Education studies and teaching news at Brighton

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Research Symposium returns to the Falmer campus

After two years of being held online the annual School of Education Post-Graduate Student Research Conference was revived as a face-to-face event.

The event took place at the University of Brighton’s Falmer campus and was attended by students studying on our Education MA and EdD programme as well as MA alumni and School of Education staff.

The Research Symposium was titled ‘Education Research and Researchers: Diverse perspectives and experiences’ and was convened by Brighton academics Dr Soo Sturrock, Dr Alison Barnes and Dr Keith Turvey.

Dr Soo Sturrock said: “The symposium is a highly effective medium for a wholly student-centred event.  We were delighted to re-establish the on-site format and to maximise the opportunities for interaction, networking and meeting old friends.”

The annual research event is central for all MA and Doctoral students and a component of their courses. In addition to the essential feedback, the event is a celebration of the school’s post-graduate student research community and offers both staff and students the opportunity to come together to share their work, and to support and stimulate each other. The dialogue, reflections, observations and the potential connections and meanings are all vital for our research journeys.

The day composed of:

  • A keynote lecture from Dr Rachel Marks entitled Where’s Wally? Searching for diverse perspectives and experiences in education research (add link to Pure and recent Nuffield research
  • Research Ethics Poster presentations and Q and A session
  • Roundtable presentations with discussions
  • Alumni panel

Presentations and discussions were on wide-ranging themes including:

  • What are KS2 children’s experiences of using talk cue cards to support mathematical reasoning? This presentation focussed on capturing young children’s voices in educational research: The affordances and constraints of video-elicitation interviews.
  • A research study exploring the common operational characteristics of three successful Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) day nurseries in England This presentation focussed on the Literature review in a grounded theory study.
  • What is the knowledge and understanding of autism among teachers and their experiences of autistic pupils? This presentation included discussions of the analysis of data about teachers’ experiences of working with autistic pupils.
presenter in front of a group of attendees

The Alumni Panel included presentations about the Education MA journey as well as its personal and professional impact. The presentations were thought provoking, stimulating, passionate and confident presentations and the ideas resonated deeply with the audience, highlighting the importance, reality and impact of small-scale practitioner research.

One presenter concluded that process of research made her feel “a head taller”.

The group lunch and networking provided some much-needed time for conversation, reunions and laughter and delicious treats courtesy of one alumnus attendee.

Tutors agreed that the event achieved a really high level of collegiate interaction engagement and generous and constructive feedback. Feedback from attendees included:

“Thank you for an excellent symposium.  The level of thought and preparation was clearly evident in a well-paced, researcher-driven and thought-provoking experience. “

“This was a critical platform for important research to be shared; every talk and presentation reflected the passion for inclusive, progressive, educational research and caused me to think.”

“It was so inspiring to hear how different researchers are trying to improve, understand and impact on so many different areas of education through their research. I found being in a room with this collective purpose very uplifting.”

“It was good to hear from other researchers about how they are tackling or have tackled tricky issues. The sense of solidarity is so important for our individual journeys.” 

Dr Soo Sturrock added: “This was an exciting and successful event. Common to all the sessions was the sense of community and collegiality, the friendliness and kindness of colleagues and the positive tenor of the questions and conversations. The post-graduate tutor team was proud to facilitate the conference and to be part of a vibrant research community.

“Despite the diversity of our professional roles and workplaces, common to our studies and work is the shared endeavour of research practices and methodology.“

Learn more about the event, the presentations and the speakers.

Kerry Burnett • July 26, 2023

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