Zero to hero – engaging teachers to teach network engineering

Andrew Smith, The Open University.

Andrew Smith, The Open University.

Since early January 2017, the School of Computing and Communications (represented by Senior Lecturer in Networking, Andrew Smith), the Open Media and Informal Learning (OMIL) Unit and the Open University’s Development Office have all been working with Cisco on a sponsored project to create content about computer networking for teachers (and school children). The content covers the national curriculum ‘computing’ domains of computer hardware and network engineering.

The resources are hosted on OpenLearn Create – the creative commons portal of the OpenLearn MOOCs.

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Moving school-university engagement beyond the role of recruiting sergeant

Professor Richard Holliman, The Open University. Credit: Michael Francis.

Professor Richard Holliman, The Open University. Photo: Michael Francis.

“The science faculty in your local university needs you!” could have been the headline on the recent Guardian article about the RCUK-funded School-University Partnership Initiative (SUPI).

There is much to commend in the article and in the activities fellow SUPIs have developed, delivered and assessed over the previous four years.

Is there a problem with the article?

I argue that this article is part of a wider discourse that limits how school-university engagement with research is planned for, enacted, represented and, ultimately, valued. But why should we care?

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Developing mathematical resilience in teachers

Dr Clare Lee, The Open University

Dr Clare Lee, The Open University.

During the academic year 2015-16 I worked with a group of 22 teachers from 12 different schools (primary and secondary) across the Enigma Maths Hub. I’ve recently published a report about this work (Lee, 2016).

The purpose of the programme was to support teachers in applying some of the ideas from research about Maths resilience to their practice and therefore to improve the classroom experiences of children learning Maths.

The teachers took part in a year-long action research project to introduce mathematical resilience into their classrooms. The teachers worked in pairs in their schools supporting and challenging each other to work differently and to make a difference.

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Empowering lifelong citizenship

Professor Richard Holliman, The Open University. Credit: Michael Francis.

Professor Richard Holliman, The Open University. Credit: Michael Francis.

In a recent post on the Guardian Science Policy blog I wrote, among other things, about the need for a vision for citizenship that moves science communication and engagement programmes beyond activities designed for ‘gifted and talented’ children and young people.

‘Cloned’ approaches to public engagement with research
In part, my concerns about this lack of diversity can be traced to research findings that showed how academics limit their framing of publics, purposes and processes when they plan their public engagement activities (Holliman and Jensen, 2009). My concerns were also born out of experience, working with teachers during my PhD research.

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Towards an oral history of Hiroshima. Part Two: Witnessing

Interviewees from Hiroshima 2014

Elizabeth Chappell, The Open University, and interviewees

‘We live in an era of the witness’, wrote Annette Wienorka in her 2006 book, The Era of the Witness. I recently gave a talk on witnessing the survivors of Hiroshima for the English department of the Open University Post Graduate Research conference held on 22 November 2014 at the OU’s Camden Centre. I spent the last part of my travel grant, provided by the Great British Sasakawa Foundation, on a trip to Hiroshima in September this year. During this trip I interviewed about a dozen witnesses — known as hibakusha in Japanese — as well as those who work with or study the history of the hibakusha, (from hibaku, explosion, and sha, person, in Japanese).

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Teaching for social justice? Or social work? Ghanaian student teachers’ perceptions of a teacher’s role in a rural community.

Alison Buckler, The Open University

This post is shared from the OU’s Education Futures blog.

Earlier this year I blogged about a new research project I’m working on which is trying to understand student teachers’ perceptions of themselves as agents of social justice in low income countries. The research stems from the increasingly worrying body of evidence which suggests that millions of children across the world are spending several years in school, yet learning nothing.

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