ESCalate Bulletin No. 26 (1 May 2006)


  1. Introduction
  2. Forthcoming Events
  3. New Resources on the ESCalate website.
  4. Research funding with an e-learning theme and postgraduate student funding - update!
  5. Recently awarded Development Grants Projects:
  6. Recent HE in FE Case Study Funding:
  7. Update on FDTL5
  8. Event Report from CeTL Stranmillis
  9. Student Award update
  10. Report from the ESCalate Initial Teacher Education Service
  11. Education in the Media
  12. Book Reviews
  13. Contributing to ESCalate


Welcome to the May ESCalate bulletin, we trust that everyone had a lovely Easter, and May Bank Holiday, and that you are all no doubt busy tidying up the loose ends of this Academic year, looking forward to the new Academic year, and trying to ensure you are ready for all the changes to come.

In this bulletin we have a new feature letting you know about some of the many resources we have on the website, and how to make best use of the search facility (including our RSS feeds). We are always seeking to improve our website so please let us know if you have any suggestions, or you can complete the online survey, (it won’t take 5 minutes). Thank you to the 80 that have already replied!

We have been very busy since the last bulletin in March, organising a number of events/ conferences, including the ITE conference on the 16th May, (where a few places are still available), and getting out the office; meeting you. Tony and Julie have been very busy at various conferences and Departmental visits. If you would like us to visit your department to talk about ESCalate, and how it could benefit your department please contact me on

Read on to find out more about what the ESCalate team has been up to…!

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Forthcoming Events

ESCalate Event

External Events: This is only a short selection, more are detailed on the ESCalate website

  • 10th May ASSOCIATE Online Conference: A national dissemination event for the project at the University of Huddersfield. The primary purpose is to acquaint other providers of ITT (Learning and Skills) in the Post Compulsory sector, with the approaches and tools that are being developed to support trainee teachers in enhancing subject pedagogy.
  • 12th May The academic implication of the Bologna Process: a seminar reporting on the latest developments relating to the ‘framework of qualifications’, and exploring some of the key issues relating to learning outcomes, credit transfer and quality assurance in the UK and EU. Event organised by the Subject Centre for Languages, linguistics and Area Studies.
  • 20th June Teaching and Research: Forging new relationships: In response to the new HEFCE funding for teaching informed by research the event exploring the relationship between teaching and research to gain fresh understanding and encourage practitioners to rethink their teaching, research and delivery.
  • 30th June – 1st July. BESA 2006 Annual Conference: Moving Forward, a thriving forum for students, teachers and researchers involved in Education Studies programmes. There is currently a call for papers, posters, workshops and presentations on: theoretical perspectives and developments in Education Studies; curriculum innovation; initiatives in teaching, learning and assessment.
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New Resources on the ESCalate website.

Welcome to this new feature where we showcase an example of some of the new resources uploaded to the ESCalate website since the last newsletter.

  1. Exploring Ubuntu through music education.
  2. Challenges and Opportunities - Conference proceedings.
  3. Supporting Professional Development Using the VLE in the PGCE/Certificate in Education (Case Study).
  4. Initial Teacher Education: A Case Study in Blended/e-Learning.
  5. Integrating e-Learning in Initial Teacher Education (Case Study).
  6. Learning to Teach: Defining the Challenge (Keynote Speech presentation).
  7. Posters produced at 10th March 'Becoming a Teacher Educator' seminar.
  8. Animation in Education: Its impact on learning, creativity and behaviour.
  9. Working with Multiple Identities: supporting new teacher education tutors in Higher Education.
  10. The findings of the ESCalate study on teacher educators’ induction into Higher Education.
  11. Becoming a Teacher Educator: improving the induction and professional development of new university-based lecturers in initial teacher education (Induction Resources).

Keep track of resources (and ESCalate news) the easy way by using ESCalate’s RSS web feed facility. Resources are being added all the time, so please keep an eye on the website, in particular the resources page containing the latest 10 resources uploaded.

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Research funding with an e-learning theme and postgraduate student funding - update!

We were delighted to receive 18 bids in response to our recent invitation for expressions of interest for research and postgraduate student funding. These came from all four corners of the UK, offering a broad spectrum of possible projects with an e-learning theme covering mentoring, e-portfolios, mobile learning and blogging, some with a interesting focus on work with international students.

All expressions of interest that offer viable projects are currently being evaluated and everyone will be contacted in the next few weeks, as soon as we have received all the evaluator comments. With so many innovative, strong ideas being put forward, it is obvious that it will be an extremely competitive round but whatever the outcome, everyone will receive feedback. What will be particularly valuable for the Education community at large is that the projects that are successful should produce excellent outputs and resources that will be freely available through the ESCalate website - as well as events, workshops and seminars where appropriate.

In the meantime, we welcome ideas for next year’s theme!

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Recently awarded Development Grants Projects:

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Recent HE in FE Case Study Funding:

ESCalate has been successful in a bid for further funds from JISC through the Distributed e-Learning (DeL) Programme to identify and write up case studies. These case studies are intended to illustrate good/innovative practice in the delivery of HE in FE using e-learning.

ESCalate put in three successful bids:

The completed case studies are now available to download.

If you are interested in finding out more about this funding, or would like to read case studies from other Subject Centres please go to the HEA website

ESCalate also collaborates with the HELP CeTL at University of Plymouth which offers events, awards and resources in building learning partnerships, particularly between HE and FE.

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Update on FDTL5

HEFCE funds for tranche 5 of the fund for developing teaching and learning are supporting a number of projects in education. ESCalate staff attend steering meetings and offer support for project teams including dissemination and event opportunities. The resources produced by FDTL5 project teams are invaluable for curriculum developers.

V-RESORT (virtual resources for online research training, is developing resources for the online teaching of research methodology at Masters and Doctoral levels). The project team has enjoyed pushing current technology to the limit. Online resources include digital video material of leading researchers that can be searched against a number of criteria.

ASSOCIATE online is a collaboration of several universities engaged in initial teacher education programmes for new staff in the post compulsory sector. The work of the project team focuses on the development of online communities of teachers and trainers working to develop subject pedagogy.

The ACAL Active Learning – Active Citizenship project team are working on social and moral responsibility, community involvement and political literacy. The main work of the project team is to develop resources that integrate the use of virtual learning environments and ICT multimedia approaches to support open and flexible approaches to learning.

MEDAL Making a Difference, Educational Development to enhance Academic Literacy. The consortium of universities represented in the project all teach about childhood, but from very different perspectives.

MEDAL will be delivering a paper at the Writing Development in Higher Education Conference May 11th-12th 2006

Learning 2 Learn through supported enquiry is a University of Surrey based project. It started in early 2005 and promotes innovation in educational practice through supported enquiry-based learning (EBL). It promotes innovation in educational practice through supported enquiry-based learning (EBL) and related approaches such as problem-based learning (PBL). It is based on established postgraduate practices at the university and is supporting developments in undergraduate programmes.

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) is working on an interesting project involving QED - British Sign Language: Quality Embedding of the Discipline.

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Event Report from CeTL Stranmillis

ESCalate and SWAP supported a meeting of early childhood CeTL teams at University of Stranmillis in Belfast in March. The purpose of the event was for the CeTL teams to share ideas and expertise about the use of digital technology to support developments in early year teaching.

Stranmillis is working on innovative ways in which to use multimedia to support BEd course development in early years teaching, and an MSc in psychology of disability. The work involves a PBL approach through case studies. The team is making significant advances in the use of asynchronous support tools (RLOs) for students and staff, and in synchronous support tools. The project team is keen to explore students’ use of everyday resources such as mp3 players, and mobile phone technology to capture evidence of engagement with placement tasks as a means of developing e-portfolios. Queens University Belfast is developing work that embraces pharmacology, dentistry, nursing and education. All groups have responsibilities that involve them in the teaching of aspects of childhood. One of the Queen's group’s earlier tasks is to develop a module that can support teaching across these diverse groups. The Employability CeTL based at Sheffield Hallam is concerned with the promotion of career management skills for a wide range of students including those following early years programmes. They are interested in the use of video to support students’ career management decisions and to support placement learning in UK and international settings.

To support the group, ESCalate and SWAP invited Janet Strivens (University of Liverpool and CRE – Centre for Recording Achievement), and Jon Altree, (Blended Learning Unit, a CeTL at the University of Hertfordshire) to lead workshops and discussions.

Both ESCalate and SWAP are committed to providing support for CeTL networking and collaboration. ESCalate welcomes enquiries from CeTL teams with an education focus.

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Student Award update

Yet again this has been a very successful competition; we received 14 innovative, original entries from all around the UK.

One judge commented on the short listed essay, “The writer's enthusiasm and wonder at the transformative and empowering nature of learning, and his/her realisation and wonder that he /she has the ability to rise to the challenges of academic study shines through this essay. The writer's articulation of a desire to transform children through similar exciting learning experiences is exciting for the reader.” 

All of the essays have been marked anonymously by three judges, who were impressed by the high standards, making the decision of who the winner is all the harder. Thank you to all of the judges, for their hard work judging these essays. The winning entry and details of the runner-up will soon be announced on the ESCalate website. As this was such a success we will definitely be running it again next year.

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Report from the ESCalate Initial Teacher Education Service

The proceedings from last year’s highly successful conference at St Martin’s are now available on the ESCalate website.

2006 Conference

The 2nd ESCalate Annual ITE conference takes place in Lancaster on Friday, May 19th 2006. This is entitled: ‘Teacher Education Futures; Developing Learning and Teaching in ITE across the UK.’ There is a packed programme, including:

  • Keynote speech from Professor Chris Day from Nottingham University – ‘Committed for life? Variations in teachers’ work, lives and effectiveness’.
  • Keynote speech from Dr. Sam Twiselton from St. Martin’s College – ‘Every teacher matters: the relationship between context, role and identity in becoming a teacher’.
  • A range of symposia on topics such as blended learning, working in partnership, PODs and BLOGs, Every Child Matters, VLEs and ‘challenging schools’.
  • A range of workshops on topics such as e-learning, the teacher training resource bank, video as a tool to support practitioner enquiry.

Details of the symposia and workshops will also be available on the website shortly.

Birmingham seminar

The ESCalate ITE seminar ‘Becoming a teacher – educator: improving the induction and professional development of new university-based lecturers in Initial Teacher Training’ was a very successful event and many thanks to Pete Boyd and Kim Harris from St. Martin’s College and Jean Murray from Brunel University for presenting such a lively and stimulating day. The aim of the day was to critically consider the induction and professional development of new university – based teachers as they establish their identity as academics and to contribute to the production of guidelines with which education departments may review their practice. Using research papers written by Pete, Kim and Jean, colleagues worked hard to produce posters on various themes, which will be used to draw up guidelines. The themes included; job design; time management; developing effective communities of practice; departmental based CPD; the role of the mentor; expectations for research and scholarship.

The research papers and posters from the day can be accessed on the website.

Call for research help

Dylan Gwyer-Roberts from Bath Spa University is currently researching models of self-evaluation in ITE institutions and would like to know if any colleagues can offer information or links. Dylan is looking at how self evaluation fits with external inspection. If you can help you could either contact the St Martin's ESCalate team or contact Dylan directly.

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Education in the Media

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Book Reviews

Interested in reviewing a book? Check out the book review section of the website to find out all the books that are available; this is updated regularly.

Once you have registered as an ESCalate member, you can request up to, two books to review at any one time, through the members’ section on the web.

Do keep an eye on this section of the website

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Contributing to ESCalate

Thank you for reading until the end, please do let us have news of developments and activity in your department, or look out for the next bulletin.

Next Bulletin: July 2006

Deadline for Copy: 18th June 2006, emails to

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