On 15 October 2019, Professor Jo-Anne Baird was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bergen, Norway in recognition of her work within the field of assessment in education.
An honorary doctorate is the highest honour the University of Bergen can award to people who are not employed at the university. These accolades are usually given to distinguished individuals for outstanding work or service in a particular field.
When presenting Professor Baird with her degree Bente Wold, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen commented: “Jo-Anne’s work on standard setting practices has been highly influential to the process of setting examination standards in England and her recent landmark work extended the analysis to examination boards internationally showing that practices were highly conextualised…it’s an honour for us to welcome you and we are pleased that you have agreed to accept the token of our recognition and appreciation of your work.”
Jo-Anne Baird is Director of the Department of Education & Professor of Educational Assessment. Before coming to Oxford, Jo-Anne held academic posts at the Institute of Education, University of London and the University of Bristol. Jo-Anne previously held the position of Head of Research at the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, where she managed the research programme and was responsible for the standard-setting systems for public examinations. Her first degree and doctorate were in psychology and she has an MBA. In 2016, she was appointed adjunct professor at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, where she continues to collaborate on research at the university. You can find out more about her work and research here.
Read Professor Baird’s interview with the University of Bergen here: https://www.uib.no/en/psyfa/130158/educational-assessment-has-powerful-effect-upon-people’s-lives
Photo credit: Thor Brødreskift
The educational outcomes of children in care continue to be a concern in all countries in which relevant data are collected. In this special edition of the Oxford Review of Education, edited by the Rees Centre’s Judy Sebba and Nikki Luke, international leaders in their fields contribute new and updated evidence of factors that might contribute to these poorer outcomes and possible ways of improving them.
Special Issue: Oxford Review of Education, volume 45, number 4, August 2019
Guest Editors: Judy Sebba and Nikki Luke
This special edition (open access until Feb 2020) presents a range of research reported at the ESRC Seminar Series on Fostering Teenagers, co-hosted by the Rees Centre. Each paper is followed by a commentary by a care-experienced young person. Topics include parenting styles, transitions to adulthood, child sexual exploitation, fostering unaccompanied asylum seeking young people, young people in custody and the needs of LGBTQ and separated teenagers.
All the articles in this special edition are open access until Feb 2020.
On 8 – 9 September, Diane Mayer, Professor of Teacher Education, convened a Global Teacher Education Summit at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, bringing together 23 leading teacher education researchers from Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Finland, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, the USA and Wales.
The aim of the Summit was to develop a research consortium and design a global research agenda to inform large-scale, longitudinal, and multi-site research investigating the impact of current teacher education policies and practices in each of the countries.
The Summit provided the catalyst for establishing a global agenda for conducting the research. Some examples of questions that will be guiding this work include: Who is coming into the teaching profession? Where they are teaching and who they are teaching? Who is staying and who is leaving, and why? What is the impact of particular patterns of professional education on professional knowledge and practice? What is their impact on pupil outcomes? What is the role of university-based teacher educators? What is the role of school-based teacher educators? And, how do teachers engage with and use educational research?
As a result of the Summit, the Global Teacher Education Consortium (GTEC) was established and members will meet again at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) 2020 in San Francisco in April and at the European Conference for Education Research (ECER) 2020 in Glasgow in August. In addition to the longitudinal research investigating ‘The Global Teacher Class of 2020’, an edited book is planned to provide an overview of the policies and research in each of the countries.
New ESRC grant will see first-time multi-disciplinary research conducted on consequences of school exclusions across the UK, led by the Department of Education at the University of Oxford.
A team of researchers operating across Oxford, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast and the London School of Economics (LSE) will further research into the impact of UK school exclusion after the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) awarded a large grant. The four year project will be led by Professor Harry Daniels and Associate Professor Ian Thompson at the University of Oxford’s Department of Education and is due to commence on 2 October 2019.
The ESRC has awarded £2,550,850 to develop a multi-disciplinary understanding of the political economies and consequences of school exclusion across the UK. The research will lead to a greater understanding of the cost of exclusions at individual, institutional and system levels, as well as pupils’ rights, entitlements, protection and wellbeing, and the landscapes of exclusion across the UK’s four jurisdictions.
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 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.
Ian Thompson, Associate Professor of English Education at Oxford’s Department of Education and Co-Principal Investigator for the research commented: “Exclusions have long and short-term consequences in terms of academic achievement, well-being, mental health, and future prospects. Previous research and official statistics show that school exclusions are also far more likely to affect pupils with special needs, from low income families, and some ethnic backgrounds.”
Preliminary work conducted by the research team, which first established in 2014, has illustrated that pressures on schools to perform well in examination league tables can lead to the exclusion of pupils whose predicted attainment would weaken overall school performance. As a consequence, pupils who do not conform to the rules can be excluded to the social margins of schooling.
“Exclusion is a process, rather than a single incident, that can only be fully understood when examined from multiple professional and disciplinary perspectives,” said Harry Daniels, Professor of Education at Oxford’s Department of Education and Consultant Principal Investigator for the work. “Education policy has also largely ignored the work conducted by school and welfare professionals that attempts to address disruptive behaviour to prevent more serious incidents. This project therefore aims to highlight ways in which fairer and more productive outcomes can be achieved for pupils, their families, and professionals by comparing the ways in which policy and practice around exclusions differ in the four jurisdictions. “
The research is organised into three work strands: landscapes of exclusion; experiences of exclusion; and integration. The landscapes of exclusion strand examines the ways in which policies and legal frameworks shape interventions designed to prevent exclusions; the financial costs associated with exclusion; and patterns and characteristics of exclusion. The experiences of exclusion strand focuses on families’, pupils’ and professionals’ experiences of the risks and consequences of exclusion. The integration strand will integrate these findings to ensure that the learning is continuous as the research develops a coherent multi-disciplinary understanding of the political economies of exclusion.
These analyses will involve the cross cutting themes of: children’s rights, youth crime, values and the role of religion, geographical context, gender and ethnicity, social class, special needs and disability, and mental health.
On 18 July 2019, Professor Alis Oancea was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa Socialium Scientiarum by West University Timisoara, in recognition of her contribution to the field of educational research and to the development of research evaluation and philosophy of research.
The Honorary Doctorate international commission’s laudatory address noted “the substantial scholarship, the impeccable axiological ethos, the moral and ethical strength” of the Honorand’s work and commented that “Professor Alis Oancea is one of the best products that the European school of pedagogy has provided in the last few decades to the professional community… The Honorand’s personality, in its entirety, can inspire and transform a new style in European education”.
In her honorary address, Professor Oancea argued for a model of academic life characterised by inquisitive engagement with the world, courage and integrity in articulating and enacting principles, reflective and critical attitude towards epistemic claims and political commitments, and concern for considerate action.
Alis Oancea is Professor of Philosophy of Education and Research Policy and Director of Research at the department. She specialises in studies of research policy and governance and in philosophy of research – including work on research assessment, impact and knowledge exchange, research funding, research quality, evaluation, open knowledge practices, research ethics, capacity, publication practices, and the cultural value of research in the arts and the humanities. You can find out more about her work and research here.
The Teacher Education and Professional Learning (TEPL) research group presented a symposium at the BERA Conference 2019 in Manchester.
The symposium, titled ‘Reconceptualising teacher education’ consisted of a series of three papers –
1. Effective teacher education: A review of the research (Katharine Burn, Jessica Chan, Ann Childs, Diane Mayer)
2. A policy analysis of initial teacher education in Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA (Diane Mayer, Yoon Young Lee, Trevor Mutton)
3. Reconceptualising initial teacher education (Trevor Mutton, Ian Thompson)
The team thanked Kay Livingston from the University of Glasgow for being the discussant and her insightful feedback.
The symposium was well-attended and commented highly by international researchers on 12th September, in which Marilyn Cochrane-Smith was amongst the audience.
New contract will see both organisations collaborate on the implementation of this evaluation study with a focus on mathematics in over 450 schools.
Pearson, the world’s learning company, in collaboration with Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA), today announced it has been awarded the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2021 contract by the Department for Education to operate as the National Centre for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In total, around 90 countries and economies are expected to participate in PISA 2021, an international study which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by measuring the knowledge and skills of students aged 15 years in reading, mathematics and science. The focus area in this PISA cycle will be mathematics.
Pearson will operate as the National Centre for PISA 2021 meaning that it will be responsible for the implementation of the study in over 450 schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with Associate Professor Grace Grima, Director of Research at Pearson, as National Programme Manager. The OUCEA will be responsible for the data analysis, writing of the national reports and the dissemination of the PISA 2021 results, under the leadership of Professor Therese N. Hopfenbeck and Associate Professor Joshua McGrane.
Professor Jo-Anne Baird and Dr Jonas Bertling will form part of the Research Advisory Board responsible for quality assuring the research outputs. Dr Jenni Ingram (England), Professor Chris Taylor (Wales) and Professor Jannette Elwood (Northern Ireland) will provide additional advice as country experts.
In 2016, Pearson and OUCEA successfully delivered the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in England, an international comparative assessment that assesses the reading comprehension development of late-Primary students. They will build upon this strong partnership when taking on the opportunity to deliver PISA 2021. Pearson has substantial expertise in delivering these types of international contracts and will leverage its extensive and comprehensive capabilities as well as its strong links with schools to ensure its successful implementation.
Associate Professor Grace Grima, Director of Research at Pearson, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded PISA 2021and look forward to delivering it alongside TIMSS 2019 in England and PIRLS 2021, also in England. Our partnership with OUCEA will ensure that we can combine the internationally-renowned research expertise of Oxford University with the benefits from Pearson’s capability, operational know-how and successful experience and delivery of other international contracts, placing high-quality delivery at the heart of everything we do.”
Professor Therese N. Hopfenbeck, Director of the OUCEA, said: “Our centre is very excited to be responsible for the analysis, reporting and dissemination for PISA 2021 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Pearson, building upon our experience from PIRLS 2016, to deliver a high-quality report and other deliverables which provide valuable educational information to all stakeholders, including policymakers, headteachers/principals and teachers.”
To find out more about the department’s Centre for Educational Assessment see: oucea.education.ox.ac.uk/
David Johnson (Reader in Comparative and International Education) has been elected as Chen Yidan Visiting Global Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for 2019/2020.
Fellows are international leaders and scholars from a variety of geographic regions and education sectors. The mission of the programme is to foster global knowledge and awareness in students at the university and advance an understanding of the assumptions, purposes and consequences of a wide range of educational policies and practices, globally.
David Johnson teaches papers on ‘comparative policy options for education in Developing Countries’ and on ‘the history and politics of education in Africa’ at the department. He is the series editor of Policy Directions for Raising Learning Outcomes in Developing Countries (Bloomsbury) and was until recently the Programme Research Lead for the ESRC/DFD funded Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems in Developing Countries Research Programme that comprises of 30 research studies in 15 countries in Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.
Currently he is one of 5 principal investigators in a £3million research study on Nigeria. The research is housed at Princeton University and falls under the auspices of the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Research Programme (Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford). He works closely with the World Bank on the design and implementation of National Learning Assessments in Sudan (2015 and 2018) and Nigeria (2019) and designed in 2010 indicators for the assessment of teacher effort and motivation, currently used in a comparative study of service delivery (Service Delivery Indicators, World Bank) across sub-saharan Africa.