15 SES 10, The Notion of Partnership: Case Study III
Parallel Paper Session
This paper explores the role of collaborative educational research in addressing societal challenges related to social and educational inclusion and exclusion. The changing priorities of major funders of UK educational research are encouraging universities to focus research on ‘excellence with impact’ and ‘genuine engagement with the public and .....stakeholder communities’ (Wright, 2011, p2). To address this issue, Newcastle University in the north of England is profiling a significant number of its research areas under ‘Societal Challenge Themes' so that research that addresses key challenges within society can be made accessible and meaningful to non-academic audiences. This can be considered to be an important aspect of the role of the civic University. However Wright (2011, p.1) notes for some disciplines that the connections between academic research and practical problem solving are often tenuous: ‘These problems stem from both sides. For those grappling with pressing issues, it may seem just too difficult to transform conventional academic thought into something more practical’.
In contrast, Carr (2006) argues that there is tacit agreement among educational researchers that educational research makes an important contribution to the formation of educational policy and practice and is ‘inextricable from the local and parochial contexts within which it is produced and always embedded in, and dependent on, the kind of contingent norms, values and beliefs that it claims to examine and assess in the practice of others (Carr,2006, p146). This is reflected in Newcastle University educational research community’s response to the societal challenge theme 2011-2012 of ‘Social Renewal’.
Social renewal, as conceived within the research community at Newcastle, is a response to the question: ‘how can societies and communities (local, regional, national and international) thrive when faced with rapid, transformational change?’ (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/socialrenewal/nisr/). The research events and projects organised by educational researchers under this theme are brought together under the title ‘Learning for Change’. The focus is on ways educational researchers can work in partnership with teachers, learners, families and communities in both formal and less formal spaces for learning, to share and build knowledge and address issues of common concern. These include learner needs in specific contexts and the broad range of inequities (Glass and Wong, 2003) that impact on their education and aspirations and contribute to social inclusion or exclusion.
Carr, W. 2006. Education without Theory. British Journal of Educational Studies, DOI number: 10.1111/j.1467-8527.2006.00344.x Vol.54, No.2, pp136–1591 Coote, A., J. Allen, and D. Woodhead. 2004. Finding out what works: Building knowledge about complex community-based initiatives. London: The King’s Fund. Dyson, A. & Todd, L. (2010): Dealing with complexity: theory of change evaluation and the full service extended schools initiative, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 33:2, 119-134 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1743727X.2010.484606 Freire, P., 1970. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum Press, New York. hooks, bell, 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education As the Practice of Freedom. Routledge, New York. Glass, R.D., Wong, P.L. 2003 Engaged Pedagogy: Meeting the Demands for Justice in Urban Professional Development Schools Teacher Education. Quarterly Spring 2003, 69-87. Leat D, Reid A. The Role of Student Researchers in Curriculum Development. Oxford Review of Education 2013. Madge, C., Raghuram, P., Noxolo, P. Engaged pedagogy and responsibility: A postcolonial analysis of international students. Geoforum 40 (2009) 34–45. Wright, N. 2011 Tackling Society’s Big Challenges http://www.ncl.ac.uk/documents/bigchallenges.pdf accessed 29.01.12
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