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.

Is this the right room for an argument?

Coral Milburn Curtis, Department of Education

02 February 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Modalities and mechanisms of effective school inspections (Public Seminar)

Melanie Ehren, London Centre for Leadership in Learning

02 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar room A

Convener: Professor Pam Sammons, Families, Effective Learning & Literacy Research Group

 

 

Lost decades in Japan's education: impacts of the narrative of 'playing catchup with the West'

Takehiko Kariya, University of Oxford

03 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Pavilion Room, St. Antony's College

Convener: David Johnson

 

 

Expanding the possible: people and technologies

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

Abstract:  Within this presentation Rosamund will draw on sociocultural theory in order to argue that human action is mediated by social, institutional and cultural factors, which include the technologies that have been invented by humans in order to transform our abilities to achieve and perform.  She will argue that if digital technologies are available resources, then it is important that young people learn how to convert these resources into what Sen calls capabilities, that is, opportunities that can be realised in action.  She will suggest that one of the roles of schools is to teach young people to convert digital resources into capabilities, and argue that teachers are constrained from doing this by the school system.

About the Speaker: 
Rosamund Sutherland  is Professor of Education at the University of Bristol and was formerly Head of the Graduate School of Education. Her research has been concerned with teaching and learning in schools with a particular emphasis on mathematics education and the role of digital technologies in learning. In 2013 she published Education and Social Justice in a Digital Age, in which she challenges policy and practice by presenting a coherent argument about the ways in which the school system should change in order to address issues of education and social justice.

 

 

Project report reception: teaching mathematical reasoning - probability and problem solving in primary school

Professor Terezinha Nunes and Professor Peter Bryant in cooperation with the Nuffield Foundation

04 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

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

Examining three interdependent transitional processes as mediating child language brokering in schools.

Dr Sarah Crafter, University College London

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

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

Abstract
After migrating to a new country children often learn the local country language faster than their parents. Consequently, increasing numbers of children and young people contribute to family life by interpreting and translating for family members and peers/friends. They may do more than literal word-for-word translation by also acting as cultural and linguistic mediators between their families and professionals, like teachers, and as such, can be termed child language brokers (CLBs). This presentation will report on a study supported by the Nuffield Foundation that collected data from teachers, and young adults who acted as language brokers in school as children (Ex-CLBs), to examine their perspectives and develop evidence-based guidance on this activity. As well as providing an overview of some of the key findings, this presentation will look at the theoretical concept of transition as three interdependent mediational processes (Zittoun, 2008). The three processes will be (i) identity processes, (ii) knowledge acquisition and (iii) sense-making. This will lead to an exploration of CLB’s positioning of their brokering practice in relation to teachers, the school context, parents and peers.

About the speakers
Dr. Sarah Crafter is a Senior Research Officer in the Thomas Coram Research Unit at UCL Institute of Education, University of London. Her broad areas of interest are around children and young people’s identity development and constructions of childhood in culturally diverse settings. Her work is underpinned by sociocultural theorising. As well as studying in the area of child language brokering, her research has encompassed children’s work, young caring, home-school mathematics and constructions of children’s mental health spaces. ​

Modelling time-lags and instability of primary school students’ learning experiences

Dr Lars Malmberg, Department of Education

09 February 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Language development in internationally-adopted children: a special case of very early second language learning (Public Seminar)

Professor Fred Genesee, McGill University

09 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Victoria Murphy, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Abstract: Internationally-adopted children are a special case of very early second language acquisition – they discontinue acquisition of the birth language at adoption at which time they learn and use only the second language. They raise a number of important and interesting issues with respect to language learning and loss: “Is a very early acquired ‘second language’ acquired like a first or like a second language?; “What are the underlying explanations for differences in early second language versus first language acquisition?”; “Is a first language completely lost when exposure to and use of that language terminates?”.  In this talk, I will present longitudinal behavioral results of a 10-year longitudinal study of internationally-adopted children from China in comparison to matched monolingual control children indicating that they differ from monolinguals. I will also present data suggesting that gaps in their acquisition of their “second first language” is related to underlying lags in verbal memory. Finally, some recent fMRI data will be presented that reveal whether they actually entirely lose their birth language and whether the adopted language is processed in the same way as that of native-speaking monolinguals.

Evidence-informed educational practice for children in care

Webinar hosted by the Rees Centre

10 February 2015 16:30 - 16:30
Webinar

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

For further information see the Rees Centre events page

The evidence-informed educational practice for children in care

Dr Alun Rees and Lucy Wawrzyniak, Rees Centre visiting practioners

10 February 2015 16:30 -
Webinar

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

Education in Sudan: past and present

Dr Ahmed Al-Shahi, University of Oxford

10 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Pavilion Room, St. Antony's College

Convener: David Johnson

 

 

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.

FELL/Child Learning Research Groups seminar

To be confirmed

11 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room to be confirmed

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

Quantitative Methods Hub seminar

Ariel Lindorff-Vijayendran, Department of Education

16 February 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Mobile learning in global health training: What about social justice? (Public Seminar)

Dr Niall Winters, Associate Professor of Learning and New Technologies

16 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

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

Abstract:
Niall will discuss emerging findings from the ESRC/DFID-funded project "mCHW: a mobile learning intervention for community health workers” (http://www.mchw.org). The talk will present the background to the project and position his research at the intersection of education, health, technology and social justice.

Niall will present his joint research with Anne Geniets on the framing of global health training with technology from a social justice perspective (Winters & Geniets, in submission). Critiquing ICT for development, he will set out to show how the design, development and implementation of training projects are radically altered when centred on a preferential option for the poor. He will  then discuss the social justice framing in the context of the mCHW project’s empirical work in Kenya, drawing out three key implications: (1) Designing and evaluation applications for the needs of the poor; (2) Redefining the nature of ‘appropriate technologies’ and (3) Implementing pragmatic solidarity, which means developing common cause with those in need in a very practical and realistic manner.

 

 

Discrete or continuous change: Can a dynamic representation facilitate development of reasoning in mathematics?

Dr Sue Forsythe, University of Leicester

17 February 2015 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Jenni Ingram, Mathematics Education Research Group

Abstract:
In order to investigate how students develop the concept of inclusivity between classes of 2D shapes I used a Design Based Research method to develop and refine a task, based on a dynamic figure, which students dragged to generate different triangles and quadrilaterals. Pairs of 13 year old students and one whole teaching group worked with the dynamic figure whilst their dialogue and on-screen activity were recorded.  A number of themes emerged from the data, in particular the importance of symmetry in how the students generated the shapes. This was evident when students  dragged to maintain the symmetry (DMS) of the figure, a strategy with the potential to mediate the concept of a ‘dragging family’ of shapes. As such DMS is a ‘dragging utilisation scheme’ in the Vygotskyan sense. However, in order to move towards this understanding it is necessary that students perceive dragging activity on the figure as an action resulting in a continuously changing figure which morphs through an infinite number of shapes. I describe how I used an animation of the figure under DMS as the catalyst to move the students’ thinking towards the ‘dragging family’. My findings suggest that enabling students to view change through continuous rather than discrete representations helped to develop inclusive thinking.

OSAT Reading Group

18 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room G

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

Reading:
Neil Mercer (2013) The social brain, language, and goal-directed collective thinking: a social conception of cognition and its implications for understanding how we think, teach, and learn Educational Psychologist, 48:3, 148-168.

Provision of parenting services in children's centres

Dr Maria Evangelou, Department of Education

18 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

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

Perceptions of teacher self-efficacy in 14 OECD countries

Sina Fackler, Department of Education

23 February 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Education, language and the social brain (Public Seminar)

Professor Neil Mercer, University of Cambridge

23 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Conveners: Professor Harry Daniels (OSAT)

Abstract: In recent years, researchers in evolutionary psychology and anthropology have proposed that we have evolved with “social brains” that enable us to manage complex social relationships. Research in neuroscience also encourages the view that humans have a distinctively social form of intelligence. I suggest that the concept of the social brain is potentially useful for understanding the dynamic, iterative relationship between individual thinking and social activity, and the role of language in mediating that relationship. This gives the concept educational relevance. However, I argue that its current conceptualization is too individualistic; it needs to be redefined to take account of the distinctive human capacity for thinking collectively. Vygotskian sociocultural theory and empirical research derived from it offer a useful basis for this reconceptualization, enabling a better understanding of the relationship between “intermental” activity and “intramental’ and hence the processes of teaching and learning. Finally, I consider the implications of this reconceptualization of the social brain for educational theory, research and practice.

About the speaker: Neil Mercer is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, where he is also Chair of the Psychology and Education Group and Vice-President of the college Hughes Hall. Previously, he was Professor of Language and Communications at the Open University. He is a psychologist with particular interests in the development of children’s language and reasoning, classroom talk, and the application of digital technology in schools. His research with colleagues generated the Thinking Together practical approach to classroom pedagogy, and he has worked extensively with teachers, researchers and educational policy makers on improving talk for learning in schools. His most recent books are Exploring Talk in School (with Steve Hodgkinson) and Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking and Interthinking: putting talk to work (both with Karen Littleton).

The Youth Initiative Programme: results of research into social exclusion

A symposium

24 February 2015 14:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Harry Daniels

Speakers: Ted Cole, Harry Daniels, Rebecca Eynon, Lucinda Ferguson, Steve Strand, Ian Thompson and Naomi Webber

Panel members (confirmed): John Coleman, Hilary Emery, Phillipa Stobbs and Klaus Wedell.

It is impossible to ignore the existence of young people who are at risk of social exclusion i.e. not being able to access or contribute to what society can offer them. They present economic and social problems for society but they also, often tragically, experience limited life opportunities which do nothing to break the cycle of deprivation. The target group is far from homogeneous; disability, poverty and race intersect in different ways to restrict the opportunities available to them.

The long-term intention is to establish an interdisciplinary Research Centre, in the Division of Social Sciences, which will focus on the lives of the most disadvantaged young people. The Centre’s approach will be to interpret problems of exclusion and under-performance as multi-faceted, requiring inter-disciplinary analyses and inter-professional responses at the level of both practice and policy. Social Sciences at Oxford are well-placed to undertake these analyses and present them in the relevant policy arena. Indeed it could be argued that focusing on the most needy should be a significant element in Oxford’s research profile.

This symposium provides an overview of the research activities that were funded by anonymous donor and those that have developed from within this initiative. We are also very pleased to welcome a panel of key stakeholders in the field who will discuss possibilities for future direction in this field.

For further information and a draft programme of this event, please contact Phil Richards

Good habits of the mind: investigating the normative role for intellectual virtue in mathematics education.

Dr Steve Thornton

24 February 2015 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Jenni Ingram, Mathematics Education Research Group in conjunction with the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Oxford branch)

Abstract
In educational philosophy, much has been written on virtue ethics and its role in moral education, with an emphasis on the moral virtues in the development of character. There is, moreover, a growing literature on the intellectual virtues in education, with emphasis placed predominantly on their role in critical thinking and the cultivation of dispositions essential to the education of critical thinkers. However, little has been written on how the intellectual virtues, as good habits of the mind, might apply to specific curriculum areas and the role they ought to play to foster intellectual engagement and, hence, excellent teaching and learning.

In this seminar I start from an account of the intellectual virtues developed by Hugh Sockett (2012) in which he stresses the overall importance of truthfulness, accuracy, open-mindedness and impartiality. These virtues can be considered as the enabling traits that dispose one to think critically and to engage intellectually with one’s learning. In investigating how these virtues might apply to mathematics education, I consider the normative implications that flow from a commitment to the premise that their cultivation is a key attribute of intellectual engagement in that field.

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/).

Factors contributing to mathematical achievement: conceptual and procedural knowledge in fractions skills

Rossana Barros Baertl, Department of Education

25 February 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

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

Equitable progress? The role of school quality in shaping learning gaps: a comparative study of two developing countries (Ethiopia and Vietnam)

Dr Caine Rolleston and Abhijeet Singh, Department of International Development

02 March 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Does being in care provide protection or increase risk? Understanding the outcomes of children in care (Public Seminar)

Professor Janet Boddy, Univeristy of Sussex; Professor Donald Forrester, University of Bedfordshire

02 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

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

The effects of e-books and e-resources on literacy development in young learners: a literature review; A new measure of concepts about print: Dan the flying man

Dr Jette Karemaker and Fiona Jelley, Department of Education

04 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

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

Environmental risk and promoting factors of educational achievement amongst black South African youth: an educational resilience approach

Rocio Herrero Romero, Department of Social Policy and Intervention

09 March 2015 12:15 - 13:45
Seminar Room D

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

Automatic translation in bilingual processing (Public Seminar)

Walter Van Heuven, University of Nottingham

09 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Dr Xin Wang, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Teaching as moral Injury: the ethics of educational injustice

Professor Meira Levinson, Harvard University

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

 Convener: Dr Alis Oancea, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (Oxford branch) and Religion, Philosophy and Education Forum joint seminar programme
Please email alis.oancea@education.ox.ac.uk if you have any inquiries.

FELL/Child Learning Research Groups seminar

Professor Margaret Harris and Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi, Oxford Brookes University

11 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room K/L

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

Educational processes: theoretical and conceptual models

Bernhard Schmitz, University of Darmstadt, Germany; Jan Vermunt University of Cambridge and Bette Chambers University of York

19 March 2015 17:00 - 18:30
To follow

Convener: Lars-Erik Malmberg, Children Learning and FELL Research Groups

What is educational neuroscience? (public seminar)

Professor Dorothy Bishop, Department of Experimental Psychology

27 April 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Victoria Murphy, Applied Linguistics Research Group

The comprehensive school (Die Gesamtschule) - the anatomy and pathology of secondary school reform in Germany and Austria

Karl Heinz Gruber, University of Vienna

18 May 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Ian Menter, Teacher Education and Professional Learning research group

Economic returns to A level mathematics

Professor Andrew Noyes and Dr Mike Adkins, University of Nottingham

19 May 2015 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Jenni Ingram, Mathematics Education Research Group

Abstract
In 1999, Peter Dolton and Anna Vignoles first published their econometric analysis of the 1958 National Child Development Study which showed that A level mathematics was unique in having a wage premium of 7-10% at age 33, for that sample of the population.  In our Nuffield-funded project, Rethinking the Value of Advanced Mathematics Participation, we have replicated the original research and then repeated the analysis with the later 1970 British Cohort Study, using Bayesian modelling and multiple imputation techniques.  In this session we will present the findings from this analysis to show that there appears to  be a sustained ‘return’ to A level mathematics over time, although why this might be is not entirely clear.  Secondly, we present an analysis of how the original research has been taken up by policymakers and what Stephen Ball and Sonia Exley term policy interlockers.  Thirdly, we will set out how this work package fits into the wider project and how the findings raise further questions and new avenues of inquiry.

Creating opportunity for digital participation: Integrating computer science in the primary curriculum

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

Abstract:
Focusing on design thinking and integrated curriculum design, this research talk will describe an investigation of how to integrate computer science and online literacies into primary classroom settings. Primary computer science is one way to invite learners as digital participants. The study described here will demonstrate how one school is changing curriculum to encourage digital participation. Theories about participatory digital practices, constructionism, and empowering/emancipatory education offer teachers a foothold for curricular innovation. However, new theories about how to engage learners (and teachers) in meaningful and meaning-making digital practices continue to develop as teachers take up and use these theories in the contexts of schools and learning.

About the speaker:
Caitlin McMunn Dooley, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at Georgia State University in the US. Her research focuses on digital literacies, early literacy development, and teacher development.

Higher education expansion and social mobility: Is this the UK government's vision?

Dr Susan James, Deputy director of SKOPE

01 June 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

Convener: Professor Alis Oancea, Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) research group

Concepts and mastery in learning and teaching mathematics

Dr Alf Coles, University of Bristol

11 June 2015 16:30 - 18:00
Seminar Room G

Convener: Dr Jenni Ingram, Mathematics Education Research Group

The rediscovery of teaching: in search of a progressive argument

Professor Gert Biesta, University of Luxembourg and Brunel University

15 June 2015 17:00 - 18:30
Seminar Room A

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