ESCalate seeks to focus its work on maintaining useful links between teaching, research and learning

Author/Producer Dr Tony Brown
Published in Autumn 2008 Newsletter
Date Published 24 November 2008
Pages 1


Editorial piece for the Autumn 2008 newsletter


This is just as difficult for an organisation as it is for individual teachers, many of whom are expected to balance a heavy teaching load with pedagogic and other research in their area of expertise. There are challenges for education researchers too in finding practical ways to make research findings accessible to teachers and students so that teaching and learning benefit from research and scholarly activity.

Margaret Page, her colleagues and students report on a conference they attended which allowed them to share the results of experimental teaching and learning around Inquiry Based Learning. Margaret’s students are from Business Studies, and the messages for education students and staff are there to be learned from what is a highly creative approach to increasing student participation and engagement.

Steve Rose works at Somerset College where he has developed the use of mobile computing devices to support learning on new work-based Foundation Degree programmes. When employers feel squeezed by the study demands of their employees, the flexibility of mobile communication platforms can benefit both employers and employees alike.

Fiona Hyland discusses ESCalate’s involvement in an Internationalisation project that compared experiences across several disciplines. Fiona discusses the results of the focus group meetings with students and staff. Most saw international experience for all students as beneficial to everyone. There are barriers to forming multicultural relationships. The research showed that these need to be addressed in positive ways by students and staff rather than left to chance.

Nicola Reimann invites us to participate in a colloquium that explores ways in which universities can look beyond initial induction courses for new staff to a longer view that seeks to support the professional development in more systematic and sustained ways. The colloquium hopes to surface some of innovative but invisible practices that need to be explored at national level.

The Every Child Matters agenda immediately raised questions about inter-professional working and multi-agency approaches that can ensure children are not lost in the wilderness between one agency and another. This in turn has enormous implications for HE including curriculum review, joint working and other issues that take into account common core skills for the Children’s Workforce initiative. Julie Anderson’s article reports on the Integrated Children’s Services in Higher Education (ICSHE) project and its role in bringing together staff working across different disciplines. The challenge for HE lies in managing the changing cultures, changing practitioner roles and emergence of new kinds of practitioners in ways that support the new culture of integrated services.

ESCalate will be running a student conference in April 2009 on Students as Researchers. Liz Hankinson, the ESCalate Administration Manager, discusses why this is an important development for ESCalate and why it should prove highly valuable for students and tutors.

Sarah Weatherhead’s article looks at technology-enabled models of ITE that support action learning. The programme that Sue has developed uses PebblePad and has incorporated blogs, podcasts and other asynchronous methods of supporting student development of reflective practitioner skills. This is very much a work in progress, and Sue incorporates an interesting mix of student views into her article.

In Conversation features Fiona Hyland, the ESCalate researcher. Fiona talks about her role in supporting research activity and making sure that ESCalate continues to look for practical ways to support research-teaching links in the education sector.