ESCalate Bulletin No. 27 (7 July 2006)


  1. Introduction
  2. New Resources on the ESCalate website.
  3. Student Award 2006
  4. External Examiner Database
  5. Higher Education Academy Conference, 3rd - 5th July 2006, Nottingham
  6. ESCalate ITE conference: Teacher Education Futures: Developing Learning and Teaching in ITE across the UK, May 19th 2006
  7. The Global Dimension Conference Report, 8th June 2006
  8. Requests for research help
  9. Education in the Media
  10. Book Reviews
  11. Open Books Open Minds - The Publishers Association
  12. Contributing to ESCalate


Welcome to the final bulletin of the 2005/6 academic year. Although you are surely ready for a break, may we suggest you make a drink and read this bulletin first.

We at ESCalate hope to see you at a number of different conferences over the summer period including:

  • BERA Conference 7-8th September
  • BAICE 8-10th September


We are delighted to announce that our ESCalate research fellow Janie McKie gave birth to a healthy little girl to be called Genevieve Isabelle late on 30th June. They are both doing well and we wish them all the best and look forward to Janie's return from maternity leave in due course.

^^ top

New Resources on the ESCalate website.

Below are a number of new resources recently uploaded to the ESCalate website that you may find of interest.
^^ top

Student Award 2006

We are delighted to announce that the ESCalate Student Award Winner for 2006 is Claire Mann studying a Postgraduate Certificate in Continuing Education at University of Nottingham.

Runners up include:

  • Natasha Williams, studying Educational Psychology at University of Bristol
  • Rachel Gosling, studying Applications of Educational Technology (part of MA in Online and Distance Education) at The Open University.

Claire Mann has been entered into the overall HEA competition, and the winner will be announced at the HEA Conference on the 4th July. We wish her the best of luck!

Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s competition, enabling it to the success that it has been.

We received 15 high quality essays from around the UK. Below is a list of the Institutions they represented:

  • Canterbury Christ Church University College
  • The Open University
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Wales - Aberystwyth
  • University of Wolverhampton

The winning essays are available to download from the ESCalate website

^^ top

External Examiner Database

As you may be aware, we host an External Examiner’s database and it has been suggested that this service could be expanded to include candidates for external members to institutions’ internal subject review teams.

Does anyone have any comments, either positive or otherwise with reference to this suggestion?

Please email your comments to Julie Anderson.

^^ top

Higher Education Academy Conference, 3rd - 5th July 2006, Nottingham

The HEA held their second annual conference in early July, which was very well attended by colleagues from across the HE disciplines and the UK.

The conference explored the issues surrounding the ‘Student Learning Experience’ with keynotes from Professor Robert Burgess (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester), Sue Holmes (Vice-Chair of the Association of University Administrators), Professor Caroline Gipps (Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton) and Dr Mike Prosser (Director, Research and Evaluation, in the HEA).

The keynotes touched on the very topical issues including:

  • The scholarship of teaching: how to build capacity in research on teaching and learning, where Professor Gipps, explained the historical arguments, and the development of the links between quality of teaching and research.
  • New ways to support an integrated student experience
  • From policy to practice in measuring and recording student achievement

The presentations and workshops covered a wide range of issues, were varied in style and included students from Sheffield Hallam University in one particular workshop. This seemed to be particularly well received with comments that it would be good to see more students involved in future.

Please visit the HEA website for more details as they are planning to have some of the presentations hosted there.

Of course students were also in the spotlight with the student awards. For us having worked across the 24 subject centres and with Academy personnel, in the person of Heather Jackson, a highlight of the conference was the presentation of the HEA Student Award 2006. Chair of the board Leslie Wagner presented the 11 winners able to attend with gift packs. Our ESCalate winner is Claire Mann who seemed to enjoy the whole conference experience and you can read her essay on our website. The overall winner, Liz Piper from Health Sciences, received an additional prize of a Toshiba Laptop.

There will be a similar Award next year; watch this space for more details!

By Jane Tuffill - with J Anderson

^^ top

ESCalate ITE conference: Teacher Education Futures: Developing Learning and Teaching in ITE across the UK, May 19th 2006

We were delighted to welcome approximately 140 delegates from Initial Teacher Education to our conference in Lancaster this year. Colleagues travelled from Northern Ireland and Scotland as well London, Southeast, Southwest, Midlands and all over the North of England to join us in what proved to be a stimulating and thought-provoking day.

Professor Christopher Day, Professor of Education and Co-Director of the Centre delivered the morning keynote for Research on Teacher and School Development at Nottingham University. Professor Day presented the findings from a longitudinal study conducted in seven local authorities, funded by the DfES and entitled ‘Variations in Teachers’ Work, Lives and Effectiveness’ (VITAE). The aim of the research was to investigate factors contributing to variations in teachers’ effectiveness at different stages of their careers, working in a range of schools in different contexts. VITAE is the most comprehensive, large-scale and extensive study of teachers’ work and lives and the first to explore associations between these and effectiveness.

Professor Day’s Keynote speech seemed to be very well received and an excellent start to the conference. It was lively, informed, interesting and left them wanting more! The data from the research was seen as challenging, one delegate explained, ‘It’s good to have instinct and common sense supported by research in terms of teacher work/life balance and impact on pupils. It is interesting to hear findings on different phases of teachers’ working life’.

Dr. Sam Twiselton of St. Martin’s College (and ESCalate) delivered the second keynote of the conference. Dr. Twiselton’s address complemented the VITAE work by presenting her research, which considers the phases of student teacher progression.

Dr.Twiselton made useful links to the Every Child Matters agenda by asking three important questions for ITE providers:

  • How can we prevent over-crowded and heavily prescribed curricula from restricting deeper understanding and an ability to respond to children’s needs?
  • How do we ensure student teachers are able to meet school and HE and professional curriculum requirements without losing sight of the bigger picture?
  • How do we reconcile the need to produce graduates who have critically reflective awareness of children and learning with an outcome-led ‘performance’ view of the curriculum?

Every Child Matters featured again in a wide range of symposia and workshops throughout the rest of the day. Colleagues from a range of providers presented varied research and models of practice:

  • Using Asynchronous Discussion
  • On-line interaction with ITT students
  • Strategies for partnership
  • Enquiry groups
  • Creativity
  • Problem based learning
  • PODs, BLOGs, DVDs, VLEs
  • Blended learning
  • Schools in Challenging Circumstances
  • The TTRB (Teacher Training Resource Bank)
  • The e-learning community

Many thanks to all colleagues who shared their expertise and contributed to making the conference extremely successful.

So what next? One colleague told us that the conference was ‘brilliant’ and suggested, ‘Let’s have another one next week!’ We’d love to but probably will have to wait until next year! However, we will not be idle until then. Particular follow-up from the conference is:

^^ top

The Global Dimension Conference Report, 8th June 2006

On June 8th, the Development Education Project team hosted a conference at MMU on the Global Dimension in Education. ESCalate was pleased to support this essential work and join with a range of delegates from providers of ITE and schools to consider strategies. Mark Chater from the QCA gave a keynote address in which he stressed the need for a curriculum which is conscious of the world and urged ITE providers to inspire student teachers to rise to the challenge of the global dimension and see it as central to the overall curriculum. Useful reference websites are:
^^ top

Requests for research help

We have 3 requests for research help which you can access through the ESCalate website.

As always we are here to serve the ITE community and love to hear from you and will endeavour to give support to your work. Please feel free to contact us.

^^ top

Education in the Media

^^ top

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.

If you would like to know more about the book reviews, please contact Jane Tuffill

^^ top

Open Books Open Minds - The Publishers Association

The way we get out information today is changing, students are changing, teaching is changing. What can we do to meet the learning requirements and career aspirations of today's students?

We created open books open minds to allow us to listen and learn from the people that matter most in higher education. We wanted to find out how students and lecturers value and use textbooks, but our research has also revealed other interesting insights into today’s learning landscape that we would really like to share with you.

Our findings use both qualitative and quantitative research data obtained from interviews with lecturers and students. Interviews covered a range of issues including students’ motivations for attending university, their demands and expectations for learning materials, and the role the lecturer plays in guiding their reading. We spoke to lecturers to understand their perceptions of how the lecturing landscape has changed, their views on how students are accessing and using information and what this has meant for them as individuals.

Please feel free to take a look at what we’ve learnt and if you would like to take part in the continuing debate, do get in touch. Contact details are available at

^^ top

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: October 2006

Deadline for Copy: 18th September 2006, emails to Jane Tuffill

^^ top