ESCalate Bulletin No. 29 (12 December 2006)


  1. Introduction
  2. Our events
  3. Student Award 2007
  4. New Resources on the web
  5. New Publications
  6. External Examiner Database
  7. Could/would you work with us as an evaluator?
  8. St Martin’s ITE
  9. Education in the Media
  10. Book Reviews
  11. Contributing to ESCalate


Welcome to the last ESCalate bulletin of 2006, we trust that you are all preparing for well deserved breaks, after a very busy Autumn term.

Here at ESCalate we have been very busy producing publications, and arranging a calendar of events, some of which are detailed below. One of the first events was ‘Engaging with Scottish HEIs and policy agenda’ which was held in Scotland and resources from this event are available to view online.

Hope you enjoy the read, and have a happy Christmas and a successful New Year from all at ESCalate.

^^ top

Our events

  • We are just launching half day workshops on Every Child Matters in conjunction with St. Martin's College. If you are interested in being a host institution for one of these workshops, please contact Alison Jackson for further details.

  • CPD Event in Northern Ireland 28th February. To express an interest in this event please contact Jane Tuffill. More details will shortly appear online.

  • We are strongly considering a seminar in June on the new standards, both the standards for classroom teachers and also the ITE standards. If you are interested in this either as delegate or presenter, please get in touch with Kate Wenham.

  • Our PGCE M level seminar in January 2007 has proved so popular that it is already fully booked. However, if you would like to register interest with Kate Wenham, please do so as this topic is evidently so crucial that we will review our strategy in light of the overall number of institutions who show interest.

Event sponsorship by ESCalate@University of Stirling - International Society for Teacher Education. 27th International Seminar hosted by University of Stirling in June 2007. ESCalate is sponsoring bursaries targeted at specific countries with very low GDP. Please contact Joanna McPake for details.

^^ top

Student Award 2007

After running a very successful Student Writing Award last year, we have decided to run it again this year. This award is now in its third year.

The full competition title is, ‘The Higher Education Academy Subject Centre Network Student Award 2007’, but referred to as Student Award 2007 for short, reflects the fact that the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Subject Centres are working together to raise the profile of this competition for students.

The title the students are being asked to write about is: "What advice would you give to students starting your course?” It is designed for students at any stage of their course, to encourage them to reflect on the expectation and reality of their Higher Education experience. Students are being asked to offer a mature critique of their learning experience so that their writing not only provides additional valuable insights into their thinking and perceptions on entering HE, but may also offer useful ways forward for development of a department or a course team wanting to reflect on recruitment, retention and the student experience.

We will soon be sending out postcards and possibly some A3 posters to all contacts to promote the competition, if you want more, please get in touch with Jane.

The overall competition winner from all 24-Subject Centres will win a Toshiba laptop, with runners up receiving goody bags. ESCalate is also offering the top Education student entry £250, with smaller prizes for runners up.

The deadline is Friday 16th March 2007

On our website you will find further information, the submission form, marking criteria and general award information.

So, do please get involved!

If you have any further queries, please address them to Julie Anderson or to Jane Tuffill

^^ top

New Resources on the web

  1. Activity Brochure 2006-2007: enhancing the student experience.
  2. Beyond the Subject Curriculum; how we can offer students more than excellent subject knowledge and help them leave college or university better equipped for life . A discussion paper published on Employability for Staff. Available to download online or order a paper copy.
  3. Link to Teaching Quality Information (TQi) website. Teaching quality information for students applying for courses. Information on the national student survey. It’s all there.
  4. Student Employability Profiles. These profiles are by the Higher Education Academy and cover the main disciplines.
  5. Reference Lists
  6. Generic brochure 2006/7
  7. Employability Resources to accompany the Student and Staff Employability publications
  8. Working professionally with the unexpected – Draft conference paper
  9. Desktop Video Conferencing part of the Busy Guide for Teachers
  10. Link to the DART Project

The new Help Directory, specifically designed for teacher educators, is ready for contributions. We will be adding continually to this as the year progresses, using our workshops and seminars to feed the sections on ‘Tips’ and ‘Sharing practice’. We have commissioned several ‘Busy Guides’ and these should start to appear by the end of this term. But we would love to hear your ‘Tips’ – any quick ideas to share with colleagues – and your contributions to ‘Sharing Practice’. If you would like further details of how to contribute to look at the Help Directory, or contact Alison Jackson.

^^ top

New Publications

The second ESCalate ITE conference proceedings

These have now been edited and are with the printers. The number of papers presented reflects well the popularity of the conference and you will find a wealth of articles on various aspects of practice. Look out for news of publication on the website.

Teacher education across the UK

A monograph, based on research across the four nations of the UK, carried out in 2005, has been published in the web resources. ‘Reflections on teacher education in the four nations of the UK’ is based on interviews held with a range of teacher educators and other professionals involved in teacher education in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It discusses the impact of national policies and practice on teacher education philosophies, professional identities and views of future challenges and gives interesting comparisons and food for thought. We have a limited number of hard copies available if you would like one, please contact Kate Wenham.

Employability Discussion Series and Student booklet

ESCalate has launched two publications on the topic of Employability. One is an interactive workbook for students with activities to assist them in thinking beyond their course. The second publication is from the Discussion Series aimed at teachers on education programmes, with useful commentary and links for those new to employability issues.

Both of these titles are available online. If you would like to request a hard copy please Teresa Nurser.

Why not get together with a few other students and discuss the issues raised – the ideal way to use the booklets – and give yourself an important edge when it comes to applying for work - either whilst studying or as you reach the end of your course
^^ top

External Examiner Database

We thought we would take this opportunity to remind colleagues of the ESCalate External Examiner (EE) Database. As a member of ESCalate you are able to register yourself as an EE looking for a position, or as a HoD you can search for people.

At the moment we have over 140 people registered below is one example:

Bob Bullock is a primary science and educational studies person previously working with the University of Wolverhampton is now on a half-time timetable and keen to support other programmes elsewhere.

Please contact Julie Anderson or Jane Tuffill if you have any questions.
^^ top

Could/would you work with us as an evaluator?

ESCalate is very grateful for the work evaluators do for us but we always need more! The most common task is to look at project bids we receive for our three rounds of grant funding each year which are proving to be increasingly popular. Evaluators are unpaid and we usually ask people to look at only one or two bids. Evaluators enjoy reading proposals for developments in education and, as specialists in their field, are able to give valuable feedback that often helps bidders to improve their bids.

Whether we are able to fund the bids or not, we are told evaluator feedback - which all the prospective projects are offered – is much appreciated, as the evaluators are often able to offer suggestions, resources and ideas the project bids may not have thought of or didn’t know about.

The evaluation process is fully online so evaluators don’t need to wade through reams of paper but simply click on the web pages where we will have put the project bids we have agreed with you. Some colleagues offer their comments to us in just a few well chosen phrases; others may offer a fuller range of comments and of course this affects how long this task takes - but is always up to you. When offered as feedback to the prospective projects, the comments are of course anonymised, known only to ESCalate project team of Julie and Teresa.

Our research grants next year (deadline for expressions of interest April 2007) will be awarded to work proposed in the area of sustainability in education and we would particularly welcome evaluator offers of help in this field. Increasingly we support projects working in e-learning across the discipline and would welcome further help from those conversant in this field too - but offers of help in all areas of education really would be very welcome. Please don’t be modest; please do let us know if we could call on you by emailing Julie Anderson or Teresa Nurser with a brief outline of areas of expertise/experience.

Many thanks!

^^ top

St Martin’s ITE

We are continuing our links with The Global Dimension and have published tips in the Help Directory to help you find useful websites.

ESCalate ITE staff attended the NaPTEC (National Primary Teacher Education Council) conference in September and endorse the excellent work this organisation is doing. Further information can be found on their website.

Interesting links between ESCalate ITE and Techdis have been made and we hope to support their work in the future. Techdis aims to be the leading educational advisory service, working across the UK, in the fields of accessibility and inclusion.

^^ top

Education in the Media

Focus on student drop-out rates (BBC website 29 November 2006)

Universities 'must target poor' (BBC website, 29 November 2006)

Threat to new diploma is denied (BBC website, 1 December 2006)

'Millions wasted' on Springvale (BBC website, 30 November 2006)

Let us test Darwin, teacher says (BBC website, 27 November 2006)

Pupils head to the farm for class (BBC website, 29 November 2006)

Value for money (TES website, by Fiona MacLeod published on 1 December 2006)

Prepare pupils for life, Blair tells teachers (by Philip Webster, Alexandra Frean, Times Online, 30 November 2006)

Dons reject plan to halt 900 years of self-rule by Oxford (by Alexandra Blair and Jack Shenker, Times Online, 29 November 2006)

Christian unions warned against legal action (by Alexandra Smith, Education Guardian, 30 November 2006)
^^ 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 or would like to recommend a particular book, please email Jane Tuffill

^^ 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: February 2007

Deadline for Copy: 18th January 2007 emails to Jane Tuffill

^^ top