for being able to F and that therefore tacit knowledge can only be assessed in performance. The parallel with Gettier cases is reviewed and it is concluded that the provenance of accounts of and justifications for the attribution of know-how are not matters of indifference to its assessment. Finally, the question of evaluability or what Ryle would have called the applicability of intelligence epithets is discussed in relation to its relevance to our procedures for assessing practical knowledge. Once again, it was concluded that excellent performance is necessary to attribute excellence in know-how.

About the speaker
Christopher Winch is Professor of Educational Philosophy and Policy in the Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College, London. He has taught in primary, further and higher education. He is the author of 'Dimensions of Expertise' (Continuum 2010) and a forthcoming book on teacher know-how.

OSAT Reading Group

19 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Reading:
Arja Haapasaari, Yrjö Engeström & Hannele Kerosuo (2014): The emergence of learners’ transformative agency in a Change Laboratory intervention, Journal of Education and Work. Published online April 1st 2014.

FELL/Children Learning Seminar (title to be announced)

Dr Fiona Middleweek, Department of Education

19 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

School effects on Chilean children’s achievement growth in language and mathematics: an accelerated growth curve model

Lorena Ortega, Department of Education

24 November 2014 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Abstract
The present study investigates school effects on student achievement growth in Chile. In order to do so the shape and predictors of primary students’ achievement trajectories in language (Spanish) and mathematics are examined and the magnitude of school effects is estimated using a contextual value-added approach. The study’s data sets were obtained by linking data from Chilean assessment programmes and administrative records and feature an accelerated longitudinal design comprising students in 4 overlapping cohorts, together spanning Grades 3 to 8 (N = 24,458 students in 157 schools). Results indicate non-linear upward growth on student achievement in primary school and significant individual differences in achievement status and, to a lesser extent, in rate of development over time. Differences in growth were related to student gender, age and, in language only, to school compositional effects. School effects on students’ growth trajectories were found to be sizeable and larger than those in previous studies using similar model specifications and outcomes in industrialised economies.

Are there some questions that can't be answered? The limits of research in teacher education (Public seminar)

Dr Katherine Burn and Trevor Mutton

24 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar room A

Convener: Professor Harry Daniels, Director of Research

On the nature of antitheism: an exploratory study of anti-Christian prejudice in English secondary schools

Dr Daniel Moulin, University of Navarra, Spain

25 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Dr Lorraine Foreman-Peck and Dr Alis Oancea, Religion, Philosophy and Education Research Forum in association with the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

Abstract
In this talk I will explore Christian adolescents’ reported experiences of secondary schools using data generated in twenty-one qualitative interviews conducted with Christian adolescents (n=26) in three mainstream denominations of Christianity in an English city. Schools of a religious and non-religious character were reported as not providing a suitable environment for religious observances, nor as a place to act and behave according to participants’ religious principles. Christian adolescents reported perceived prejudice and criticism of their beliefs or Christian identification from their peers and sometimes from teachers. They also perceived Christianity to be distorted, inaccurately or unfairly represented in some lessons. In the light of these findings, I will offer a preliminary discussion on the nature and possible sources of antitheism in English society.

About the speaker
Daniel Moulin is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Culture and Society in the University of Navarra, Spain. He has published articles in the British Educational Research Journal, The Oxford Review of Education, and the British Journal of Religious Education. He completed his Economic and Social Research Council funded doctorate at Oxford University Department of Education and Harris Manchester College. He was awarded a boursier d´excellence scholarship in the Autonomous Faculty of Protestant Theology in the University of Geneva in 2013, and the Carmen Blacker Prize for the Study of Religion by Somerville College in 2012. His introduction to the educational thought of Leo Tolstoy is published in paperback by Bloomsbury this autumn.

Book reading with young children in the 21st century: new formats, old questions?

Dr Natalia Kucirkova, The Open University

26 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Abstract
Semiotic mediation has long been a central focus of sociocultural psychology and allied approaches under the cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) paradigm. It has also been studied in sociolinguistics within the tradition of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) (Halliday, 1978). In these two domains, the mediational, transformative functions of signs are highlighted. Although scholarship has alluded to the methodological implications of Peircean semiotics for CHAT (Edwards, 2007; Holland & Lachicotte Jr., 2007; Prawat, 1999; Valsiner & van der Veer, 2000), there has been scant attention to the cyclical, generative properties of signs identified by Peirce. The ever-changing and evolving landscape of human interactions with the world necessitates a more nuanced understanding of communicative and representational acts. This provides a rationale for sociolinguists and sociocultural theorists to forge ahead with the notion of multimodality by exploring new vistas for the centrality of semiotic mediation in sociolinguistic and sociocultural studies beyond linguistic imperialism.

This seminar is based on recent research into the co-articulation of Peirce and Vygotsky on signs (Ma, 2014). It sets out with an overview of conceptual plurality and variance within sociolinguistic and sociocultural perspectives on semiotic mediation. These perspectives advocate for a paradigmatic shift in emphasis from the SFL tradition to the multimodal framework for communication and representation. Arguably, they will continue to complement and interact, configuring a new synthesis through dialectical relationships. Premised on this, the Peirce-Vygotsky synergy is introduced as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation. Following a discussion of its theoretical basis, the logical fusion of deduction and abduction is explained as authorising this synergy. Through the interplay of words and images exhibited in mother-child shared reading of storybooks, the seminar exemplifies how this synergy can afford a nuanced semiotic account of meaning making, interspersed with insights from the notion of “intersemiotic complementarity” (Royce, 2007). Exploratory as it is, this seminar seeks to inform current debates on the methodological relevance of Peircean semiotics for CHAT by bringing the confluence of Peirce and Vygotsky to bear on the study of communication and representation.

References
Edwards, A. (2007). An interesting resemblance: Vygotsky, Mead, and American pragmatism. In H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 77-100). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London, UK: Arnold.
Holland, D. & Lachicotte Jr., W. (2007). Vygotsky, Mead, and the new sociocultural studies of identity. In H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 102-135). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Ma, J. (2014). The synergy of Peirce and Vygotsky as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation. Mind, Culture, and Activity.
Prawat, R. S. (1999). Social constructivism and the process‐content distinction as viewed by Vygotsky and the pragmatists. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 6(4), 255-273.
Royce, T. D. (2007). Intersemiotic complementarity: A framework for multimodal discourse analysis. In T. D. Royce & W. L. Bowcher (Eds.), New directions in the analysis of multimodal discourse (pp. 63-109). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Valsiner, J. & van der Veer, R. (2000). The social mind: Construction of the idea. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

About the Speaker
James Ma is a linguist. He received a PhD from the University of Bristol and subsequent postdoctoral training from the University of Oxford. His academic interests are in cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), post-structuralism, semiotics, critical discourse analysis (CDA), and a priori research methodology.

Sign action: towards an ontological affinity of Peirce and Vygotsky on semiotic mediation

Dr James Ma, Canterbury Christ Church University

26 November 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Abstract
Semiotic mediation has long been a central focus of sociocultural psychology and allied approaches under the cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) paradigm. It has also been studied in sociolinguistics within the tradition of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) (Halliday, 1978). In these two domains, the mediational, transformative functions of signs are highlighted. Although scholarship has alluded to the methodological implications of Peircean semiotics for CHAT (Edwards, 2007; Holland & Lachicotte Jr., 2007; Prawat, 1999; Valsiner & van der Veer, 2000), there has been scant attention to the cyclical, generative properties of signs identified by Peirce. The ever-changing and evolving landscape of human interactions with the world necessitates a more nuanced understanding of communicative and representational acts. This provides a rationale for sociolinguists and sociocultural theorists to forge ahead with the notion of multimodality by exploring new vistas for the centrality of semiotic mediation in sociolinguistic and sociocultural studies beyond linguistic imperialism.

This seminar is based on recent research into the co-articulation of Peirce and Vygotsky on signs (Ma, 2014). It sets out with an overview of conceptual plurality and variance within sociolinguistic and sociocultural perspectives on semiotic mediation. These perspectives advocate for a paradigmatic shift in emphasis from the SFL tradition to the multimodal framework for communication and representation. Arguably, they will continue to complement and interact, configuring a new synthesis through dialectical relationships. Premised on this, the Peirce-Vygotsky synergy is introduced as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation. Following a discussion of its theoretical basis, the logical fusion of deduction and abduction is explained as authorising this synergy. Through the interplay of words and images exhibited in mother-child shared reading of storybooks, the seminar exemplifies how this synergy can afford a nuanced semiotic account of meaning making, interspersed with insights from the notion of “intersemiotic complementarity” (Royce, 2007). Exploratory as it is, this seminar seeks to inform current debates on the methodological relevance of Peircean semiotics for CHAT by bringing the confluence of Peirce and Vygotsky to bear on the study of communication and representation.

References
Edwards, A. (2007). An interesting resemblance: Vygotsky, Mead, and American pragmatism. In H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 77-100). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London, UK: Arnold.
Holland, D. & Lachicotte Jr., W. (2007). Vygotsky, Mead, and the new sociocultural studies of identity. In H. Daniels, M. Cole & J. V. Wertsch (Eds.), The Cambridge companion to Vygotsky (pp. 102-135). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Ma, J. (2014). The synergy of Peirce and Vygotsky as an analytical approach to the multimodality of semiotic mediation. Mind, Culture, and Activity.
Prawat, R. S. (1999). Social constructivism and the process‐content distinction as viewed by Vygotsky and the pragmatists. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 6(4), 255-273.
Royce, T. D. (2007). Intersemiotic complementarity: A framework for multimodal discourse analysis. In T. D. Royce & W. L. Bowcher (Eds.), New directions in the analysis of multimodal discourse (pp. 63-109). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Valsiner, J. & van der Veer, R. (2000). The social mind: Construction of the idea. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

About the Speaker
James Ma is a linguist. He received a PhD from the University of Bristol and subsequent postdoctoral training from the University of Oxford. His academic interests are in cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), post-structuralism, semiotics, critical discourse analysis (CDA), and a priori research methodology.

Students’ self-efficacy beliefs in mathematics: Design and instruments for classroom observations

Karin Sorlie, University of Oxford

27 November 2014 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Gabriel Stylianides, Subject Pedagogy Research Group

Monitoring school performance: a multilevel value-added modelling alternative to England’s ‘expected progress’ measure

George Leckie, University of Bristol

01 December 2014 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room B

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

Abstract
Since 1992, the UK Government has published so-called ‘school league tables’ summarizing the average educational attainment and progress made by pupils in each state-funded secondary school in England. In 2011 the Government made ‘expected progress’ their new headline measure of school progress. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the data underlying the Government’s 2013 tables, in order to statistically critique expected progress and contrast it with the multilevel ‘value-added’ modelling approach.

Contrasting the dynamics of English and Finnish education policy-making (Public seminar)

Dr Jaakko Kauko, University of Helsinki

01 December 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar room A

Convener: Professor Jenny Ozga, Europeanisation

Abstract:

The presentation aims to understand and contrast the dynamics in English and Finnish education policy-making. Dynamics are understood as patterns of interaction between the main policy actors embedded in the socio-historical contexts in the two countries. Data is drawn from 16 theme interviews with key policymakers in England complemented with a body of official documents. The Finnish data is based on earlier research projects, their results and policymaker theme interview data used in them.

The English education policy-making on the surface level reflects a rather reactionary dynamics, following earlier theories of policy entrepreneurs seizing opportunities. On a deeper level, policy-making is guided by an institutional structure created over the course of history: centralisation of power to the Department for Education and a shift of balance in consulting from formal or professional organisations to think tanks and political advisors, and the ascendancy of Ofsted as a political actor in education policy. Finnish education policy-making dynamics is restricted by radical municipal autonomy, consensus-supporting decision-making system, and a bureaucratic tradition all which buffer against rapid changes and result in a continuity of the comprehensive school.

In policy-making, the relations of the English actors are conflictual whereas in Finland they are consensual. In both context there seemed to be a governance gap between the central and local administration. The difference in the processes of centralisation seemed to explain change potential. The main difference in dynamics is the fluidity of the education institutions, particularly school types. In England, the changing political emphasis has changed the basic organisation of schooling, while in Finland changes took place inside the comprehensive school institute.

Profiling STEM Enrichment Programmes

Dr Wai Yi Feng, University of Cambridge

02 December 2014 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room B

Convener: Dr Judith Hillier, Science Education Research, Subject Pedagogy Research Group

OSAT seminar (title to be announced)

Dr Nick Hopwood, University of Technology Sydney

02 December 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson (OSAT)

Thinking beyond the straits of reason

Dr Emma Williams, Philosopher in residence, Rugby School

02 December 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Conveners: Dr Liam Gearon and Dr Alis Oancea, Religion, Philosophy and Education Research Forum in association with the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

Evidence-informed educational practice for children in care

Webinar hosted by the Rees Centre

03 December 2014 16:00 -

Conveners: Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak, Visiting Research Fellows, the Rees Centre.

For further information see the Rees Centre events page

Toddlers' transition to early childhood education and care: the role of security of attachment and caregiver interaction

Dr Katharina Ereky-Stevens, University of Vienna and University of Oxford Department of Education

03 December 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

Former FELL interns return to present their research projects

Thomas Day, Katie Hougham, Victoria Nicholls, Terri Parkin & Rebeca Tracz, University of Bath

10 December 2014 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

Conveners: Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Kathy Sylva, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

Am I a critical realist?

Professor Richard Pring, Department of Education

20 January 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Oxford branch)

From critical thinking to intellectual virtue

Dr Ben Kotzee, University of Birmingham

27 January 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Oxford branch), jointly hosted with the Religion, Philosophy and Education Research Forum.

Abstract
Philosophy prides itself on its ability to teach students how to think. In teaching students 'critical thinking', philosophy believes that it serves the academy by straightening out students' thinking. It is for this reason that large (often first-year) courses in critical thinking (or 'reasoning', 'argumentation' or 'informal logic') are often presented as service courses across the university. Evidence whether such courses work, however, is mixed. While high performance on a standard critical thinking course can show mastery of specific critical thinking skills, it does not necessarily demonstrate critical thinking in life in general or - importantly - whether students are inclined to think critically in their lives outside the classroom. With this in mind, the critical thinking movement has begun to study critical thinking behaviours or dispositions in addition to ability at critical thinking. In this talk I discuss what it means to be 'disposed to think critically'. While the field is heading in the right direction, I hold that a focus on dispositions or behaviours is still insufficient to capture what we really expect of students' personal growth towards becoming critical thinkers. Rather than critical thinking skills (and the inclination to apply these skills), I shall hold that students need to develop a number of intellectual virtues. I will sketch what the study of intellectual virtue can contribute in this area and will show how the study of critical thinking should shift focus from studying skills to studying the people who have them.

About the speaker
Ben Kotzee is Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. He works on applying insights from contemporary epistemology to questions regarding intellectual character development. He has written on the epistemic aims of education and on the nature and development of expertise; he is the editor of Education and Social Epistemology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Learning and New Technologies Research Seminar (title to follow)

Professor Rosamund Sutherland, University of Bristol

04 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Late have I loved you: Beauty, truth and goodness in the design of learning: St Augustine as curriculum designer for the postmodern era?

Dr Mark Chater, Culham St Gabriel’s Trust

10 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room D

Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Oxford branch), jointly hosted with the Religion, Philosophy and Education Research Forum.

Abstract
This seminar will argue that current curriculum design in several school curriculum subjects lacks an ontology. By referring to subjects such as RE and Citizenship, and elements such as spiritual, moral and social development, I shall seek to establish that the epistemological foundations of these curriculum elements are weak, and require a stronger theoretical rationale based in a longstanding and complex understanding of human existence. Consulting the 5th-century  African philosopher, theologian and teacher St Augustine, and learning from his unofficial trinity of beauty, truth and goodness, I shall seek to sketch out a possible design theory for knowledge in the curriculum of our own era, an era both different from, and similar to his own.

About the speaker
Mark Chater is Director of Culham St Gabriel’s Trust, an educational charity supporting research, development and innovation in school-based Religious Education in the UK. A qualified teacher, Mark taught RE in British comprehensive schools for ten years before becoming a researcher and teacher trainer. He gained his Doctorate in 1997 with a thesis on the changing relationship between confessional and secular rationales for RE. For four years he was the national adviser for RE with the civil service. He is co-author of Teaching the Primary Curriculum, (2002), Developing Teaching Skills in the Primary School, (2007), Mole Under the Fence: Conversations with Fr Roland Walls, (2006) and Does Religious Education have a Future? (2013). He is working on Jesus Christ, Learning Teacher: Where theology meets pedagogy (due 2015). Numerous journal articles and official civil service documents have focused on the nature and purpose of RE, spirituality and values in education, school leadership, and the challenge of raising standards in RE. Mark is passionate about improving RE, resolving its longstanding weaknesses and working collaboratively across belief and national boundaries.

Sentient schools: educational institutions as software-supported big data platforms and sensing environments

Dr Ben Williamson, University of Stirling

25 February 2015 17:00 -
Seminar Roon G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group

Abstract: Along with imaginings of the future of the ‘smart city,’ an urban environment highly mediated and augmented by information and communication technologies, the idea of the ‘smart school’ is emerging as part of re-imaginings of the future of education. Various organizations and actors have begun to produce materials envisaging education as a smart, sensor-enabled, software-mediated, data-driven, and computationally-programmable social institution. This presentation will argue that smart schools are emerging ‘fabricated spaces’ being formed out of a mixture of technological fantasies and related technical developments. Such spaces are to be managed and governed through processes written in computer code and proceduralized in algorithms. By interrogating these fantasies of smart, sentient schools, it is possible to discern how particular educational futures are being fashioned, and how schools and students are to be governed. Drawing on a variety of materials, the presentation will survey the key features of emerging smart schools: ⎯ the seemingly ‘sentient’ infrastructures that underpin them
⎯ the constant flows of data smart schools depend on
⎯ students as nodes in ‘learning networks’ whose behaviours can be nudged and tweaked through network effects
⎯ sensor devices, including activity monitors, RFID tags and ID cards, to track and monitor student activities and movements
⎯ students as ‘computational operatives’ who must ‘learn to code’ in order to become ‘smart citizens’ in the digital governance of the smart city
⎯ techniques of dataveillance that enable student data to be used to anticipate their behaviours and pre-empt their futures Significantly, these features are characteristic of a new technocratic way of conceptualizing educational practices and spaces—related to an emerging style of ‘political computational thinking’—and of emerging modes of both ‘real-time’ and ‘future-tense’ digital education governance.

About the Speaker

Dr Ben Williamson is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Stirling. His research focuses on digital technologies and educational governance, with particular interests in the participation of think tanks, policy labs and third sector organizations in education policy, and in the emergence of new forms of technologically-mediated ‘digital education governance.’ This presentation will draw on the ESRC funded Code Acts in Education project that Ben is currently leading (http://codeactsineducation.wordpress.com/about/).

Learning and New Technologies Research Seminar (title to follow)

Dr Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Georgia State University

27 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon, Learning and New Technologies Research Group