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DEL Lunchtime Seminar 27 th November 2009 Chair: Fergus Devitt, Director of Higher Education.

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Presentation on theme: "DEL Lunchtime Seminar 27 th November 2009 Chair: Fergus Devitt, Director of Higher Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEL Lunchtime Seminar 27 th November 2009 Chair: Fergus Devitt, Director of Higher Education

2 ESRC Placement Fellowship Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) Department for Employment and Learning 27 November 2009 Professor John Gardner and Dr Despina Galanouli School of Education Queens University Belfast

3 Teaching and Learning Research Programme Largest education research programme in UK – £43m, (TEL -2012) Largest education research programme in UK – £43m, (TEL -2012) ESRC programme with funding from HEFCE, DfES, DEL, DE etc. ESRC programme with funding from HEFCE, DfES, DEL, DE etc. Over 100 investments including 56 research projects (22 in schools – 34 in post compulsory education) Over 100 investments including 56 research projects (22 in schools – 34 in post compulsory education)

4 Teaching and Learning Research Programme TLRPs mission: …to promote high quality research on education, focused on improving outcomes for all types of student and designed to be relevant to the practice of teaching and learning …to promote high quality research on education, focused on improving outcomes for all types of student and designed to be relevant to the practice of teaching and learning

5 Teaching and Learning Research Programme Priorities: Involvement of practitioners in contributing to and using research – relevance and quality Involvement of practitioners in contributing to and using research – relevance and quality Development of research capacity in the field - PD for both researchers and practitioners Development of research capacity in the field - PD for both researchers and practitioners Forming partnerships for sustainability Forming partnerships for sustainability Collaboration between disciplines and sectors. Collaboration between disciplines and sectors.

6 DELs Priorities Quality of provision (inc. HE Strategy) Quality of provision (inc. HE Strategy) Skills and workforce development Skills and workforce development –Literacy and Numeracy –Employability Widening participation in HE Widening participation in HE

7 Quality of Provision (inc HE Strategy) Hard-to-reach adult learners are best served by community-based learning provision with support to move later to other learning environments or employment (Gallacher et al 2005) Hard-to-reach adult learners are best served by community-based learning provision with support to move later to other learning environments or employment (Gallacher et al 2005) Improved approaches to teaching and learning require improved understanding by HE lecturers of VET student backgrounds (Hayward & Ertl, 2008) Improved approaches to teaching and learning require improved understanding by HE lecturers of VET student backgrounds (Hayward & Ertl, 2008)

8 Quality of Provision (inc HE Strategy) Universities should have a sophisticated understanding of the diversity of students social, cultural and educational backgrounds (Hockings & Bowl, 2008) Universities should have a sophisticated understanding of the diversity of students social, cultural and educational backgrounds (Hockings & Bowl, 2008) Emphasizing understanding and enjoyment in FE and HE mathematics teaching improves student attitudes to mathematics learning, especially for those with low GCSE achievement (Williams et al, 2008) Emphasizing understanding and enjoyment in FE and HE mathematics teaching improves student attitudes to mathematics learning, especially for those with low GCSE achievement (Williams et al, 2008)

9 Quality of Provision (inc HE Strategy) Inadequate and unstable funding along with over-emphasis on measured outcomes damage learning in FE (Hodkinson et al 2005) Inadequate and unstable funding along with over-emphasis on measured outcomes damage learning in FE (Hodkinson et al 2005) Attempts to improve teaching and learning must pay heed to subject characteristics (Hounsell et 2004) Attempts to improve teaching and learning must pay heed to subject characteristics (Hounsell et 2004)

10 Quality of Provision (inc HE Strategy) In work-based environments, the allocation and structuring of work along with a high standard of constructive feedback on performance are crucial (Eraut et al, 2004) In work-based environments, the allocation and structuring of work along with a high standard of constructive feedback on performance are crucial (Eraut et al, 2004) FE needs to make the communicative aspects of learning more explicit and visible (Ivanic et al, 2006) FE needs to make the communicative aspects of learning more explicit and visible (Ivanic et al, 2006)

11 Skills and Workforce Development An expansive workplace environment enables richer learning than its restrictive counterpart (e.g. variety of settings and challenges) (Rainbird et al, 2003) An expansive workplace environment enables richer learning than its restrictive counterpart (e.g. variety of settings and challenges) (Rainbird et al, 2003) FE must recognize a greater range of learning outcomes and skills as valuable (Hodkinson et al 2005) FE must recognize a greater range of learning outcomes and skills as valuable (Hodkinson et al 2005) Multinational companies are more concerned with employee performance and personality than with formal qualifications (Brown et al, 2006) Multinational companies are more concerned with employee performance and personality than with formal qualifications (Brown et al, 2006)

12 Skills and Workforce Development The assessment of students literacy capacity should tailored to the practical contexts for which their courses are preparing them (Ivanic et al, 2006) The assessment of students literacy capacity should tailored to the practical contexts for which their courses are preparing them (Ivanic et al, 2006) Occupational labels can be misleading indicators of the knowledge, skill and learning experiences of employees while increased responsibility raises aspirations and creates more opportunities to learn (Felstead et al, 2008) Occupational labels can be misleading indicators of the knowledge, skill and learning experiences of employees while increased responsibility raises aspirations and creates more opportunities to learn (Felstead et al, 2008)

13 Skills and Workforce Development Workplace training that merely re-teaches school mathematics will not close the skills gap. Techno-mathematical skills are rarely picked up on the job and need to be developed explicitly in context (Hoyles et al, 2007) Workplace training that merely re-teaches school mathematics will not close the skills gap. Techno-mathematical skills are rarely picked up on the job and need to be developed explicitly in context (Hoyles et al, 2007) Adult basic skills programmes initiated by and within workplaces survive the longest. Increased proficiency requires use of the skills on the job (Wolf et al, 2007) Adult basic skills programmes initiated by and within workplaces survive the longest. Increased proficiency requires use of the skills on the job (Wolf et al, 2007)

14 Widening Participation Universities need to be sure about the means of accommodating disabled students and upholding academic standards. Many adjustments for disabled students are in line with good teaching practices for all students (Fuller et al, 2007) Universities need to be sure about the means of accommodating disabled students and upholding academic standards. Many adjustments for disabled students are in line with good teaching practices for all students (Fuller et al, 2007) Working class students show resilience and commitment despite structural discrimination and should not be viewed by universities as high risk or problematic (Crozier & Reay, 2008) Working class students show resilience and commitment despite structural discrimination and should not be viewed by universities as high risk or problematic (Crozier & Reay, 2008)

15 Widening Participation Students need more financial support to reduce the need for taking employment while studying (Crozier & Reay, 2008) Students need more financial support to reduce the need for taking employment while studying (Crozier & Reay, 2008) Universities need to ensure they do not limit the learning of students from diverse backgrounds (Hockings & Bowl, 2008) Universities need to ensure they do not limit the learning of students from diverse backgrounds (Hockings & Bowl, 2008) Policy makers need to continue their focus on narrowing the socio-economic gap in relation to university attendance (Vignoles et al, 2007) Policy makers need to continue their focus on narrowing the socio-economic gap in relation to university attendance (Vignoles et al, 2007)

16 Widening Participation An expansion of work-focused higher education will place new demands on access and transfer functions of dual sector institutional arrangements (Parry et al, 2008) An expansion of work-focused higher education will place new demands on access and transfer functions of dual sector institutional arrangements (Parry et al, 2008) More high quality work-related provision by employers could release latent employee demand (Fuller et al, 2007) More high quality work-related provision by employers could release latent employee demand (Fuller et al, 2007) Widening participation – addressing attitudes that contribute to non-participation Widening participation – addressing attitudes that contribute to non-participation

17 Non-Participation in HE: Decision- making as an embedded social practice Alison Fuller Department for Employment and Learning, Belfast, 27 November 2009 School of Education

18 Background to our research Policy and research interest in WP: persistently uneven patterns of participation Target that 50% of 18-30s to enter HE (by 2010 dropped) 2020 target of at least 40% of working population with L4 qualifications Nearly 6 million workers have L3 Qs as their highest qualification Demographic changes The problem of participant proxies

19 Research Aims To examine the extent to which HE is conceived as within the bounds of the possible for 'potentially recruitable' but 'non-participating' adults To explore how attitudes to HE and decisions about participation are distributed across, embedded and negotiated within inter- generational 'networks of intimacy'

20 Project methodology Stage one: desk research (lit reviews), analysis of large scale data sets, 32 key informant interviews Stage two: sixteen case study 'networks of intimacy: 16 entry point interviews plus approx. 5 additional interviews per network (107 in total), followed by second entry point interviews Entry points were adults aged over 21 who have attained L3 qualifications but have not [yet] participated in HE

21 Our network sample Aged 13 to 96 (most 21-60), 60% female 44 (approx 40%) in total have L3 as highest qualification; approx 30% have L4 as highest qualification 90% of those with L3 had vocational qualifications, most acquired some years after leaving school 72% of our L3 sample in NS-SEC classes 3 and below, most in skilled/supervisory level work

22 Entry Point John Hanley (age 34) Lives with wife and children <11years. Location: isolated small town Boat builder Highest qual: CMI Diploma Experience of HE: No John Hanleys Network Sister Jackie Hanley (age 29) Lives alone. Location: urban PT work and Student Highest qualification: Level 4 Experience of HE: Yes Mother Mary Hanley (age 57) Lives with partner. Location: isolated small town PT caretaker Highest qualification: Level 1 shorthand/ typing/book keeping Experience of HE: No Wife Cathy Hanley (age 35) Lives with husband and children <11years Location: isolated small town PT Supermarket worker Highest qual: NVQ1 Retail Experience of HE: No Aunt Anne Miller (age 49) Lives with husband and child >11 years. Location: isolated small town PT Dental Nurse. Highest qualification: Level 3 SEN Experience of HE: No Friend George Harris (age 40) Lives with wife and children age <11. Location: isolated small town Section leader and Boat Builder Highest qualification: Level 3 Experience of HE: No Friend Graham Powell (age 34) Lives alone. Location: isolated small townl Not in paid work Highest qualification: GCSE Experience of HE: No Mother-in-law Julie Renwick (age 57) Lives alone. Location: isolated small town PT administrator Highest qualification: NVQ2 Experience of HE: No

23 The network approach Educational decision-making is often theorised as a deeply embedded social practice Yet… often based on individual accounts What is the added value of network-based research?

24 Network-based decision-making Networks as sites of varying forms of social, cultural and economic capital Critical nature of network characteristics (e.g. strength and range of interpersonal ties, shared/contested values) Importance of life course perspective and life stage

25 Peter Sharpe (Husband) Gill Henson (Friend) Susan Bryant (Friend) Jane Walker (Friend) Tom Andrews (Brother) Helen Andrews (Sister-in-law) Joanne Sharpe (Entry Point) Nature of tie Strength of tie Very strong Strong Weak Very weak Family Friendship Key Notes 1This sociogram represents interviewed network members only. 2Nature of tie represents the type of relationship between the network members. Family ties include immediate blood family and constructed (married in/partnered) members. 3 Strength of tie demonstrates a combination of the amount of time, the emotional intensity, the intimacy (mutual confiding), and the reciprocity which characterise the tie. Joanne Sharpes Network

26 Social Networks, Relationships & Value I have supported him loads and loads and loads, and Joanna has brilliantly supporting [sic] Peter for four years …Everything is about a team effort you know, if you think you can just do everything in your life without accepting any help from anyone else, then you are a fool… my friendship with Joanna has been her supporting me in times of need, and me supporting her in times of need. (Susan, friend)

27 Key Findings (1): Sources of advice No single agency has WP in HE across the life course as its core mission 75% of our KIs worked with under 19 year olds, those working with older groups focused on L2 and below Lack of independent IAG increases reliance on hot knowledge Rosies experience – IAG provided through childrens school and family learning centre

28 Key Finding (2): Relevance of HE The potentially recruitable in our research were living comfortable, stable lives and usually see little need to participate in HE Historically, L3 qualifications have generated relatively good returns Are degrees always necessary for advancement? Need for higher level qualifications is growing in importance

29 Key Finding (3) The multi-directionality of network influence Network influence is transmitted upwards from child to parent as well as downwards Those with no 1 st hand HE experience express ambivalence about its value HE experiences within social networks critically shape the perceptions of potentially recruitable adults across and within generations

30 Inter-generational ambivalence I just think theres too many people going along that road for the amount of work there is…I have probably said to the boys [teenage sons] that I think a degree leaves you with a very large debt and not necessarily what you want to do in life, but I havent suggested to them that they couldnt do it if they wanted to. (Cathys aunt)

31 Key Finding (3) The multi-directionality of network influence Network influence is transmitted upwards from child to parent as well as downwards Those with no 1 st hand HE experience express ambivalence about its value HE experiences within social networks critically shape the perceptions of potentially recruitable adults across and within generations

32 Key Finding 4: Perceived value of learning Generally positive attitudes towards formal and informal learning as adults, despite often negative experiences of compulsory schooling. Perceive value of self-directed and non-certificated froms of learning in pursuit of personal interests Appetite for high quality, work-related and employer- supported provision, and for recognised qualifications that offer recipients tangible returns

33 Policy Implications and conclusions Limits of WP approaches which focus solely on individual and under-estimate influence of social networks/cultures Need for professional information, advice and guidance for adults that is relevant to their life stage and is accessible Identification with entrants to HE who are people like me influences decision-making across and within generations Tapping latent employee demand for qualifications that offer tangible returns, requires support from more employers and availability of flexible, PT provision


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