ESCalate Bulletin No. 46 (19 February 2010)


  1. A warm welcome to our February bulletin
  2. ESCalate Second Student Conference
  3. ESCalate/JISC HE in FE Conference
  4. We are putting on a series of e-portfolio workshops
  5. New resources: project reports from our funded project teams
  6. Themed funding: Project outcomes
  7. Have you a good idea you would like to share?
  8. Two new publications for downloading or reading in hard copy
  9. ESCalate on Facebook
  10. Helping teacher education tutors get started with ESDGC at ESCalate
  11. Teaching International Students
  12. Initial Teacher Education, Mental Wellbeing and Ill-health
  13. The work of the HELP CETL and useful resources
  14. NTFS Project, new resources to enhance employability skills
  15. The Philosophy of Education Summer School, Roehampton University
  16. Latest book reviews
  17. Future of HE Academy Subject Centres

A warm welcome to our February bulletin

We hope this bi-monthly bulletin finds you all well and not suffering too much from the recent cold spell.

We have collected together a range of event links, resources and items from our community that we hope will be of interest to you and your colleagues. Please pass this link to anyone who you think would be interested in reading it. If you have anything you would like us to include in our next bulletin the deadline for copy is 29th March, please send brief copy to

Happy Reading

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ESCalate Second Student Conference

Preparations are nearing completion for our second student conference with its highly relevant theme of  'Students as Stakeholders: take an active part in your own learning' which will be held on April 16th 2010 at the University of Glamorgan.

This is a topic that interests both tutors and students alike since it puts the student at the centre of the education process and encourages them to engage with their learning through a more critical and dynamic approach.

Aaron Porter, Vice President of the NUS (Higher Education) will give the keynote speech on 'The Importance of the Learner Voice in the 21st Century' and we also have speakers who will be presenting on a range of issues, all of which provide fascinating insights into this academic area:    

  • active participation in learning
  • employability
  • student collaboration
  • the impact of new technologies on the learning process

We invite all tutors and students interested in this event to register now as space is limited. What's more we're offering one free place for ten students that register as a group so click on the link below to secure your places!

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ESCalate/JISC HE in FE Conference

This conference will be a rewarding experience for anyone who has an interest in the role of HE in FE practitioners with regard to their status and professional standing in the higher education sector. It will be held on May 26th 2010 at The Trident Centre, Warwickshire College and promises to be a fascinating event.  

Our first keynote speaker will be John Storan, Director of Continuum at the University of East London (UEL), who is an international authority on Widening Participation strategy and practice.

Our second keynote will be given by Diane Thurston, from the Success North Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training, Newcastle College who will provide an overview of professional concerns for HE in FE practitioners including issues of status, standing and practitioner research capacity in the lifelong learning sector.    

Other presentations will focus on:

  • reflective practice for PGCERT/new teachers
  • flexible learning delivery
  • enhancing the in-service teacher trainee experience in further education
  • a focus on the guide 'Effective Practice in a Digital Age' and how to integrate technology into teaching

Registration is now open so follow the link below to book your place:

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We are putting on a series of e-portfolio workshops

We are about to begin our series of workshops aimed at supporting the use the e-portfolios in Teacher Education (Lifelong Learning Sector).

The workshops are a collaboration between the CETTS(Centres of Excellence in Teacher training), IfL (Institute for Learning), RSCs (Regional Support Centred JISC) and ESCalate. Our first midlands-based event on February 26th is over subscribed and registration is now closed but will we soon be advertising a south-west event in Taunton for May and a north-east event in May/June.

The workshops are intended to be interactive, informative and an opportunity for networking. Content will include hands-on opportunities, presentations from Teacher Educators engaged in e-portfolio-based learning, presentations from IfL and RSCs directing delegates to further resources and training opportunities.

See the events page of the website for more details.

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New resources: project reports from our funded project teams

Since the last bulletin we have received many reports and resources from our funded projects. These help to provide our community with relevant and current thinking in many areas of teaching and learning.

Dr Marcus Witt, Bath Spa University - Breaking the Anxiety Chain - the role of ITT institutions in reducing maths anxiety in primary teacher trainees.

Dr Jane Speedy, University of Bristol - Developing collaborative academic writing communities and a collaborative writer's toolbox

Fiona Campbell, Napier University - Hearing the student voice: involving students in curriculum design and development

Claire Taylor, Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln - Narrowing the gap: alternative modes of engaging employers

Dr John McCullagh, Stranmillis University College - Using video for the identification and assessment of learning in initial teacher education

For a listing of all our current projects please see our website

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Themed funding: Project outcomes

We have in the last few days announced to the project teams the outcome of our Themed Funding initiative, Teacher Educators for the 21st Century and Student Well-being.

In the next few weeks we will post the successful teams project outlines via the current project page of our website.

The next round of funding is hoped to be in October 2010, please keep your eyes on our website for the themes

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Have you a good idea you would like to share?

We have two initiatives that celebrate good practice and great ideas from our community, both students and staff alike.

Sharing Ideas, this pays out £500 for a successful bid. Sharing Ideas is a fund aimed at enhancing teaching and learning by encouraging staff and students in Education departments to take existing ideas that are working well within a module, a programme or with a cohort of students, and to develop a dissemination strategy to encourage the ideas' adoption more widely within an institution as well as the wider Education community.

Hot Topics, this pays out £50 for a successful bid. Hot Topics are short pieces, usually an electronic offering by teachers and students. They are a eureka! moment that makes a short, pithy contribution to solving a problem or a challenge, and invites dialogue on a current topic. A Hot Topic discussion enhances teaching or learning in some simple, imaginative and creative way: something that is essentially 'of the moment'.

Please encourage your staff and students to apply online via the registered page of our web site.

We really welcome ideas that stimulate and "get things moving" within our community.

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Two new publications for downloading or reading in hard copy

Recently we have produced two new publications that you can either download from our website or to request a hard copy send your details to .

1. Professor Danny Saunders, Lesley Hodgson and Cerys Furlong, have written a timely paper aimed at those engaged in Adult Community Learning and community education projects, whether practitioners in the field or policy makers. It has been produced in both Welsh and English

Adult and Community Learning in South Wales: A Policy and Practice Perspective

Oedolion a’r Gymuned yn Dysgu yn Ne Cymru: Persbectif Polisi ac Ar ferion

2. Dr Tony Brown and colleagues have produced a series of papers recalling their experiences of writing for their PhD's. They narrate their experience of doctoral research, the relationship with supervisors and the hurdles they overcame.

The Doctorate: stories of knowledge, power and becoming

For a list of all our publications please see the website

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ESCalate on Facebook

ESCalate now has a facebook page!

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Helping teacher education tutors get started with ESDGC at ESCalate

We are collecting together a range of materials to support and resource Teachers and Teacher educators who are interested in Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC). We are still in the process of developing the ESD site, but these links will give you a flavour of what we are collating

External Links:

Attention all teacher education tutors, would you like to be put on a mailing list and updated regularly on changes and developments relating to ESDGC?  If so, please email Genna West for more details.

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Teaching International Students

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Teaching International Students’ Project. This project is a joint initiative of the Higher Education Academy and the United Kingdom Council for International Students Affairs (UKCISA) with funding from the Prime Minister’s Initiative 2 and the Academy.

The project website can be accessed at: 

As international student numbers in the UK have grown and now number almost one in five students, issues around teaching them have gained increasing prominence.  This project aims to provide support and guidance to academic teaching staff wishing to improve their teaching in ways that will also benefit all students.

The project focuses on two core areas of work: the establishment of a research database and resources bank on teaching and learning for international students, and a series of collaborative events (seminars, workshops and staff development events) on research and teaching and learning practice.

Work on the resources bank has already begun and includes many new resources, however, we are keen to also bring together the many excellent resources that are already available. We need your help in identifying these resources and nominating people who would like to be involved in this project.

If you would like to:

  1. Host an event
  2. Contribute a resource
  3. Nominate people who would like to participate in the project

Please contact us at:

The Teaching International Students project team is looking forward to working with you.

Dr Janette Ryan

Project Director

On behalf of the

Teaching International Students Project Team

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Initial Teacher Education, Mental Wellbeing and Ill-health

There have been a plethora of recent policy documents and reports relating to the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people; and to the role of schools in promoting and supporting mental health.  In parallel, there has been an increasing focus on the mental health of students within higher education and on that of teachers.  See for further details.      

Developing an understanding of emotional wellbeing and mental health is an essential component of initial teacher education – if learners are to be equipped both to support and nurture the mental health of pupils, and to enhance their own wellbeing and that of colleagues.  With space in the curriculum at a premium, there is a need to consider how best this area of learning can be addressed.  

A number of initiatives have been developed to promote dialogue and support learning in this area: 

Tier 1 training resource: Everybody’s Business

Teachers are classified as tier one Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) workers, at whom this online resource is aimed.  It consists of four half-day sessions:  What is mental health, mental health problems and disorders, roles and responsibilities/how CAMHS is structured; what helps.  A DVD is also available containing trainer’s notes, participant handouts and training activities.

Education Not Discrimination (END)

ENDis the element of Time To Change anti-stigma campaign that targets key audiences who have a significant impact on the lives of people with mental health.  Mental health awareness training has been offered to trainee teachers, focusing on: facts and figures; signs and symptoms; pathways to care; discussion around diagnosis and the medical model; boundaries and limitations of the teacher and the school and looking after your own mental health.

Mental Health in Higher Education (mhhe)

mhhe aims to enhance learning and teaching about mental health through increasing networking and the sharing of approaches, across the disciplines in UK higher education.  Over the past year – in partnership with ESCalate - we have run workshops aimed at teacher educators and developed resource pages on Initial Teacher Education: and student mental health:


Please do get in touch if you have ideas about links between mental wellbeing and education, a funding proposal you would like to discuss or would like further information:

Jill Anderson Tel 01524 592836

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The work of the HELP CETL and useful resources

Since 2005 the Higher Education Learning Partnerships (HELP) CETL has been working with the University of Plymouth Partner College (UPC) network to support its growing HE in FE provision.

In conjunction with UPC the HELP CETL has invested in, and undertaken research/development work in a number of key areas to support HE in FE lecturing and support staff. This has included considerable investment in infrastructure, facilities and resources to provide lecturing, support staff and students with physical and virtual spaces to come together - overcoming the isolation they may have previously felt studying HE in an FE college. Research and development projects have also been undertaken in areas such as Foundation Degree graduate destinations, processes of HE peer review, accrediting prior experiential learning (APEL) and co-mentoring. These projects addressed areas of strategic importance within the UPC network, but were designed to have wider relevance for HE in FE partnerships beyond the south west.

The HELP CETL has also worked to reward and recognise the contributions of lecturing and support staff to teaching and learning of HE in FE, and provide opportunities for scholarly activity and research through its Award Holder Scheme. The Award Holder Scheme has supported 75 UPC staff to carry out research and scholarly activities in areas as diverse as Education for Sustainable Development, work based learning, music education, IT literacy and professional development planning.

As the HELP CETL draws to its conclusion, it is working to collate the outputs of five years for the benefit of the wider community. These outputs can be accessed via UPlaCE the UPC repository, at, and further details of the work of the HELP CETL can be found at

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NTFS Project, new resources to enhance employability skills

The first National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) Project to complete is "the Creating Future Proof Graduates" project led by Birmingham City University. The project has created resources for engaging a diverse range of students in transformative learning to enhance their skills for employment. There are multimedia resources relating to the following:

  • Cultural awareness;
  • Providing relevant answers;
  • Professional Ethics;
  • Networking and social confidence;
  • Unexpected and extreme emotions and reactions;
  • Social responsibility;
  • Research skills;
  • Bullying and the misuse of power.

All the resources are freely available and are accompanied by teaching notes. They can be found at

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The Philosophy of Education Summer School, Roehampton University

The summer school is residential and FREE for undergraduate students, and will take place on Monday 28th June to Wednesday 30th June 2010 at Roehampton University, London.

  • Are you an undergraduate (of any discipline) with an interest in Philosophy of Education?
  • Would you like the experience of attending a Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) Summer School at Roehampton University this summer?   
  • Come and meet other interested undergraduates, spend a few days at the beautiful London campus.

The 2010 theme is: - Children: Rights and Relationships

The Summer School will be run through presentations, seminars and discussion led by academics in the field of philosophy of education.     

Costs: The PESGB is covering all expenses except for travel to and from Roehampton. Tuition, on-site accommodation for two nights and all meals are provided by the PESGB.

For more information, or to apply for a place on this event, please visit:

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Latest book reviews

We aim to keep you up to date with the latest books written for our community. We are always keen for you to offer review a book yourself, and we offer the book in return for your trouble. The list of books available is on our website. Please go to your registered page if you would like to do this.

Latest reviews:

Promoting Effective Group Work in the Primary Classroom - A handbook for teachers and practitioners (2008) Ed Baines, Peter Blatchford, Peter Kutnick, Anne Chowne, Cathy Ota, Lucia Berdondini

Primary English: Teaching Theory and Practice, 4th Edition (2009) Ed Baines, Peter Blatchford, Peter Kutnick, Anne Chowne, Cathy Ota, Lucia Berdondini

Overcoming the Barriers to Higher Education (October 2007) Stephen Gorard

How to be a Successful Teacher - Strategies for Personal and Professional Development (2009) Paul Castle and Scott Buckler

100 Ideas for Teaching Physical Development (100 Ideas for the Early Years) (2009) Simon Brownhill

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Future of HE Academy Subject Centres

Government cuts to higher education are likely to prove highly damaging to universities, to student learning and to the quality of teaching that universities wish to provide. Following the election in May 2010 further cuts may follow, causing even greater damage to what has been world-class higher education provision.

The HE Academy senior executive are unequivocal in recognising the value of discipline-focused work of Subject Centres. The response to HEFCE’s proposed reduction of around 30% over three years to the Academy’s annual funding, includes a commitment to maintain discipline-focused support for teaching and learning.  ESCalate can manage this level of funding reduction by focusing on what it does best.  Reductions in the scale of activity are inevitable but we will work hard to maintain the quality of what we do to support colleagues and students in education departments across the UK in raising the status of teaching and ensuring the best possible learning experience for students.

At the recent Dearing Memorial Conference at the University of Nottingham, Lord Mandelson was asked his view on: “… the future of subject centres and how they might continue to provide … support to lecturers in changing circumstances."

In his reply, Lord Mandelson said: "... I see no reason why the 24 subject centres should be set back. I don't want to see subject centres that were set up to support lecturers being abandoned and I see no reason why they should be.  …  I would certainly be disappointed to see that ambition for 2014 set back and I would be surprised if the subject centres that have been created couldn't be sustained."

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