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School Linking as a Controversial Issue Fran Martin GTE Conference 2007 Institute of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "School Linking as a Controversial Issue Fran Martin GTE Conference 2007 Institute of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 School Linking as a Controversial Issue Fran Martin GTE Conference 2007 Institute of Education

2 What is controversial about school linking? Read extract What questions does this raise? –Why did the school want a link? –Why did they choose to link with a school in rural Gambia? –What did the staff hope pupils would learn? –Does this match what they are actually learning? –How is the hidden curriculum having an impact? –Is involving children in charitable actions appropriate as part of an educational venture?

3 Why do schools establish a link or partnership? Educational context Political context Teacher dispositions Complementary or conflicting?

4 Educational context The Global Dimension (DfEE/QCA 2000 / DfES/QCA 2005) Citizenship Curriculum (DfEE/QCA 1999) –Preparing children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life (p.10-11) –Developing knowledge, skills and understanding for pupils to be able to play an active role as future citizens and members of society (p ) Halstead and Pike (2006): Alternative aims for Citizenship Education – your views

5 Political Context 1997 Govt. White Paper on International Development DfID (1999) Building Support for Development: A Strategy Paper … Clare Short quote 2000 UN Millennium Development Goals DfES (2004) Putting the World into World Class Education DfID (2006) The World Classroom … Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn quote.

6 Teacher Dispositions Personal experience of country Friendship Involvement in faith community links World Views and how to respond to –Economic disparity –Requests from partner school for financial support

7 Learning from Linking What do we hope pupils will learn? –Focus on the 8 key concepts for the global dimension to enable pupils to contribute to securing a just and sustainable world in which all may fulfil their potential (Oxfam 2006 p.1) –Needs teachers who are willing to question their own assumptions and values about global development … Mackintosh quote

8 Learning from Linking What do pupils actually learn? Affected by range of factors such as –Type of contact (link / partnership?) –Compatibility –Embeddedness in whole curriculum

9 Contact Contact - is a partnership between people (teachers, pupils) on a regular basis in ways that are meaningful for both How can we establish contact in such a way that teachers and learners in both locations feel connected rather than separated? How can we ensure that contact has learning (which is at the heart of an educational partnership) as its key focus?



12 Compatibility To what extent are partner institutions value- sets compatible? Learning is more likely to take place if the value- sets are incompatible BUT Recognition of how and why they are incompatible is needed, as is a disposition to learn from these differences rather than reinforce the status quo

13 Similarities or differences?

14 Compatibility –There is some indication … that the childrens estimation of the worth of their peers in the partner school is affected by the extent to which they possess modern consumer items. … Teachers may also latch onto this, as it is a much more comfortable image with which to work. … We cannot afford to dismantle some stereotypes and replace them with others. (Disney, 2004: 145)

15 –Unless school links are developed as shared endeavours … –they can come dangerously near to epitomising a new form of colonialism which endorses the traditional stereotypes of the dependency of people in the South and the exploitative nature of western culture. (Disney, 2004: 146)

16 Further reading Disney, A (2004) Childrens Developing Images and Representations of the School Link Environment in Catling & Martin (eds) Researching Primary Geography. Register of Research in Primary Geography Halstead and Pike (2006) Citizenship and Moral Education: Values in Action. Routledge Mackintosh, M (2007) Making Mistakes, Learning Lessons in Primary Geographer Spring Martin, F (2005) North-South Linking as a Controversial Issue in Prospero 14(4), Martin, F (forthcoming) School Linking as a Controversial Issue in Claire & Holden (eds) Teaching controversial issues in democratic societies Trentham Books Wood, S (2006) Learning from Linking in Tide~ Talk

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