Issues

Journal & Issues

Volume 73 (2021): Issue 1 (December 2021)

Volume 72 (2019): Issue 1 (January 2019)

Volume 71 (2019): Issue 1 (January 2019)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2657-3628
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 73 (2021): Issue 1 (December 2021)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
2657-3628
First Published
27 Feb 2019
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English

Search

11 Articles
Open Access

Editorial

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 1 - 3

Abstract

Open Access

“Wipe them out”! The Social Construction of Children’s Centres

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 4 - 23

Abstract

Abstract

The future for Children’s Centres in England looks bleak.. A change in government in the UK in 2010 saw a change in political perspective that was manifested in one way as austerity. The effects of austerity impacted on a range of public services including Children’s Centres. Children’s Centres also came under government scrutiny resulting in a change of focus in their activities from a core offer of providing services to having a core purpose. The study used a flexible qualitative design to produce a critical discourse analysis about the social construction of Children’s Centres. A range of publicly available documents were gathered to provide naturalistic data relating to Children’s Centres. In addition, six Children’s Centre workers were purposefully selected to take part in a semi structured focus group interview. The subsequent analysis of the document and interview data revealed a range of rhetorical devices used by speakers to construct their perceptions of Children’s Centres. These constructions were organised under four dominant discourses; a discourse of recognition, a discourse of pragmatism, a discourse of pessimism and a discourse of change. One common factor in these four discourses was the role of the UK government. Children’s Centres did not appear to get recognition for some the work they did with families but there was a pragmatism about what Children’s Centres could provide during a period of austerity. There was pessimism about what was happening to Children’s Centres especially in relation to vulnerable families but what seemed inevitable was Children’s Centres were changing.

Keywords

  • Children’s Centres
  • Austerity
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • United Kingdom Government
  • Political Dogma
  • Children and Families
Open Access

An Assessment of Transformational Leadership Theory against a University EAP Pre-sessional Course

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 24 - 38

Abstract

Abstract

The evolution of leadership theory since the Industrial Revolution has been characterised by a shifting of focus from leaders’ qualities to the construction of effective leadership systems and methods. Transformational leadership, as one such theory, has gained traction in educational settings thanks both to its democratic principles and the applicability offered by its value profile modelling. A set of capacities are provided by the theory, with the intention of providing a toolkit for effective leadership which can be adopted by a range of leaders, thus avoiding the need for inherent leadership qualities. The theory continues to face charges of promoting despotism, however, and most importantly of lacking relevance to real-world settings. Through the reflective analysis of a university-based English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course – a fixed-term, high-stress setting – a grounded assessment of the real-world applicability of transformational leadership theory can be conducted. It is proposed that such courses within the higher education sector pose specific challenges to leadership, due to time constraints, staff retention and pressures on student achievement. The scope for meaningfully engaging staff in structural processes is thus restricted and there is a clear need for an accessible theory which supports a democratic, pluralistic approach to leadership, such as transformational leadership. However, reflective analysis of the leadership methods employed on the course, and an assessment of their correlation to the principles of transformational leadership, reveals a deficit in real-world applicability of the theory and a failure to convincingly avoid the pitfalls of the cult of the leader.

Keywords

  • Transformational
  • leadership
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • higher education
  • university
Open Access

Analysing Mindset Theory and Strategies Supporting the Implementation of Real PE to Develop a Growth Mindset Culture

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 39 - 62

Abstract

Abstract

Growth mindset continues to be a popular topic of conversation in the field of education and Physical Education (PE). However, despite the existence of various schemes for delivering curriculum PE, there are limited studies analysing how they seek to directly develop children’s mindsets. This study analyses the process taken for one of these frameworks, Real PE, to be implemented within a school to develop their growth mindset culture, drawing upon the theories of key educational thinkers. The study is based upon the authors’ experiences as PE Subject Leader and member of the school Senior Leadership Team (SLT) within a single-form entry primary school in Leicestershire, United Kingdom; testimonials from other schools who utilise Real PE and existing literature on the effectiveness of growth mindset.

Implementing a growth mindset culture is not straightforward; although important, it is not solely about intelligence and praising effort, nor a battle of fixed versus growth mindsets as within PE, mixed mindsets exist, and, the fixed mindset should be legitimised. Therefore, a long-term, rigorous approach to change considering policies, individual beliefs, training needs, strategies and feedback methods needs to be developed. This study adds to the growing conversation about growth mindset and seeks to support other school settings considering embedding mindset culture within their school setting and PE provision.

Keywords

  • physical education
  • growth mindset
  • development
Open Access

“Is my University White?” Exploring the role and influence of a University’s Culture on the experiences of Black Undergraduate Students in the UK

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 63 - 82

Abstract

Abstract

This paper explores the long-standing attainment gap between Black male students relative to other student populations, within Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom. This paper attempts to develop a contextual understanding of the parallel relationship between the social and academic culture at universities in the UK, as well as identifies the barriers which affect Black male students’ academic engagement. The purpose of this study is to answer the questions, “What is the Black male student experience at one university in the UK?” and “Which attitudes and practices at this university promote diversity and inclusivity and which hinder this?” The research was conducted via interview to gain a better understanding and acknowledgement of the multiple truths grounding this subject matter (Jones, 2015). The main participants were four Black male undergraduate home students, and four White academic staff members, at a University in the United Kingdom. This paper concludes by recognising that the meanings and attitudes attached to the attainment gap vary significantly. The key recommendations identified were the importance of raising Black representation within the staff, as well as developing a racially conscious atmosphere, in order to develop a sense of inclusion and belonging within the Black male student population.

Keywords

  • Black students
  • attainment gap
  • critical race theory
  • student experience
Open Access

Moving Towards Greater Inclusion in Singapore’s Preschools: The Enablers, Possibilities and Barriers

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 83 - 98

Abstract

Abstract

Inclusive education is the next item on the agenda of policy makers in Singapore, in its striving to provide quality education for all children. The move to introducing more inclusive practices in preschools has not been easy. There are many structural obstacles in Singapore’s current preschool context. This review of existing literature on this topic reveals how policymakers, schools, teachers, and parents need to work together to create a successful inclusive education system. There is much that Singapore must work on to develop a successful inclusive preschool education model. The paper aims to provide an understanding of how inclusion in preschools can be more effectively practiced in Singapore by considering the current dual education system in Singapore and the recent measures introduced to improve inclusive preschool education. It examines how effective these measures and recommendations in existing literature will be when placed in Singapore’s current education system which prioritizes academic excellence. In doing so, this paper hopes to highlight the critical issues that policymakers and key stakeholders should consider when planning for inclusive practices in Singapore’s preschools.

Keywords

  • inclusion
  • special education
  • preschool
  • Singapore
  • early years
  • inclusive practices
Open Access

Anti-discrimination Activities and the Mode of Teaching in the Opinions of Secondary School Students

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 99 - 111

Abstract

Abstract

The article examines the issue of anti-discrimination in the context of changes in the teaching mode from classroom to distance schooling. The results of research carried out with the participation of secondary school students will be presented and analysed. The aim of this study is to highlight areas in education that need improvement in order to increase the level of students’ comfort in any teaching conditions.

Keywords

  • anti-discrimination
  • student
  • shift
Open Access

Inclusion of Doctoral Students with Disabilities within Higher Education

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 112 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

The history of educating doctoral students with disabilities at Polish universities, at least in institutional terms, is not very long. From the very beginning, universities educated individuals with disabilities and it was possible as long as these people could cope on their own or with the help of their family and friendly academic staff. This study presents the situation of doctoral students with disabilities in the higher education system, indicates the results of research, as well as “good practices” and recommendations for the academic education system for the in-depth inclusion of people with disabilities in higher education.

Keywords

  • disability
  • higher education
  • PhD student
  • inclusive education
Open Access

Remote Learning Under the Self-evaluation Microscope – Students’ Opinions about Their Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 124 - 137

Abstract

Abstract

The impetus for the research presented in this article was the fact that universities have changed their mode of operation into distance learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This shift was universal and forced, and triggered significant changes in the way the classes were carried out. Therefore, questions arose about how the main actors of this scene, namely teachers and students, cope with the new educational reality. The course conducted by the author of this article, covering the fundamentals of evaluation, under which students each year accomplish evaluation research projects addressing important issues related to education at the Faculty, has provided an excellent opportunity to reflect in this regard. To this end, students prepared and accomplished self-evaluation projects, the subject of which was their functioning in the remote education mode. The analysis of the collected data made it possible to distinguish the elements of remote education, which are particularly important from the perspective of young people studying in new, atypical conditions.

Keywords

  • higher education
  • distance education
  • self-evaluation
Open Access

Social Networking Platforms and Classroom Culture

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 138 - 150

Abstract

Abstract

This article investigates how social networks affect classroom culture in secondary schools. It combines personal reflections from us as professionals, who have worked in schools and in universities in a range of different countries and contexts, with the use of research written over the last decade into this area. Stylistically this article is a conceptual article – it has a strong reflective element and its purpose within the wider academic and professional community is to generate discussion among professionals rather than to find definitive conclusions. Classroom culture is commonly divided into four dimensions: group attitudes and behaviours toward learning, group attitudes and behaviours towards interaction with peers, teacher attitudes and behaviours towards students and instruction, and parental behaviours towards children and the teacher. This framework underpins this article. Even though social networks play an important part in young students’ lives globally, most studies into the usage of social networks for education have been conducted at the level of higher education and only a few studies focus on school level. This paper therefore focuses on school level usage and possibilities. The paper concludes that whatever our views on social media, the reality is that Facebook and its many counterparts are part of current culture and are already being used by many teachers globally as learning tools. Given that they can have both negative and positive impacts on classroom culture and are becoming an inevitable part of many young students’ lives, schools have limited options. The first one is to ban social networks to make sure that there are no consequences, and this is the case in a wide range of systems and jurisdictions. However, other approaches, which can be a frequently found globally, include a managed approach to Facebook – with course, class or even teacher pages – often entirely separate to the individual teacher’s personal page.

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • social media
  • classroom culture
  • student teacher relationships
  • classroom dynamic
Open Access

Grundtvigian Folk High Schools and Their “grassroots work” of Civil Society Participation

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 151 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

We will discuss about the role of Grundtvigian folk high schools and their contemporary meanings in two contexts. The first one will be the revision of its sources in the Scandinavian countries (especially in Denmark) and in Poland. The second one will be an attempt to find a connection between building a civil society based on the strong foundation of Grundtvigian schools in the Scandinavian countries and its constant “corruption” is Poland. We would like to get that institution (undervalued in Poland though still functioning in Scandinavia and in many other countries) out of the past and to show its timeless “grassroots work” role in building civic attitudes.

Keywords

  • folk high schools
  • civil society
  • education
11 Articles
Open Access

Editorial

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 1 - 3

Abstract

Open Access

“Wipe them out”! The Social Construction of Children’s Centres

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 4 - 23

Abstract

Abstract

The future for Children’s Centres in England looks bleak.. A change in government in the UK in 2010 saw a change in political perspective that was manifested in one way as austerity. The effects of austerity impacted on a range of public services including Children’s Centres. Children’s Centres also came under government scrutiny resulting in a change of focus in their activities from a core offer of providing services to having a core purpose. The study used a flexible qualitative design to produce a critical discourse analysis about the social construction of Children’s Centres. A range of publicly available documents were gathered to provide naturalistic data relating to Children’s Centres. In addition, six Children’s Centre workers were purposefully selected to take part in a semi structured focus group interview. The subsequent analysis of the document and interview data revealed a range of rhetorical devices used by speakers to construct their perceptions of Children’s Centres. These constructions were organised under four dominant discourses; a discourse of recognition, a discourse of pragmatism, a discourse of pessimism and a discourse of change. One common factor in these four discourses was the role of the UK government. Children’s Centres did not appear to get recognition for some the work they did with families but there was a pragmatism about what Children’s Centres could provide during a period of austerity. There was pessimism about what was happening to Children’s Centres especially in relation to vulnerable families but what seemed inevitable was Children’s Centres were changing.

Keywords

  • Children’s Centres
  • Austerity
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • United Kingdom Government
  • Political Dogma
  • Children and Families
Open Access

An Assessment of Transformational Leadership Theory against a University EAP Pre-sessional Course

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 24 - 38

Abstract

Abstract

The evolution of leadership theory since the Industrial Revolution has been characterised by a shifting of focus from leaders’ qualities to the construction of effective leadership systems and methods. Transformational leadership, as one such theory, has gained traction in educational settings thanks both to its democratic principles and the applicability offered by its value profile modelling. A set of capacities are provided by the theory, with the intention of providing a toolkit for effective leadership which can be adopted by a range of leaders, thus avoiding the need for inherent leadership qualities. The theory continues to face charges of promoting despotism, however, and most importantly of lacking relevance to real-world settings. Through the reflective analysis of a university-based English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course – a fixed-term, high-stress setting – a grounded assessment of the real-world applicability of transformational leadership theory can be conducted. It is proposed that such courses within the higher education sector pose specific challenges to leadership, due to time constraints, staff retention and pressures on student achievement. The scope for meaningfully engaging staff in structural processes is thus restricted and there is a clear need for an accessible theory which supports a democratic, pluralistic approach to leadership, such as transformational leadership. However, reflective analysis of the leadership methods employed on the course, and an assessment of their correlation to the principles of transformational leadership, reveals a deficit in real-world applicability of the theory and a failure to convincingly avoid the pitfalls of the cult of the leader.

Keywords

  • Transformational
  • leadership
  • English for Academic Purposes
  • higher education
  • university
Open Access

Analysing Mindset Theory and Strategies Supporting the Implementation of Real PE to Develop a Growth Mindset Culture

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 39 - 62

Abstract

Abstract

Growth mindset continues to be a popular topic of conversation in the field of education and Physical Education (PE). However, despite the existence of various schemes for delivering curriculum PE, there are limited studies analysing how they seek to directly develop children’s mindsets. This study analyses the process taken for one of these frameworks, Real PE, to be implemented within a school to develop their growth mindset culture, drawing upon the theories of key educational thinkers. The study is based upon the authors’ experiences as PE Subject Leader and member of the school Senior Leadership Team (SLT) within a single-form entry primary school in Leicestershire, United Kingdom; testimonials from other schools who utilise Real PE and existing literature on the effectiveness of growth mindset.

Implementing a growth mindset culture is not straightforward; although important, it is not solely about intelligence and praising effort, nor a battle of fixed versus growth mindsets as within PE, mixed mindsets exist, and, the fixed mindset should be legitimised. Therefore, a long-term, rigorous approach to change considering policies, individual beliefs, training needs, strategies and feedback methods needs to be developed. This study adds to the growing conversation about growth mindset and seeks to support other school settings considering embedding mindset culture within their school setting and PE provision.

Keywords

  • physical education
  • growth mindset
  • development
Open Access

“Is my University White?” Exploring the role and influence of a University’s Culture on the experiences of Black Undergraduate Students in the UK

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 63 - 82

Abstract

Abstract

This paper explores the long-standing attainment gap between Black male students relative to other student populations, within Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom. This paper attempts to develop a contextual understanding of the parallel relationship between the social and academic culture at universities in the UK, as well as identifies the barriers which affect Black male students’ academic engagement. The purpose of this study is to answer the questions, “What is the Black male student experience at one university in the UK?” and “Which attitudes and practices at this university promote diversity and inclusivity and which hinder this?” The research was conducted via interview to gain a better understanding and acknowledgement of the multiple truths grounding this subject matter (Jones, 2015). The main participants were four Black male undergraduate home students, and four White academic staff members, at a University in the United Kingdom. This paper concludes by recognising that the meanings and attitudes attached to the attainment gap vary significantly. The key recommendations identified were the importance of raising Black representation within the staff, as well as developing a racially conscious atmosphere, in order to develop a sense of inclusion and belonging within the Black male student population.

Keywords

  • Black students
  • attainment gap
  • critical race theory
  • student experience
Open Access

Moving Towards Greater Inclusion in Singapore’s Preschools: The Enablers, Possibilities and Barriers

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 83 - 98

Abstract

Abstract

Inclusive education is the next item on the agenda of policy makers in Singapore, in its striving to provide quality education for all children. The move to introducing more inclusive practices in preschools has not been easy. There are many structural obstacles in Singapore’s current preschool context. This review of existing literature on this topic reveals how policymakers, schools, teachers, and parents need to work together to create a successful inclusive education system. There is much that Singapore must work on to develop a successful inclusive preschool education model. The paper aims to provide an understanding of how inclusion in preschools can be more effectively practiced in Singapore by considering the current dual education system in Singapore and the recent measures introduced to improve inclusive preschool education. It examines how effective these measures and recommendations in existing literature will be when placed in Singapore’s current education system which prioritizes academic excellence. In doing so, this paper hopes to highlight the critical issues that policymakers and key stakeholders should consider when planning for inclusive practices in Singapore’s preschools.

Keywords

  • inclusion
  • special education
  • preschool
  • Singapore
  • early years
  • inclusive practices
Open Access

Anti-discrimination Activities and the Mode of Teaching in the Opinions of Secondary School Students

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 99 - 111

Abstract

Abstract

The article examines the issue of anti-discrimination in the context of changes in the teaching mode from classroom to distance schooling. The results of research carried out with the participation of secondary school students will be presented and analysed. The aim of this study is to highlight areas in education that need improvement in order to increase the level of students’ comfort in any teaching conditions.

Keywords

  • anti-discrimination
  • student
  • shift
Open Access

Inclusion of Doctoral Students with Disabilities within Higher Education

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 112 - 123

Abstract

Abstract

The history of educating doctoral students with disabilities at Polish universities, at least in institutional terms, is not very long. From the very beginning, universities educated individuals with disabilities and it was possible as long as these people could cope on their own or with the help of their family and friendly academic staff. This study presents the situation of doctoral students with disabilities in the higher education system, indicates the results of research, as well as “good practices” and recommendations for the academic education system for the in-depth inclusion of people with disabilities in higher education.

Keywords

  • disability
  • higher education
  • PhD student
  • inclusive education
Open Access

Remote Learning Under the Self-evaluation Microscope – Students’ Opinions about Their Learning During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 124 - 137

Abstract

Abstract

The impetus for the research presented in this article was the fact that universities have changed their mode of operation into distance learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This shift was universal and forced, and triggered significant changes in the way the classes were carried out. Therefore, questions arose about how the main actors of this scene, namely teachers and students, cope with the new educational reality. The course conducted by the author of this article, covering the fundamentals of evaluation, under which students each year accomplish evaluation research projects addressing important issues related to education at the Faculty, has provided an excellent opportunity to reflect in this regard. To this end, students prepared and accomplished self-evaluation projects, the subject of which was their functioning in the remote education mode. The analysis of the collected data made it possible to distinguish the elements of remote education, which are particularly important from the perspective of young people studying in new, atypical conditions.

Keywords

  • higher education
  • distance education
  • self-evaluation
Open Access

Social Networking Platforms and Classroom Culture

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 138 - 150

Abstract

Abstract

This article investigates how social networks affect classroom culture in secondary schools. It combines personal reflections from us as professionals, who have worked in schools and in universities in a range of different countries and contexts, with the use of research written over the last decade into this area. Stylistically this article is a conceptual article – it has a strong reflective element and its purpose within the wider academic and professional community is to generate discussion among professionals rather than to find definitive conclusions. Classroom culture is commonly divided into four dimensions: group attitudes and behaviours toward learning, group attitudes and behaviours towards interaction with peers, teacher attitudes and behaviours towards students and instruction, and parental behaviours towards children and the teacher. This framework underpins this article. Even though social networks play an important part in young students’ lives globally, most studies into the usage of social networks for education have been conducted at the level of higher education and only a few studies focus on school level. This paper therefore focuses on school level usage and possibilities. The paper concludes that whatever our views on social media, the reality is that Facebook and its many counterparts are part of current culture and are already being used by many teachers globally as learning tools. Given that they can have both negative and positive impacts on classroom culture and are becoming an inevitable part of many young students’ lives, schools have limited options. The first one is to ban social networks to make sure that there are no consequences, and this is the case in a wide range of systems and jurisdictions. However, other approaches, which can be a frequently found globally, include a managed approach to Facebook – with course, class or even teacher pages – often entirely separate to the individual teacher’s personal page.

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • social media
  • classroom culture
  • student teacher relationships
  • classroom dynamic
Open Access

Grundtvigian Folk High Schools and Their “grassroots work” of Civil Society Participation

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Page range: 151 - 163

Abstract

Abstract

We will discuss about the role of Grundtvigian folk high schools and their contemporary meanings in two contexts. The first one will be the revision of its sources in the Scandinavian countries (especially in Denmark) and in Poland. The second one will be an attempt to find a connection between building a civil society based on the strong foundation of Grundtvigian schools in the Scandinavian countries and its constant “corruption” is Poland. We would like to get that institution (undervalued in Poland though still functioning in Scandinavia and in many other countries) out of the past and to show its timeless “grassroots work” role in building civic attitudes.

Keywords

  • folk high schools
  • civil society
  • education

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