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Research Intelligence

Summer 2022

Pandemic, protests, recovery, opportunities: Repositioning of educational research, teaching & learning 

Research Intelligence issue 151

This second decade of the 21st century continues to bring extraordinary uncertainty and challenge. In education, researchers, teachers and students were forced to adapt to digital methods as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the midst of this, the huge waves of Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests across the world demanded the reframing of education and curriculum content, challenging educational institutions in their thinking and (in)action over the years in advancing inclusive practice for race equity in teaching and learning. The articles in the special section of RI 151 respond to the inter-relatedness of the Covid-19 crisis and the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, and by doing so, provide an important return to themes of inquiry shared in RI 142 on ‘Decolonising the Curriculum: Transnational Perspectives’ with new questions.

  • What opportunities in repositioning research to advance approaches in teaching and learning have emerged from this exceptional period of time?
  • How has educational research taken a lead in generating new knowledge for shaping our adaptations in the recovery of teaching and learning?

An online international conference hosted by the University of Brighton in July 2021 offered colleagues from across the world the opportunity to share with each other their approaches in response to the questions above. Three distinct themes of research, teaching and learning have emerged, and are shared through 11 articles.

Online participatory research, teaching and learning

  • Marlon Lee Moncrieffe and John Mwangi present a short evaluation of their research which adopted the use of virtual reality technology with civil service organisations and young people in Kenya and Rwanda.
  • Carmel Capewell and Sarah Frodsham share their work on UK higher education students’ learning through an adapted photovoice methodology.
  • Urszula Markowska-Manista discusses how young researchers in Poland engage in online research and use social media to encourage collaborative research approaches with their peers.
  • Lisa-Maria Muller presents how the Chartered College of Teaching generated research evidence on the most effective approaches to distance learning. 

Centring the voices of ethnic groups in advancing education

  • Charlotte Haines Lyon, Kalen Reid, Joan Walton, Linda Walz and Graham Bright expose a disconnect between university executive management and the staff and student body, through the evidence of Black university student experiences.
  • Nighet Riaz calls out a dominant monocultural discourse in Scottish language policy, arguing for a greater use of heritage languages in education.

Decolonising curriculum knowledge

  • Emily Hancock shares how teachers are invested in a commitment to tackle racial biases identified in history curricula through their critical approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Anna Olsson Rost gives an interim evaluation of her BERA Small Grants 2021/22 funded ‘race and education’ project to set up a multi-school forum for history teachers.
  • Melanie Rowntree and Thandiwe Wilson, in each of their articles, share how the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, is applying decolonial theory within teaching and learning activities involving broad community stakeholder partnerships.
  • Sharon Reilly shares insights into how support is being provided to teacher-trainees to understand their role in the process of decolonising the geography curriculum.

Elsewhere in this issue:

  • Ingrid Gogolin discusses the German experience of public education
  • Ruth Boyask tells us about the education research landscape in New Zealand
  • We celebrate the recent winners of our Public Impact Award   John Furlong, Katharine Burn, Hazel Hagger and Trevor Mutton from University of Oxford’s Teacher Education and Professional Learning Group and Tracee Green from the University of Kent’s Centre for Child Protection (CCP).


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