School of Education
Research and Enterprise Conference


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Session 3: 3pm to 3.45pm

Further explorations in research, teaching and learning


Room 1

Chair: Dr Marlon Moncrieffe, University of Brighton, UK. 


1. Social and emotional learning in mathematics classrooms

Emine Serap Karacan, University of Reading, UK

In this paper, I will present my research project related to primary school children’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics classrooms in the UK. SEL is a key factor for improving pupils’ academic performance and lifelong learning. However, for both pupils and teachers, SEL competencies have not been studied intensively and directly in mathematics education. Moreover, enhancement of social and emotional competencies provides an environment that supports and helps academic achievement in education and school life.

In this research, my aim is to understand how to manage the existing issues such as the feelings of boredom, anger, math anxiety and hopelessness faced by pupils in math classrooms through SEL support. Also, observing potential negative interaction patterns between students with their peers and teachers in the context of SEL that might provide suitable solutions for those problems.

Therefore, this paper shares on the study’s intention to investigate how SEL delivery could be implemented. For this presentation, I will talk about my research focus together with the research questions, and methodology part including paradigm rationale and research design.


2. Ratio and Proportion: Developing a STEM-based scheme of work

Özdemir Tiflis, Brunel University, UK

Many students still have difficulty when learning the topic of ratio and proportion in school and applying it to daily life although it is a core topic at all school levels (Johnson, 2013). This paper will present the objective of my PhD research which is to determine whether a STEM-based scheme of work is an effective tool for addressing ratio and proportion errors made by resit GCSE students in England; seeking opportunities for improvement where inadequacy is identified. In this study, before teaching, the pre-diagnostic test developed for this study was administered. Then, the pre-diagnostic test was analysed using an error analysis model, and in light of these results, STEM-based lesson plans were designed. Lastly, the post-diagnostic test was administered. Qualitative data has been collected via diagnostic tests, interviews and lesson observations. The results of the research show that there were significant decreases in the percentages of mistakes made in “understanding mathematical statements” and in “determining appropriate strategies or procedures”. These had the highest percentage among students` answers in the pre-diagnostic test. Developing an understanding of students` errors, investigating the causes of these errors, and developing STEM-based lesson plans have provided important information about how teachers can build support within mathematics teaching.


Room 2

Chair: Professor Andy Hobson, University of Brighton, UK. 


1. Rethinking significant turning points: how new methods of literary analysis concerning structure have been used in a narrative inquiry into critical junctures in teacher careers

Alexander Ramiz, University of Brighton, UK

Until now, within social sciences research generally and qualitative Teacher Professional Identity research specifically, turning points have been widely recognised. However, research into the various ways in which they are structured is scant. The significant contribution of this research presented in this paper has been the attempt to tentatively categorise different types of turns that occur across different episodes in teachers’ careers in an organised way. Recourse to recent developments in literary criticism concerned with various ways in which literary works structurally turn has revealed further means to glean potentially richer and more detailed interpretive insights from narrative accounts.

This research investigated how narrative was used to make sense of and describe significant moments of change in the formation of the professional identities of twelve teachers across four generations in the thirty years following the 1988 Educational Reform Act. Amongst findings of the research was the dynamic interplay between the personal altruistic and intrinsic goals of the teachers and the extrinsic, external managerial cultures of accountability. This research develops methods of narrative analysis concerning times and experiences of change.


2. Peer mentoring during a pandemic: “a mental health and wellbeing life-line”

Kathy Clements & Professor Andy Hobson
University of Brighton, UK

In this paper we discuss a Research and Development (R&D) project involving the establishment of a sustainable Peer-to-Peer Mentoring scheme for Head Teachers in Sussex primary and secondary schools. The mentoring scheme is underpinned by the ONSIDE Mentoring framework, in which mentoring is characterised by being Offline (separated from line-management), Non-judgemental, Supportive, Individualised, Developmental and Empowering (Hobson, 2016).

The R&D model includes:

  • the provision of specialist training for mentoring participants
  • formative research on the initial enactment of mentoring relationships, which informs
  • further professional development workshops for participants
  • a subsequent evaluation to establish the impact of the mentoring scheme and to inform its rollout and continued development.

In this paper, we begin by providing a brief outline of ONSIDE peer-to-peer mentoring, of support provided by the University of Brighton for the development of the mentoring scheme, and of the formative and summative research into the enactment of the scheme. We then focus on research findings relating to:

  • how the enactment of ONSIDE peer-to-peer mentoring was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated school closures
  • whether ONSIDE peer-to-peer mentoring may have helped participating headteachers to navigate this unprecedented global disaster.


Room 3

Chair: Dr Peter Hemming, University of Brighton, UK. 



1. Researching Britishness post-pandemic using river as a metaphor

Alex Kosogorin, Nottingham Trent University, UK

This paper outlines plans for my PhD research on Britishness within the context of uncertain and fragmented nationalism, rising populism, a post-pandemic Brexit and the securitized duty to promote fundamental British Values in schools. I have decided to research the teaching of Britishness with the help of river as metaphor. This idea was originally developed after being
introduced to Hodges’ work on ‘rivers of experience’ (2010, p.188) where it was used as a reflexive tool for pupils to explore critical incidents in their reading development. I see how this metaphor works well as ‘rivers are constantly in motion and ever-changing, shaped by and shaping the terrain through which they flow’ (ibid). Hence, this paper discusses how my study aims to explore challenges in conceptualising and teaching Britishness by problematising Carroll, Howard and Knight’s claim that ‘the promotion of British Values through education and training must start with an agreement and shared understanding of what is meant by Britishness’ (2018, p.2).

In order to develop conceptual tools to try and begin to understand and research the competing discourses or tributaries of Britishness I aim to synthesise postcolonial and critical race theories to develop an overarching theoretical framework. This will enable me to acknowledge that any social constructions of Britishness do not take place in a vacuum but within unequal neo-colonial power structures and how knowledge or ignorance of the cultural legacies of colonialism can impact on developing conceptualisations of Britishness.

In particular I intend to utilise Bhabha’s (1994) concept of hybridisation to illustrate how colonialism’s histories, and ignorance of them, continue to have an influence today. Furthermore, Spivak’s (1988) articulation of epistemic violence through sanctioned ignorance that constitutes the colonial subject or sub-altern as ‘other’, and Dotson’s (2011) development of Spivak’s ideas linked to epistemic violence and silencing practices in testimony through the concept of pernicious ignorance.


2. Exploring race and ethnicity with students in UK universities

Shona Williamson, with Lis Bundock, Peter Hemming, Rosie Moore & Annie Richardson
University of Brighton, UK

The Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests of 2020 have heightened awareness of the imperative to decolonise the university curriculum (Moncrieffe et al, 2020) and to address racial and ethnic inequality in higher education more generally. This important agenda concerns university subject areas across the board, but courses with a social or political dimension afford significant opportunities to hold challenging conversations with students about race, ethnicity and (in)equality and its relevance for their particular field of study.

This presentation will introduce our Santander Universities Global Challenges funded project, which seeks to investigate how university educators explore issues of race, ethnicity and (in)equality within social science degree programmes. It will achieve this through a national survey of university educators teaching in a selection of UK universities, followed by subsequent focus groups with volunteers who have completed the survey. It is hoped that this research will contribute to wider pedagogical debates about how these issues can best be addressed within social science teaching across the university sector. In this paper, we will share initial thematic findings from our literature review, as well as an outline of the overall research design for the project.


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