Plymouth Institute of Education Research Node Seminars
  • In person (Room 204, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • In person (Room 002, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • In person (Room 002, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • Room 002, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth

  • In person (Room 102, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • Room 102, Rolle Building

  • In person (Room 006, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • In person (Room 305, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • In person (Room 116, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

  • In person (Room 002, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth); online (via Zoom) tbc

  • In person (Room 205, Rolle Building, University of Plymouth) and online (via Zoom)

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University of Plymouth staff and doctoral students are invited to a series of presentations about research taking place within the Plymouth Institute of Education. Please email to be invited to future Research Node seminars.
Online seminars will be automatically recorded and shared. Please email us if you do not wish to be included.
Friday 10 February 2023 | Playful citizenship. From disturbances to productive ruptures | Presenter: Lene Cherize Haugland Sirevåg (Research Fellow at the Department of Pedagogy, University of Agder)
Children’s playful collectives, nourishing democratic living in primary school. An ethnographic study exploring disturbances, children’s daily life in primary school and children’s citizenship. This ethnographic study targets children in a Norwegian primary school (grade one and seven) to develop knowledge and insight on how social processes and interaction in moments of disturbances impact children’s opportunities to negotiate their subjectivity as a democratic subject. 
Thursday 16 February 2023 | Gender and access to the ocean – discussion of a scoping project in the Maldives and Indonesia | Presenter: Flossy Barraud (doctoral student)
Flossy will give an overview of her cross-disciplinary PhD project and learnings from her recent scoping research in the Maldives and Indonesia. Flossy spent two months in-field in late 2022 conducting interviews and co-hosting community consultations with 13 islands to inform the design of a local swim instructor training programme, which aims to facilitate more women and girls to swim, snorkel and love the ocean. 
Thursday 2 March 2023 | ‘Chest Health Through the Lens of a Child with Neurodisability’ A Mosaic approach to explore child-focused perceptions of exercise-based chest health interventions | Presenters: Katherine Gulliver and Kathrin Paal (PIoE) and Rachel Knight Lozano (School of Health Professions)
Children with a neurodisability who are non-ambulatory are at a higher risk of respiratory illness, and often not included in research that explores the management and prevention of chest health treatments. This presentation highlights the methods used to enable children with disabilities to share their experiences of activities and movement in school. Findings highlight the range of activities available to four children in two special schools that promote movement, general health and wellbeing. Benefits and barriers highlight important recognition of children’s voice, inequalities in disabilities and implications for supporting chest health for children with a neurodisability.
Thursday 30 March 2023 | Preschool children’s concepts of inclusion and the relationship to teachers’ perspectives | Presenter: Ramazan Merk, Doctoral Student, PIoE
Ramazan's research aim is to discover children voice on inclusive education in preschools regarding teachers’ perspectives. He looked at listening of children including children voices within children right for the research in order to find inclusive education in the early years settings with children. He adopted mosaic approach via qualitative method.
  • Venue (in-person attendance): Room 002, Rolle Building
Thursday 13 April 2023 | Title tbc | Presenter: Abigail O'Brien
Abstract details to follow.
Thursday 11 May 23 | “Is this concrete all around or is it in my head?” Trust, Transgression and SEND Students as Leaders of Learning: equitable pedagogical partnerships and civic compassion in practice provided by Creative Arts, Project-Based Learning (CAPBL) approaches. | Presenter: Dr James Tarling, Lecturer in Education, PIoE
CAPBL is an example of a student-led, project based creative arts curriculum evolved from a growing body of evidence for the educational benefits of these approaches (Tarling, 2019) (Mitchell and Rogers, 2020). However, CAPBL is novel in that it brings these ideas to a specialist SEND, post-16 context, still relatively unresearched in this respect.
The premise of CAPBL is that equitable pedagogical partnerships are encouraged, providing students with more control of their learning whilst focusing on real-world outcomes. Co-creative approaches, including risk-taking as mechanism for nurturing trust and possibility thinking (Craft, 2015), are explored as part of a broader process of ‘legitimising the search’ (Stenhouse, 1975) for new learning. Challenging dominant paradigms of knowledge-led learning, CAPBL seeks to actively include SEND learners in the process of curriculum design itself.
Literature in this domain highlights a disconnect between the perceived personal value of arts education and its outsider status in national curriculum frameworks (Robinson, 2015), further complicated by cultural barriers associated with ‘high art’ which, it has been argued, limit participation (Carey, 2005); creative arts education remains suspended in a Newton’s Cradle of educational assumptions and public policy, ultimately preventing students who might most benefit, from gaining access to a more diverse arts-enriched curriculum.
This context is further problematised by current political policy. The recent SEND Green Paper (HM government, 2022) whilst demonstrating an awareness of systemic inequality, fails to directly address matters of pedagogical practice and what this might look like for SEND learners and their teachers. Instead, critics have highlighted an additional vacuum in discourse both in relation to further education, specialist provision and the tenacity of narratives exemplified in this influential document: debate grounded in medical models of deficit (Gorard and Smith, 2004) and neoliberal assumptions about individual success and attainment which do not reflect either the language or spirit of current thinking around neurodiversity-affirming practice (Meadows, 2021).
This paper attempts to address these omissions by providing workable coordinates for practice located within theoretical frameworks that offer professional resistance to prevailing preoccupations with prescription in curriculum design. Specifically, civic compassion (Warwick, 2016), pedagogical partnership (Gibson and Cook-Sather, 2020) and passing references to 1970’s Glam Rock are considered in relation to the implementation and experiences of learners and staff attempting to work this way. Drawing on theory, recent small scale action research projects and reflective consideration of 20 years' teaching practice, this paper offers insights of interest to academics, system leaders, and teaching practitioners in both mainstream and diverse settings who seek alternative ways of thinking about curriculum.
  • Venue (in-person attendance): Room 102, Rolle Building 
Thursday 25 May 2023 | ‘Are We Included?’ A study of ‘inclusion’ and planned interventions in Plymouth secondary schools – findings so far | Presenter: Dr Suanne Gibson, Associate Professor in Education, PIoE
UK Educators and policy makers are concerned by the impact of rising pupil exclusion, EHE, CMOOE and CME figures – regionally and nationally. Furthermore, schools and school communities continue to manage the impact of pandemic lockdowns upon pupil learning, attainment and progression. These issues feed into the wider policy agenda and UK government priority of Inclusion and Levelling Up. 
Building on international research that has been proven to improve outcomes for disadvantaged and underperforming students, ‘Are We Included?’, provides a way forward to prevailing issues impacting on inclusive practice and the Levelling Up agenda in Plymouth Schools (DfE 2020). The project ‘Are We Included?’ represents the first sustained Higher Education and Secondary School collaboration for inclusive education in Plymouth, with experts representing both city HEIs, an external Global top 50 HEI (Monash University), Plymouth City Council leaders, School MAT CEOs, the Regional Schools Commissioner and all secondary level headteachers.  
The principle aim of this project is to improve outcomes (attendance, behaviour, learning) for underperforming students through the implementation of appropriate measurement tools for students, teachers, leaders, parents, and carers that will inform inclusive practice in secondary education (Sharma,U. and Sokal, L. 2015). The secondary aim is to introduce a sustained coach led six-week inclusion training programme for secondary students, with input from University of Plymouth student trained mentors, school leaders and teachers.  
Our team have analysed 1,400 Plymouth teacher, parent and pupil responses to psychometric questionnaires and conducted focus groups and interviews with the same sample population. Subsequently, we have designed and rolled out a new intervention for inclusion in schools where trained mentors, University of Plymouth students, work directly with excluded and at-risk pupils (2021/22, 2022/23). Evaluation of impact shows benefits to pupils, families and schools with new practices recommended for city school internal exclusions and a revised definition of Inclusion applied in Plymouth schools (Blandford, S and Gibson, S. 2022a). Work to date shows a strong need and commitment across the city to partner up and make positive change happen for the Plymouth child, family and school.
This paper provides an overview of the study and outcomes to date: findings and next steps. 
Thursday 8 June 2023 | Title tbc | Presenter: Jacklyn Barry, Associate Lecturer and doctoral student, PIoE
Abstract details to follow.
Thursday 22 June 2023 | Exploring kindness and vulnerability as teaching methods | Presenter: Dr Emma Macleod-Johnstone, PIoE
Playing with the significance of these as the bedrock of teaching 'methods'. Nothing new in us knowing about the importance of 'belonging'; questioning, therefore, what is it to be of a kin/d and how might acts of kind-ness incorporate the gift of ineptitude on our part? What is power of showing and working with vulnerability.  Am I selling this yet?
Thursday 6 July 2023 | Spatial inequalities in education; Putting Lefebvre to work on a case study | Presenter: Dr Cath Gristy, Lecturer in Education, PIoE
Social and cultural studies over the past 20 years have been witnessing a 'spatial turn', an intellectual engagement with place and space, as a response to a longstanding ontological and epistemological biases focused elsewhere. This is part of a wider theoretical project that grapples with the materiality of the world. It appears to offer promise to those looking for acknowledgement that in education place and space matters in particular, the spatiality of inequalities and injustices. This short talk introduces the work of Henri Lefebvre as a starting point for a spatial engagement with education and place. Lefebvre offers a set of ideas to use in developing understanding of observations, connecting these into wider conversations about education, particularly those concerned with equity and justice. 
  •  Venue (in-person attendance): Room 002, Rolle Building
  • Online (via Zoom): tbc
Thursday 20 July 2023 | Enacting and experiencing multiculturalism in South West England primary schools | Presenter: Suparna Bagchi, PIoE
Awareness of cultural diversity and race equality has heightened following George Floyd’s killing in the USA in 2020. This increasing awareness is particularly relevant in areas of historically low ethnic diversity which have lately experienced a rise in ethnic minority populations and where inclusive growth is a challenge. 
Suparna's research is a holistic exploration of the perspectives of students, parents, and practitioners towards multiculturalism in four South West England primary schools. She adopted a qualitative case study methodology framed by sociocultural theory. This presentation will aim to focus on her research findings.  
The study clearly links to Europe-wide considerations of how cultural awareness can be experienced through the practice of multicultural education for the inclusion of ethnically diverse children by creating safe places for them in the mainstream education system. This becomes distinctly pertinent to avoid horrific cases like Child Q’s case where a Black teenager was strip-searched during period wrongly suspected of cannabis possession.
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