Academy schools, collaboration and social justice

Jodie Pennacchiapost by JODIE PENNACCHIA
Doctoral Researcher, University of Nottingham

Academies are “shape-shifters”[i] and the ways that this policy has shifted over time has important implications for social justice in education. What began as a targeted policy to draw investment into struggling schools in deprived communities shifted to a policy of universal applicability under the Coalition government. They created a streamlined conversion process and pushed ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ schools to the front of the queue for academy status. Continue reading Academy schools, collaboration and social justice

Literature, Education and Socio-Cultural Representation: Refocusing the Debate

Chelsea Swiftpost by CHELSEA SWIFT
Doctoral Researcher, University of York

Dominant ideas about culture and literateness, advocated by the likes of Matthew Arnold and F.R. Leavis, have been reflected in much educational and political discussion since the late 19th Century. During this period, there has been a shift in emphasis from the act of reading itself to a focus on what is being read, resulting in increasingly narrower notions of what it is to be literate, cultured and educated (Williams, 1976; Milner, 2005). These beliefs about what reading is and what it is to be a reader are the only criteria many young people have to judge their own literary and cultural lives. Continue reading Literature, Education and Socio-Cultural Representation: Refocusing the Debate

The challenge of shaping socially responsible teachers

Carmen Mohamedpost by CARMEN MOHAMED
Assistant Professor, Primary and Early Years’ Education, The University of Nottingham

If, as a community of social justice advocates, we recognise that all is not well in education can those of us engaged in training teachers create new ways of working together to act upon solutions? Many of us are engaged in research activity which is deconstructing how inequalities are perpetuated through policy and practice in schools in the UK, however, research can be a lonely and isolating business and it is only through reading published books and articles that we are able to build on each other’s ideas. Continue reading The challenge of shaping socially responsible teachers