A new meta-analysis led by Associate Professor Carolyn MacCann (University of Sydney) in collaboration with researchers from the University of New South Wales and Dr Kit Double a research fellow in the department’s Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) has suggested that emotional intelligence can predict academic performance such as grade point averages (GPA) and assignment marks.
The study is one of the largest ever conducted on emotional intelligence, using data from 158 papers (42,529 students) to examine whether emotional intelligence predicted academic outcomes. The study identified the following three reasons why emotional intelligence is important for academic performance:
- Emotionally intelligent students are better able to cope with academic emotions like boredom and test anxiety
- Emotionally intelligent students form stronger relationships with other students and teachers, so have more support in times of stress
- Emotionally intelligent students are better able to understand the social and emotional content of arts-based subjects like literature and history.
The research team also found that emotional intelligence abilities are the third most important predictor of academic performance, after intelligence and conscientiousness. In addition, emotional intelligence was more important for arts-based than science-based subjects and for males than females. The analysis also concluded that the effect of emotional intelligence cannot be explained by the greater ability and conscientiousness of emotionally intelligent students.
The study forms part of a research agenda within the OUCEA looking at the non-cognitive factors that affect performance on educational assessments.
The full findings were published in a paper titled ‘Emotional Intelligence Predicts Academic Performance: A Meta-Analysis’ in the Psychological Bulletin in December 2019, see doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bul0000219.
For more information about the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment, see: http://www.education.ox.ac.uk /research/oucea/ or contact Dr Kit Double (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information about the study.
Iram Siraj (Professor of Child Development & Education at the department), working with Dr Kim Kong (University of Sains Malaysia), will lead a new study investigating the impact early childhood education (ECE) on the development of refugee children in Malaysia. Funded by the British Academy Early Childhood Education Programme, the study is a responsive call to reach a vulnerable population by addressing the issues of quality, equity and accessibility to ECE. The research team will also work with UNHCR and UNICEF on the project.
Refugee children in Malaysia are unable to access the formal education system. Their education is delivered via an informal parallel system through NGO or community run-schools (UNHCR, 2019) and only 13% of refugee children aged 3 to 5 years are enrolled in ECE versus 85% of Malaysian pre-schoolers.
Without legal status in the country, safety and security concerns for refugee children continues to affect school attendance. The inability of parents to work legally also means household incomes are often insufficient to support school costs and children are at risk of being sent to work or female children being married early instead of attending school (FMT, 2019). There is a high turnover of teachers and minimal compensation at the community learning centres. There is also lack of data on out of school children.
Professor Iram Siraj, Principal Investigator on the project, said: “This project aims to identify challenges and barriers to ECE so the development of refugee children, the well-being of their families and ECE centres can be supported. The findings will be used to inform policy and promote high quality ECE practice.”
Using mixed methods, data from multiple sources on child development will be collected to compare outcomes of those who did and did not access and participate in ECE. Developmental milestones and risks will also be highlighted.
The research, which started in November 2019 will run for two years and will aid policy to support sustainable ECE for refugee children in the Global South.
As our Centennial year draws to a close, we took a look through our statistics since 1 January and found the articles that were most viewed during 2019, based on Google Analytics. The list, arranged chronologically, covers some of the top topics and achievements from across our 100th anniversary year.
Celebrating 100 years of the Department of Education
2019 marked the department’s 100th anniversary and we celebrated in style ranked third in the world and first in the UK for education teaching and research (2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings) and number one in the UK for research in education in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
New outcomes framework launched for children’s social care services
The Rees Centre responded to increased pressures facing children’s social care services by developing a new outcomes framework to help inform future planning and delivery at a time of rising demands and declining resources.
£2.55m funding boost for research into impact of UK school exclusions
The department secured new ESRC-funding to lead a multi-disciplinary project into the consequences of school exclusions. The collaboration will involve researchers from Oxford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and London School of Economics.
Future directions in teacher education event series announced
The department’s Trinity term public seminar considered teacher education reforms around the world, teasing out future directions and possibilities for the relationships between teacher education policy, research and practice.
Seminar series shows tremendous interest in fair access at oxford
Simon Marginson reflected on the department’s Hilary term public seminar series, which considered access to higher education and attracted over 600 attendees to the five seminars held at venues across the University.
Department of Education receives outstanding rating for teacher training in latest Ofsted report
Teacher training at the department was graded as ‘outstanding’ by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) for its fifth inspection in a row.
Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) and Pearson awarded PISA 2021 contract for England, Northern Ireland and Wales
OUCEA secured a contract to lead on the data analysis, reporting and dissemination of the PISA 2021 results in over 450 schools across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The focus area of the 2021 assessment cycle is mathematics.
School exclusions are on the up but training teachers in trauma could help
Neil Harrison commented on rises in school exclusions and the implications for children in care and “other vulnerable children” following the publication of the Timpson Review of school exclusions in May.
There are vast differences in the rates of permanent school exclusion in different parts of the UK with numbers rising rapidly in England but remaining relatively low or even falling in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Latest figures show there were 7,900 permanent exclusions in England compared to just five in Scotland, not accounting for many informal and illegal forms of exclusion.
In October the ESRC granted £2.55million of funding for multi-disciplinary research to be conducted on the political economies and consequences of school exclusions across the UK, led by the department’s Professor Harry Daniels and Dr Ian Thompson. In this research, home international comparisons of historical and current policy, practice and legal frameworks relating to school exclusion will be conducted for the first time.
Our Hilary Term 2020 Public Seminar Series will provide an opportunity to explore the themes raised during this project, convened by Professor Daniels and Dr Thompson. There will be ample opportunity for full public participation in discussion at each.
The scheduled dates and speakers for the first sessions in this series are:
- Monday 20 January ‘Exclusion in the Four Jurisdictions of the UK’ Harry Daniels and Ian Thompson (Department of Education, University of Oxford)
Book your place here.
- Monday 27 January ‘Alternative Provision and School Exclusions’ Martin Mills (Institute of Education, University College London)
Book your place here.
- Monday 3 February ‘Behaviour and Attitudes in the Education Inspection Framework’ Matthew Purves (Ofsted)
Book your place here.
Further events in the six-part series will be made available on our event pages as soon as they’re available. Alternatively, sign up to our mailing list to receive the full programme by email once it has been confirmed.
For more information on the ESRC-funded research project into the impact of UK school visit: http://www.education.ox.ac.uk/research/excluded-lives/
In November, the inaugural Rees Centre Annual Lecture 2019 was delivered by a panel of speakers on the topic school exclusions and issues for looked after and adopted children. The full recording of the event is available here.
About the department’s public seminar series
The Department of Education’s Public Seminar Series are held on a termly basis throughout the academic year and are designed to engage wider audiences in topical research areas across the department. Seminars are free to attend and open to all. Each series is convened by a member of the department and seminars are held on most Mondays during term from 5pm. Speakers include a wealth of academics from across the department and the wider University, as well as internationally recognised professionals from across the globe. All upcoming seminars are publicised, in advance, on the department’s event pages.
Walking with Women: Exploring Hidden Homelessness
The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and the Department of Education are awarding a collaborative doctoral studentship, in partnership with Human Story Theatre. This doctoral research will make use of a range of participatory arts-based methods to study the lives of homeless women (or other highly marginalised groups at risk of becoming homeless, such as people with care experience), exploring the relationship between their experiences in education, broadly defined, and their lives today. The PhD studentship will be co-funded by the Derrill Allatt Foundation and the ESRC Grand Union DTP for three years from October 2020 and will be based in the Department of Education and Wolfson College at the University of Oxford.
Visit here for full details on this project and how to apply.
Steve joined the department as Associate Professor of Teacher Education in September. He is a curriculum tutor for the Geography PGCE and MSc in Learning and Teaching. Steve is a qualified geography teacher and was previously the head of department at a comprehensive secondary school in Oxfordshire. He holds an MA in Educational Leadership and Innovation from Warwick University, an MSc in Educational Research Methodology and DPhil in Education from the University of Oxford which were funded by an ESRC Studentship. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before coming to the department he was the Head of Programmes for Secondary, FE and Research Education at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln.
Tell us about your education, previous work experience, personal and professional achievements.
I first joined the department as a PGCE student, and I have often told people since that I have never underestimated anything as much as I underestimated teaching. Graham Corney was an amazing PGCE tutor, and I will never forget the realisation that not only did teaching represent an incredible opportunity to be a part of young people’s development, but it was also a massive and stimulating intellectual challenge. Partly this is because of the question about how you might take something as complex and dynamic as an academic discipline (in my case, ‘geography’), and make it understandable, relatable, accessible and interesting to young people – how you might bring them into this conversation about the world and their place in it. So from that moment I was hooked! And I have spent the last fifteen years trying to grapple with these questions from different perspectives, including as a school teacher, head of department, teacher educator, and researcher.
Can you tell us about any current research you’re working on?
I am excited to have recently been awarded seed funding from the Nuffield Strategic Fund to support our work on climate change education. In this project (Trust and Climate Change: information for teaching in a digital age), a collaboration with the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford, we will be taking forward questions about the sources of information teachers’ access to improve our understandings of the kinds of evidence, argument, and explanations that are used about the complex, rapidly changing and important topic of climate change. It represents one of the ways in which my research is positioned at the interface between the academic discipline and school subject of geography, and is designed to facilitate some great interactions between academic geographers and school geography teachers.
I am also involved in an AHRC-GCRF collaboration with colleagues from Kolkata, Nottingham and Loughborough that builds on our ‘SMARTIES’ Net project on smart cities in India led by Professor Michelè Clarke. The SMARTIES Net project was shortlisted for the 2017 Newton Prize (India), and we are looking forward to understanding more about the ways in which digital urbanism might work to preserve and tell the narratives held in tangible and intangible heritage of and around migrant and diaspora communities on the Hoogly riverfront in Kolkata.
What teacher had the greatest impact on you?
I have already mentioned the way in which Graham Corney – my PGCE tutor – transformed my understanding of geography teaching. In terms of who had the greatest impact, I think it is a tie between Graham and Professor Alis Oancea who taught me so much about educational research through my DPhil.
Which one book or publication would you recommend and why?
The educational book that I have returned to more than any other – and each time found something new, or a slightly different way of thinking about something – is Richard Pring’s Philosophy of Education and I often recommend individual papers from this and the book as a whole.
What do you like most about your job?
There are so many things that are amazing about my job, but above all it is such a privilege to be surrounded by so many brilliant and inspiring colleagues.
Congratulations to Drs Yasmine El Masri and Sonali Nag who have been awarded HEIF Knowledge Exchange Fellowships by the University’s Social Sciences Division for the following research projects:
Yasmine El Masri, Business and Industry Fellowship: Testing the world: Comparability of language demands of PISA
Sonali Nag, OPEN Fellowship: India’s national education policies: Co-development of a planning framework for quality in the classroom
Dr El Masri (Research Fellow, OUCEA) will collaborate with Professor Kadriye Ercikan and her research team at the Educational Testing Service (a non-profit educational testing and assessment organisation in New Jersey, USA) to evaluate and compare the language demands of Arabic and English versions of PISA tests.
Dr Nag (Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child) will co-develop a planning framework to integrate a teacher mentoring scheme for the lower-level bureaucracy of India’s public education system. Following a national consultation on quality at scale in the area of language and literacy instruction, her Fellowship will focus on the Indian states of Karnataka and Gujarat.
A total of 11 HEIF Knowledge Exchange Fellowships awards (of up to £25,000) have been awarded by the Division for the 2019-20 academic year.
The knowledge exchange scheme is intended to support the development of mutually beneficial partnerships with external partners, addressing key challenges through research, enabling Fellows to develop skills and shape best practice in engagement, and creating positive impacts through collaboration.
A new study led by Oxford’s Department of Education will develop and test an oral language intervention for pre-school children in India and the Philippines where limited access to quality early childhood education programmes has been identified as a major forerunner to an unfolding learning crisis.
The research speaks directly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to ensure that all children ‘have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education‘.
A powerful way to ensure all children are ready for learning, particularly in school, is to offer high quality oral language education early in a child’s life. This is supported by a large body of evidence showing a combined foundation of strong spoken language and listening comprehension cascading to reading and writing skills. But not enough is known about oral language education is multilingual settings. The ESRC and the Global Challenges Research Fund has funded £1.85 million to develop assessment tools, teacher training modules and a teacher-led programme to support children’s oral language in multilingual settings.
Dr Sonali Nag, Associate Professor of Education and the Developing Child in Oxford’s Department of Education and Principal Investigator on the project, said: “Children with a small vocabulary are at a disadvantage for all aspects of learning and unless there is targeted support, children who start slow will continue to fall behind. This research will first map opportunities and barriers to oral language development in multilingual settings and validate assessments to track children’s development in-context before examining the efficacy of a new oral language programme.”
Researchers will take a consultative approach to developing a language programme rooted in indigenous oral traditions and narratives responsive to the communities’ languages. Children who receive the intervention will directly benefit from its instruction, providing them with firm foundations for literacy learning in school. Knowledge exchange and consultative activities will provide a platform for local and international academics, civil society partners and governments interested in supporting children’s oral language development in other low- and middle-income countries.
The research will be conducted in collaboration with Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, the University of the Philippines, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, The Promise Foundation (India) and Interactive Children’s Literacy Programme (Philippines) will run for three years starting in January 2020.
The research team includes:
Dr Sonali Nag, University of Oxford, Department of Education
Professor Alis Oancea, University of Oxford, Department of Education
Dr Joshua McGrane, University of Oxford, Department of Education
Dr Katrina May Dulay, University of Oxford, Department of Education
Dr Shivani Tiwari, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Department of Speech & Hearing
Dr Sunila John, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Department of Speech & Hearing
Dr Gideon Arulmani, The Promise Foundation (India)
Dr Dina Joana Ocampo, University of Philippines, College of Education
Ms Portia Padilla, University of Philippines, College of Education
Ms Julie Weygan-Aparato, Interactive Children’s Literacy Programme (Philippines)
Professor Maggie Snowling, University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology
Dr Yonas Mesfun Asfaha, Asmara College of Education, Asmara, Eritria
Dr Cynthia Puranik, Georgia State University, Department of Communication Science and Disorders
Photo credit: The Promise Foundation
Nicola Warren-Lee (Lead Tutor for Geography PGCE) and students from the department’s PGCE have been involved in developing new resources to help increase the teaching and learning of British forestry amongst secondary school‐aged people in England.
Working in partnership with the Sylva Foundation, Blenheim Estate and Forestry Commission England the resources have been produced as part of a five year fieldwork project aiming to increase engagement with forestry in the school curriculum and ultimately increase the number of young people choosing career pathways in forestry.
The Fieldwork in the Forest project has involved considering the purpose of fieldwork in the secondary geography curriculum more widely, including planning ideas for fieldwork, and experiencing and trialling fieldwork techniques on site (at Combe Mill in Oxfordshire).
The resources produced include a set of downloadable fieldwork methodology sheets setting out how contrasting forests or woodlands can be sampled and surveyed, as well as case studies and health and safety guidance. A film which aims to inspire geography teachers and their pupils to carry out practical fieldwork in their locality has also been produced.
You can find all of the resources and further information about the project here.
Discover more about the department’s PGCE geography here.