ESCalate Bulletin No. 9 (1 July 2002)


  1. ESCalate's success in LTSN bidding round
  2. Operational Plan
  3. Book reviews
  4. Report of Research Methods Conference
  5. Future Seminars and Conferences
  6. Small Grants Scheme Awards April 2002
  7. BERA 2002
  8. FDTL 5

ESCalate's success in LTSN bidding round

During this year the LTSN made available from HEFCE's teaching quality enhancement funding a substantial amount of project funds for which Subject Centres could bid. ESCalate developed five proposals, one singly and four in collaboration with other Centres. We were awarded funds for four of them. The single proposal was for £48,000 (awarded £40,000) to investigate the complexity of Education provision in HE across the UK. The intention is

  1. To enable ESCalate to be better prepared to answer the needs of its community in the four countries through the formulation of a clear shared vision of the diversity of needs of Faculties and Schools of Education and related disciplines in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England through
    • The creation of an enhanced database of experts and national contacts
    • The building of an informed basis for holding future ESCalate activities in all four countries
    • The development of an extended brokerage role based on up to date awareness of policies, key actors and agents in Educational policy and practice in all four countries of the UK
  2. To track the most significant policy differences in Education that impact on learning, teaching and assessment and curriculum practices in Education in HE in the four countries. This would include identifying the impact of national policy differences on practices, including those related to school placements, and other forms of work-based learning, as well as on other modes of learning.
  3. To explore the consequences of distinctive policies about professional standards, quality assurance, and quality enhancement on Education programmes and qualifications in Education in HE.
  4. To examine the views and experiences of teaching staff in Education departments in HE about how they deal with cross UK differences in their curricula.
  5. To engage with relevant comparisons, e.g. the significance of the Republic of Ireland and the many cross – border initiatives in Education currently in place in Northern Ireland; or the extent to which the Bologna Agreement (and subsequent developments) is shaping what happens to Educational programmes across the four countries.
  6. To identify the key issues of concern in each country and to appoint local experts to develop dissemination materials for use in the other three managed by a project co-ordinator in Bristol; and to make these materials available through a series of national conferences facilitated by the local teams and ESCalate.

The project will end with a national conference to celebrate the work achieved.

We would like to invite expressions of interest from colleagues who might like to be involved with the developing complexity project. We allocated funds to buy out colleagues from the four regions of the UK to ensure that we have local expertise available for the tasks listed above. If anyone is interested in principle, please contact Rosemary will then be able to set up a mutually convenient time for a telephone conversation if this is needed. This should be an interesting project to be involved with, and the budget includes funds for inter-regional meetings and some local information gathering events.

Of the three collaborative bids awarded funding, one was led by ESCalate. The project, awarded £31,000 focuses on widening participation and aims to provide coherently organised, annotated and easily accessible resources linked to a web interface that effectively will be a 'one-stop-shop' for use in developing good practice in widening participation. The resources will include not only relevant policy documents on widening participation, but also academic articles related to relevant teaching and learning issues, information about books and other resources, as well as practice oriented case study materials, current news and press releases. The web interface will be linked to other relevant widening participation web sites.

Responsibility for project development will be undertaken by ESCalate, specifically the Continuing Education team led by Professor Stella Parker, with three other Subject Centres (Law, Physical Sciences and History) and the British Education Portal. The three Subject Centres will work with the lead Centre to fashion resources, an information database and the web interface into that is meaningful and accessible to a range of Subject Centres.

Two other bids in which Escalate will be a partner were also successful. They are one on obtaining and using student feedback, led by the Centre for the Built Environment, and one on examining students' experiences of using VLEs, led by Economics.

The Student feedback project aims, through a series of self studies, to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which student feedback can be obtained and used for the specific purpose of helping teachers improve their knowledge of how students learn and what they have learnt. Whilst the project will be conducted within a small collection of LTSN subject centres, it is anticipated that the project will be disseminated beyond the initial group of participants. Thus it is hoped to encourage a greater usage of appropriate student feedback techniques throughout UK higher education as part of a wider drive towards quality enhancement. It is also hoped that the results of the project can influence current national debate on widening participation in higher education, through a better understanding of disparate groups of students and also debates on the assurance of quality within the sector. Partners are ESCalate, Art Design and Communications and Bioscience.

The VLE project aims to undertake an independent evaluation of the usage of a virtual learning environment (VLE) by UK higher education students in order to draw out the effectiveness of VLEs in supporting:

  • different subjects
  • current national agendas such as widening participation, social inclusiveness, employability, learner-focused approaches to education e.g. personal development plans
  • student learning

The study will contrast first-time use with more experienced use and subject differences.

This would be undertaken at a small but representative group of UK universities covering a broad range of subjects which typically have very different online learning requirements. The collaborating LTSN subject centres who would be involved as research partners are: Economics, Psychology, Education, Information and Computer Sciences, Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism. An up-to-date study would provide a rich picture of what the student experience actually consists of and provide the basis of valuable evidence-based guidance for effective use of VLEs. By taking a subject-centred approach, it is hoped evidence will emerge of what works within specific subjects areas as well as leading to generic guidelines based on findings from the whole project.

We shall keep you up to date with the progress of these bids as the year progresses.

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Operational Plan

During June each year we have to prepare an operational plan for the forthcoming academic year. This plan sets out what we hope to do during the coming year, including an estimate of how much it will cost and how many staff will be involved. Last year we strategically decided to make meeting people an important priority, (but not the only one) and we organized a number of events, all very well attended, to help us to do this. We also visited a large number of institutions and departments.

This year our focus will be on resources development as a main priority, and we have organized teams of colleagues to lead on the development of materials and links for the Learning Exchange on the website.

The teams are as follows (with contacts)

Initial teacher Education for schools (PGCE and BA/Bed) contact

MA CE contact

BA non teacher education, CPD short courses, and Cert. Ed/PGCE FE Contact

PGCE/Cert. Ed HE, Masters degrees in Education, Foundation degrees, and doctoral degrees contact for the moment. Leaders of these will be announced after the summer break.

If you would like to see the operational plan please follow this link

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Book reviews

There are some good books available for you to review over the summer. Why not send in for some leisured summer reading?

  • Barry P., Second Edition 2002, Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literacy And Cultural Theory, Manchester University Press, Manchester
  • Bartlett S., Burton D. & Peim N., 2001, Introduction To Education Studies, Sage Publications, London
  • Bourdillon H. & Storey A., 2002, Aspects of Teaching And Learning In Secondary Schools: Perspectives On Practice, Routledge Falmer, London
  • Bush T. & Bell L., 2002, The Principles and Practice of Educational Management, Sage Publications, London
  • Coffey A., 2001, Education and Social Change, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Delanty G., 2001, Challenging Knowledge: The University in the Knowledge Society, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Field J., 2002, Promoting European dimensions in lifelong learning, NIACE, Leicester
  • Gundara J.S., 2000, Interculturalism, Education And Inclusion, Sage Publications, London
  • Gunter H., 2001, Leaders and Leadership in Education, Sage Publications, London
  • Hammersley M.,2002, Educational Research : Policy and Practice, Sage Publications, London
  • Hannan A. & Silver H., 2000, Innovating in Higher Education: Teaching, Learning and Institutional Cultures, SRHE & Open University Press, Buckingham
  • James K., 2001, Prescribing Learning: A guide to good practice in learning and health, NIACE, Leicester
  • Johnsey R., Peacock G., Sharp J. & Wright D., Second Edition 2002, Achieving QTS: Primary Science Knowledge and Understanding, Learning Matters Ltd, Exeter
  • Keating I., 2002, Achieving QTS: Teaching Foundation Stage, Learning Matters Ltd., Exeter
  • Lambert D. & Lines D., 2000, Understanding Assessment: Purposes, Perceptions, Practice, Routledge Falmer, London
  • Lumby J., 2001, Managing Further Education : Learning Enterprise, Sage Publications, London
  • May T., Third Edition 2001, Social Research: Issues, methods and process, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • McVay Lynch M., 2002, The Online Educator: A Guide to the Virtual Classroom, Routledge Falmer, London
  • Medwell J., Wray D., Minns H., Griffiths V. & Coates E, Second Edition 2002, Achieving QTS: Primary English Teaching Theory and Practice, Learning Matters Ltd., Exeter
  • Mehrotra C.M., Hollister C.D. & McGahey L., 2001, Distance Learning : Principles for Effective design, Delivery, and Evaluation, Sage Publications, London
  • Middlewood D. & Burton N., 2001, Managing the Curriculum, Sage Publications, London
  • Moon B., Shelton Mayes A. & Hutchinson S, 2002, Teaching, Learning And The Curriculum In Secondary Schools, Roultledge Falmer, London
  • Mooney C., Briggs M., Fletcher M. & McCullouch J., Second Edition 2002, Achieving QTS: Primary Mathematics Teaching Theory and Practice, Learning Matters Ltd, Exeter
  • Paechter C., Edwards R., Harrison R. & Twining P., 2001, Learning, Space And Identity, Sage Publications, London
  • Potter J., 2002, PGCE Professional Workbook: Primary ICT, Learning Matters Ltd., Exeter
  • Scott D., 2000, Reading Educational Research And Policy, Routledge Falmer, London
  • Smidt S., 2002 Second Edition, A Guide to Early Years Practice, Routlegde Falmer, London
  • Tomlinson S., 2001, Education in a post-welfare society, Open University Press, Buckingham
  • Whitty G.,2002, Making Sense of Education Policy, Sage Publications, London
  • Wyse D., 2002, Becoming a Primary School Teacher, Routledge Falmer, London
  • Ellis V., 2002, Achieving QTS: Learning and Teaching in Secondary Schools, Learning Matters Ltd, Exeter
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Report of Research Methods Conference

Rosemary orgainized a very well attended conference on teaching research methods in June. A report of it will shortly be available on the website. The feedback (also to be available) suggests that a conference on doctoral supervision would be a popular option, especially if it also looked at the similarities and differences between PhD and EdD work. This will take place in the coming year.

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Future Seminars and Conferences

You will see from the operational plan that we have a busy schedule of free events lined up for the coming year, mostly linked to the programme resources development work for the Learning Exchange. In the nearer future there are two events forthcoming. On 17th July there will be an event for those working on the Cert. Ed/PGCE FE at Nottingham, and on the 9th September a similar event will be held at Oxford Brookes (

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Small Grants Scheme Awards April 2002

We had a very large number of applications for the April tranche of small grants funding. The successful applicants were:

  1. The use of web-based materials to support teaching by PGCE secondary science students
  2. John Twidle, University of Loughborough (formerly of The University of Nottingham)



    Ann Childs, University of Oxford

    Molly Dussart, Canterbury Christ Church University College

    Janet Goodwin, Nottingham Trent University

    George Raper, Warwick University

    Peter Sorensen, University of Nottingham

    Amount awarded: £5000

  3. Learning through dialogue: using examples of teacher-pupil discourse to deepen understanding of classroom learning processes
  4. David Skidmore & Louise Poulson, University of Bath



    Frank Hardman, University of Newcastle

    Neil Mercer, Open University

    Simon Arnfield, University of Reading

    Montserrat Perez Parent, University of Reading

    Amount awarded: £5000

  5. Needs Analysis and Assessment in the Flexible PGCE: Evaluation and Development of Processes in Place in North West HEIs
  6. Kate Johnston, Liverpool John Moores University



    Brenda Keogh and Stuart Naylor, Manchester Metropolitan University

    Pat Shenton, Liverpool John Moores University

    Paul Rafferty, Liverpool Hope University College

    Kevin Mattinson, Edge Hill University College

    Allan Owens, Chester College

    Anne Skelding, St Martins College

    Kath Norris, Manchester Victoria University

    Mick Abrahams, Urban Learning Foundation

    Amount awarded: £4800

  7. An ESCalate/Institute of Education Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education April 2003
  8. Dr Kelly Coate And Dr Andrew Brown, Institute of Education, University of London


    Amount awarded: (to be confirmed)

  9. New Trade Union Education Curriculum Agendas
  10. Daniel Vulliamy, University of Hull



    John Stirling, Northumbria University

    Dr Pat Hayes, University of North London

    Dr Keith Forrester, University of Leeds

    Professor Tony Jowitt, Northern College

    Ron Oldfield, East Riding College

    Amount awarded: £4910

  11. Designing for Interaction in an Online CPD Programme
  12. Dr Andrew Sackville, Edge Hill College of Higher Education



    Linda Rush, Chester College of Higher Education

    David Brigden, University of Liverpool

    Amount awarded: £5000

  13. Effective use of learning technologies (ICT) with campus-based students
  14. Anita Pincas, Institute of Education, University of London



    Professor Gunter Saunders, University of Westminster

    Dr Gwyneth Hughes, University of East London

    Amount awarded: £1500

  15. Developing Assessment Use for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Dr Val Klenowski, Institute of Education, University of London



Professor Jannette Elwood, Queen's University, Belfast

Dr Sally Thomas, University of Bristol

Amount awarded: £2000

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BERA 2002

ESCalate will be holding a symposium at BERA, led by Colin Harrison. The speakers will be a group of small grants holders from earlier rounds of bids. If you are at BERA, do feel welcome to come along. Julie Anderson, a research assistant with ESCalate will also be giving a short presentation on findings from recent quality reviews and other inspections of quality of teacher education and education studies courses.

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In 2003 Education departments will be eligible to bid for funds from the fifth round of the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning. ESCalate will be available to provide information and back-up for departments so that we can take up as many of these awards as possible. More information on this will be available in the September issues of the Bulletin

Happy Holidays

Finally, this is the last Bulletin of the Year. The next Issue will come out at the end of September to welcome everyone back to a new academic year. I know that the timetable in some regions brings colleagues back in September, but the Editor of the Bulletin goes on her holiday in the first part of that month, so late September it will be.

I hope you all have a good summer, and that next year we can continue to keep in touch via this bulletin. Don't forget that there are still good book tokens to be earned (£50 and £100) for submission to the Learning Exchange: maybe you will have time to put

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