ESCalate Bulletin No. 31 (5 April 2007)


  1. Introduction
  2. ESCalate events
  3. External Events
  4. M Level seminar report
  5. CPD in Education
  6. New Resources on the web
  7. New publications
  8. Recently completed Grants
  9. Grant application reminders
  10. Engaging with HE in FE community
  11. Integration and Standardisation of E-portfolios within Education.
  12. Resources for registered users
  13. ESCalate ITE
  14. Call for papers: Special issue of Perspectives in Education
  15. Education in the Media
  16. Book reviews
  17. Contributing to ESCalate


Hello and welcome to the April ESCalate bulletin, once again we have a packed bulletin full of interesting information on all the forthcoming ESCalate events; event reports; calls for Expressions of Interest; and new publications/resources.

Just as a reminder the Research and Postgraduate Student Grants, Expressions of Interests are due in at 9am on April 16th. Details are available online under Projects & Funding. The forms are found in the Members area of the website, under ‘My Projects’. Due to some underspend, we have an increasing budget to offer the student grants now - so if you have students who you think could benefit from sending in an expression of interest - and you would be prepared to be a mentor for them, do please encourage them to apply. If you have any further questions about any of the grants please contact either Dr Julie Anderson or Teresa Nurser, who form the Projects Team.

Please note that ESCalate are running a day seminar/workshop to help staff and student write grant proposals, places are strictly limited to 50, on a first come first served basis, and it is proving very popular! We would hate to you feel disappointed from missing out – so book your place now!

Are you receiving enough information about ESCalate? Would you like to receive event flyers for notice boards? Do you have a space in your department to display our resources or a poster? Would you like ESCalate to visit your department, and talk about how we can work more closely together? If you answered yes to any of the above, we would like to hear from you! Please email your comments to Jane Tuffill. All feedback is gratefully received!

The deadline for the Student Award 2007 has now passed, and we will be announcing the winner in early May. Thank you to the judges who are marking as you read this.

Now read on to find out more about what ESCalate has been up to in the last couple of months, and find out more about the great resources which await you when you register.

Happy reading!

Jane Tuffill

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ESCalate events

  1. CPD in Education – South Wales. Event postponed to later in this term. Please sign up with Jane Tuffill to receive details when confirmed. This is the final seminar in a series of events exploring CPD in Education. Previous delegates have commented on the high quality of the speakers.
  2. 3rd ITE conference - May 18th 2007 at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster campus. Full details of key notes are available to view on the events page, and bookings are now being taken. This conference books quickly so please do book early to avoid disappointment.
  3. Enhancing the student experience in lifelong learning: research and practice – 24th-25th May at NCSL Learning and Conference Centre, University of Nottingham. An ESCalate event jointly organised with University of Nottingham.
  4. Annual Partnership for Professional Enquiry Seminar - An Enquiring Profession? – 31st May at University of Stirling. A seminar looking at the nature of Professional Enquiry.
  5. The new professional QTS standards for classroom teachers – 7th June at Stratford campus, University of East London. There will be presentations from HEIs outlining their plans for incorporating the new standards into their practice as well as workshop sessions offering a chance to discuss the new standards in groups.
  6. ESCalate funding seminar - sharing good practice and tips for success – 12th June at University of Bristol. A seminar to support both students and staff who are interested in applying for ESCalate funding. It will include practical advice on completing the application process, with a focus on finances.
  7. Adhoc ‘Every Child Matters workshops’ – ½ days, contact Alison Jackson to find out more, or to invite a speaker to talk at your institution.
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External Events

  1. FACE conference 2007 – 2nd-4th July at University of East London. "Social Justice and Lifelong Learning: diversity, globalisation, transformation".
  2. The Higher Education Academy Annual Conference 2007 - Engaging Students in Higher Education – 3rd – 5th July at Harrogate International Centre.
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M Level seminar report

The ITE M level seminar was a success, with resources available on the Busy Teachers Guide area of the web.

If you are interested in joining us in a longitudinal project to track the progress of the effects of M level PGCE provision in England, please send your details to Alison Jackson. This project is now beginning to take shape and has the support of UCET.

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CPD in Education

With the UK wide remit of supporting work across the four countries of the UK, ESCalate has run events in Northern Ireland (Stranmillis University College, Belfast) and North Wales (NEWI at Wrexham) with an event in South Wales, (UWIC in Cardiff) planned for later this term. In addition, a Scottish event around issues relating to the Scottish Chartered Teacher's scheme is being run by Dr Jenny Reeves at Stirling with ESCalate support (31st May). An English event is under discussion for the Autumn.

Each event has speakers from each country and so each has been relevant for staff from anywhere in the UK, wherever the venue. Feedback, which has included rating one event as "outstanding", has also informed us that colleagues have found it "illuminating". This has largely been due to the willingness of the speakers to be candid and share openly about the issues they have faced - and their willingness too to be refreshingly frank and open when questioned about the pros and cons of their own situations - both successful and "less successful".

Resources from the events are planned to be available from late summer and the exact nature of what form these will take is still under discussion - so all opinions and thoughts welcome and do email Julie Anderson with ideas. Better still, do come to the last of the series. Email Jane Tuffill to sign up as interseted, so you will be sent details when they are confirmed.

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New Resources on the web

  1. Schools on the Edge: Responding to Challenging Circumstances – book review.
  2. M Level PGCE Questionnaire – resources in the Busy Teachers Guide from the discussions that followed the M Level PGCE seminars.
  3. M Level PGCE - 'Mness' and the student experience – resources in the Busy Teachers Guide/Sharing tips from discussions that followed the M Level PGCE seminars.
  4. Innovative pedagogical scenarios for first year mechanics students – Academic online paper for an ESCalate supported project by Dr Federica Olivero
  5. Re-Engineering Assessment Practices (REAP) – a new link to this project which is piloting innovative models of assessment across three universities.
  6. Developing a systematic approach towards Impact field research – information on a new development grant.
  7. University Students Behaving Badly – book review. If you are interested in this title, you might want to know that the author is researching into how HEI and HE in FE staff deal with students (
  8. The first-year experience in higher education in the UK: Report on Phase 1 of a project funded by the Higher Education Academy – Initial report on the 1st year experience.
  9. Regulatory Discourses in Education: A Lacanian Perspective – book review.
  10. JISC resources - a new link catalogue which holds information on Learning Spaces, Video case studies of Spaces for 21st Century Learning and Teaching and the new publication Effective Practice with e-Assessment.
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New publications

ESCalate will be printing two new publications soon, one a new addition to the Discussion Series on Internationalism by Sheila Trahar from University of Bristol. The second is a reference book, a one-stop shop for information on Educational Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

ESCalate contacts, and Educational Libraries will receive these titles in April, if you are interested in reading/receiving a copy they will be available to download from our website under publications or alternatively you can request a copy from Teresa Nurser.

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Recently completed Grants

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Grant application reminders

Student Grants

Deadline for Expressions of interest is 9 am, 16th April 2007.

More information is available online under Projects & Funding/ Postgraduate Student Grants.

Students can bid for up to £2000 (minimum £250) per project. A simple online Expression of Interest form is available when you register your details. If you are invited to develop your Expression of Interest into a full proposal we may want to discuss your proposed project by phone or in person at our expense.

We are most likely to fund projects that address one of the following themes: Globalisation, Higher Education Policy, e-Learning, Vocationalism, Widening Participation, Employability, Student Perspectives on Learning and Teaching, Pedagogy and Pedagogic Research, Race and Ethnicity or Academic Activism. However, if you have another theme you would like considered, we are open to discussion and you are welcome to contact Julie Anderson on 0117 331 4290.

Please note that to take the project forward students need to have a mentor at their institution.

Research Grants

Deadline for Expressions of interest is 9am, 16th April 2007.

More information is available online under Projects & Funding/ Research Grants.

We are now offering a further year of funding with the 2007 theme of ‘Sustainability in Education’. This funding is available to all staff in UK universities and colleges delivering HE programmes in Education related studies, including HE in FE settings.

The funding, up to 10k, is to enable you to research a project, work with fellow staff in your department and/ or across institutions.

An application for your team Expression of Interest can be made online by registering. The form is located in the registered user’s area of the web.

We want to fund projects that address our new theme of ‘Sustainability in Education’ in whatever form; however, it is likely that funding will be awarded to projects that offer particularly innovative work or work that is likely to make a significant impact on the community. If it would be helpful, we are happy to discuss your ideas and you are welcome to contact Julie Anderson on 0117 331 4290.

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Engaging with HE in FE community

ESCalate continues to support both HE and HE in FE colleagues with funding and is keen to encourage all staff - whether in HEIs or delivering HE in FE colleges - to apply for grants.

There are just a few days left to apply for the Research grants and Student grants (where you would act as mentor to an undergraduate or postgraduate student) as we are asking for an expression of interest by April 16th. If you need more time and are more interested in developing existing work, please see the Development grants details where we request a project proposal for October.

The website has all the necessary details for all the above – but we are creating a more developed FAQ section to help further and if you can suggest anything for that we’d be delighted to hear from you.

In terms of who is successful in each of the competitive funding rounds, the ideas and outputs envisaged are much more important than research background and expertise. ESCalate is happy to support staff new or inexperienced in project management - so if you have an interesting idea or work you want to develop, do take a look and think about an application even if you have never considered it before.

Everyone applying will receive feedback and colleagues have told us that even if we have been unable to support their work financially, the evaluator feedback has been valuable and constructive.

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Integration and Standardisation of E-portfolios within Education.

The first phase of this JISC/Higher Education Academy funded project has concluded its scoping study which evaluated the current uses and designs of e-portfolios in Higher Education Teacher Training courses within the UK. The Study identified practitioner’s views of the successes and failures of implementing e-portfolios into the curriculum on a large scale. The study investigated; the existing e-portfolio packages and tools currently used in education; the current use of e-portfolios in teacher training; and the present use of e-portfolios to support learner PDP. All HEI’s offering Teacher Training within the UK were invited to take part in the study.

The initial results suggest that respondents feel very positive about the possibilities of e-portfolios within their teacher training programme with 93% of respondents either using e-portfolios or planning to do so. A number of considerations were recognised by respondents. These are summarised as follows:

  • I.T. training for students is imperative at the implementation stage.
  • E-portfolios should be fully defined and embedded into the curriculum for all students and staff.
  • A flexible approach to e-portfolio requirements is required.
  • E-portfolios can be time consuming if not fully embedded into the curriculum.
  • The respondents displayed strong aims of what they would like the e-portfolios to achieve. This is reflected in current literature.
  • Technical implications – Implementation requires a consensus between all stakeholders.

The results of the scoping study and survey will be available on the ESCalate website very soon.

For further detail about the project, or to participate, contact: Mrs Kylie Lipczynski, Research Fellow (ESCalate).

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Resources for registered users

As a registered user of ESCalate you can access and add your details to the Expertise Exchange and the External Examiner Database.

External Examiner Database

The ESCalate External Examiners Register is a service for colleagues in UK Education departments. It is set up to provide a place for:

  • those with existing external examiner expertise coming to the end of a contract to register their details with a view to taking up a new role with another programme
  • those who are new and/or have no experience of external examining, to make their details and availability known
  • Head of Departments or designated colleagues to search for new examiners and/or make their own institution programme needs known.

Only HoDs are able to search, this is to limit access to personal information. This was the preferred option which emerged from discussions with the focus group. However, we are considering opening this service to Programme Leaders, and any comments or thoughts would be useful regarding this decision.

Programme directors who need to recruit new examiners should remind their HoD of this ESCalate facility. If you have any questions please contact Jane Tuffill.

We are introducing a news section on the open access area of the website under projects/funding/external examiner. Here you can advertise your vacancy or promote yourself if you are looking for an opportunity to be an EE. This is to supplement the EE Database in the member’s area of the web. To have a news item listed email Jane Tuffill.

Expertise Exchange

This is a register for academic consultancy, as well as for more informal exchanges of experience and expertise.

We invite you to put your details on this register and use it to search for colleagues with expertise you may require.

ESCalate cannot vouch for the details provided, we merely act as neutral brokers offering space for colleagues to share information. All details regarding fees and consultation work undertaken needs to be arranged directly with the parties involved. ESCalate staff are happy to offer advice as required on how to get the best use out of this facility.

Please note that when you register and fill in the Research/professional interests/expertise field, this isn’t automatically entered into the Exchange. It is up to you to decide whether to register or not, and you can remove yourself at any time.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Jane Tuffill.

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ESCalate ITE

St Martins College will become the University of Cumbria from August 2007. We are beginning to develop next year’s workplans for ITE and our imperative is to do what you want (within reason!). If you have any burning issues that you would like ESCalate@Cumbria to engage with, let us know and we will endeavour to incorporate them in our plans.

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Call for papers: Special issue of Perspectives in Education

Researching innovative teacher education practices in the 21st century - Volume 26(2), June 2008

Guest Editors: Andrew Green and Roy Evans.

Researching innovative teacher education practices in the 21st century

Programmes of initial teacher education and continuing professional development are always in the process of development and adaptation, aiming to ensure that they meet the needs of a variety of constituencies. Beginning teachers, pupils, schools, parents & carers and government are all interested parties within this process of change, and it is against this multi-faceted background that teacher educators seek to construct practices that simultaneously meet the developing needs and demands of these various stakeholder groups as well as the pedagogical and professional needs of teachers. Through a consideration of both the specifically career-oriented requirements and the academic needs of teachers, there is a clear need to provide opportunities to explore a wide range of knowledge and skills relevant to the changing world of education. This special edition seeks to explore the ways in which practitioners within initial teacher education or within programmes of continuing professional development perceive the changing needs of teachers in the 21st century and how their own practices have been developed in order to meet these needs. While there is a developing literature dealing with issues of teachers’ professional identities, discussion needs to develop reflexively to take into account higher education lecturers’ own practices in seeking to understand and shape these identities. How, in other words, can providers of teacher education direct their gaze inward to theorise their own practices? Such questions and the self-scrutiny they demand provide fertile ground for educational and work-based researchers to consider how teacher education and continuing professional development programmes and the approaches they adopt must develop to reflect the changing educational context of the 21st century.

The research gaps

Research is needed in a range of areas relating to teachers’ initial and on-going training needs. This will involve research into the areas of articulation between teachers’ previous education, their higher education and the schools within which they work. It is important to consider the changing socio-political climate and the impact this has on notions of education and pedagogy. This requires us to challenge the assumptions teacher educators make about how the professional and academic needs of teachers integrate. This may involve, for example, consideration of: school-based practice, creative pedagogies, in-service professional training, continuing academic training, and development of subject knowledge for teaching. We need to research how such practices relate to changing contexts of education at the beginning of the new century, and what impact these changes have had and/or need to have on developing innovative teacher education practices.

Clearly initial teacher education and continuing professional development programmes should not become slaves to political demand, but should reflect the pedagogical and professional needs of teachers, encouraging them to adopt critically reflexive stances towards their classroom practices and their development as pedagogues. Understanding that there are necessary and sometimes significant differences between the two sites of higher education and schools, what practices, pedagogies and structures might enable or constrain providers of initial and on-going teacher education? Teacherly learning occurs at various levels in diverse fields and contexts. How do we understand this diversity and complexity? What are the implications for teaching and learning in teacher education? How far should teacher education be academically and how far professionally focused? How ‘workplace-ready’ are our graduates? How do teacher educators work with trainees’ previous academic experiences and the subject knowledge they have developed through prior academic studies? How do they manage the acculturation of trainees into the academic discipline of Education? How do they empower trainees as they make the transition from academia into the environment of school? How do they enable trainees to come to terms with these related but often conflicting paradigms and their related modes? How do they seek to make sense of the conflicting discourses of ‘training’ and ‘education’ within the work that they do? How do we develop effective models of partnership with schools in the provision we make for trainees?

Addressing the research gaps

This special edition will make a contribution towards addressing the research gaps that we have identified in the field, by calling for papers to theorise how teacher educators work with teachers at the beginning of and throughout their careers, and how this work is developing to reflect changing contexts of education nationally and internationally. We call for papers that will theorise school-based and academic practices within integrated programmes of teachers’ learning and professional development, research the differences between academic and professional knowledge production systems, study academic and workplace experiences, evaluate developing educational policies, practices and partnerships, and trace their impact on teacher education.

Information for Contributors

Instructions for submitting contributions to PIE appear in the end section of the journal. Individuals who request this information directly from PIE will also be able to receive the same detailed guidelines electronically or by mail.

Closing Date

The closing date for receiving contributions is 31 January 2008.   Email Andrew Green if you have any questions.

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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 are a registered user, you can request up to two books to review at any one time, through the registered user’s section of 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

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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: June 2007

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

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