These projects are an illustration of the work that we do in Education and Social Justice:
Researching Multilingualism, Multilingualism in Research Practice
This project, funded by an ESRC RDI initiative has three specific aims:
1.To provide, for researchers at different points in their career, advanced training and development activities which are related to the study of multilingualism and to multilingualism in research practice;
2.To encourage the transfer and application of well-established research methods from contemporary sociolinguistic studies of multilingualism to other social science disciplines, particularly education;
3.To develop dedicated research training materials and facilitate international dialogue among researchers involved in running research methodology courses for doctoral researchers conducting research in multilingual contexts.
Over the last three years the project has run a number of workshops and training sessions for doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Find out more....
Labour market expectations, relative performance and subject choice
Since the quality of educational outcomes is crucial for future prosperity and well-being the subject choices made by students are ‘high stakes’ for others as well as themselves. This project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, evaluates the effects of providing 15-16 year-old students with information about the differences between earnings of graduates from different subjects.
Early specialisation remains a distinctive attribute of the English education system, but concern is frequently expressed that specialisation within formal schooling produces too few graduates in certain subjects: notably in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and modern foreign languages. A recent report for the Nuffield Foundation (Hodgen et al. 2010) has highlighted comparatively low rates of post-16 participation in mathematics education in the UK.
Information and guidance currently available to students encourages them to choose the subjects they enjoy and the subjects they think they are good at. This advice is uncontroversial and students do choose subjects in which they have a relative advantage. However, a system which requires early specialisation needs students to have accurate expectations about the labour market implications of their choices.
The research will focus on 15/16 year old students choosing subjects to study in the sixth form (Year 12). It will use an intervention through which students are provided with information about graduate earnings. The effect of this intervention will then be evaluated using a randomised controlled trial and the effect of the intervention will be measured through students’ preferences towards subjects before they start Year 12 and the actual courses they are studying in Year 12.
Contact: Peter Davies
Children’s lives in Birmingham
In 2012, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery hosted the first ever major exhibition in the city on childhood. The exhibition focused on the history of childhood in the 18th-21st centuries and was led by the University of Birmingham, School of Education. The exhibition used the Birmingham museum, art gallery and library collections to explore the different ways people have thought about childhood as a stage of life, the relationships of children with their families and peers, the experiences of children in school, at work and at the hands of various welfare institutions, and the ways in which children have imagined the world. Find out more....
Contact: Ian Grosvenor and Sian Roberts