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Events for the 2020/21 academic year


22 October 2020

Black History Month

The university has collaborated with Multicultural Cumbria to produce an online conference entitled Race 2B. The conference will be hosted online on Thursday 22 October and will consist of a morning and afternoon session. Professor Sally Elton-Chalcraft from the Institute of Education and Dr Karen Lockney, Programme Leader, Working with Children and Families, Institute of Health, represent the university alongside esteemed external speakers.

Full details and the links to join one, or both sessions, can be accessed HERE. Colleagues are invited to join and promote the event to their students and networks.

We have received requests through our focus groups for access to material which could be used as or integrated with existing teaching resources. Further information and inspiration on Black History Month can be found at, which includes information on role models, Windrush, regional events and a resource pack. Nigel Rourke, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Business, Industry & Leadership, has kindly collated a set of resources that can be accessed HERE and internally there have been updates to the Reading for You scheme web page , which now includes diversity related reading lists, with a focus on BAME, Anti-Racism and decolonizing research methodologies.


Lightning Talks Nov 2020-Feb 2021

18 November 2020

Dr Steven Chubb

The Impact of a New National Curriculum on Subject Leaders in Primary and Secondary Schools

What should we teach in our schools, and who should decide? These two questions have garnered debate for many years.

Every change in UK Governments since 1992 has led to a new version of the National Curriculum and each revision impacts on the work of teachers in school. Do teachers take the new content on board as directed, or do they pragmatically mediate or even resist it so that their own vision for their subject remains intact? In short, what is the capacity of the State ‘to reach into the school’? (Bowe et al, 1992, 9).

I investigated these questions in a small-scale case study by engaging with subject leaders in two English schools, a Primary and a Secondary, and exploring with them those factors affecting their decision making when mediating a new National Curriculum. Their responses were analysed using Thematic Analysis, based on the approach popularised by Braun and Clarke (2006, 2012, 2013, 2016).

The National Curriculum itself may be seen as a policy document but it may also be analysed at a more theoretical level where it is a physical iteration of how a society wishes to reproduce itself and ensure that the ‘correct’ socio-cultural knowledge is being ‘passed on’ to the next generation.

To consider the National Curriculum in these terms, a helpful conceptual tool is that of Bernstein’s theory of the ‘pedagogic device’ (2000), aimed at theorising how ‘thinkable’ knowledge is generated and transformed into school knowledge and pedagogic practice.

My research suggested that further conceptual development of the role of assessment within the pedagogic device has some value and it contributes to the developing literature on this aspect of Bernstein’s pedagogic device theory.


16 December 2020

Tracy Hayes

Shared-story approaches: you tell me yours, and I’ll tell you mine…

In this interactive session we will look at the use of stories in research and teaching. This is relevant whatever your discipline. As we are reminded by Gordon MacLellan (2007, p.165):

All our explanations can be seen as stories. Whether we call them myths, legends, fables or hard fact, they are all stories. Our most precious scientific processes are still stories: patterns spun to explain observations, rhythms of words that change and grow as our understanding changes and patterns that might help to explain what is going on around us …

We will take it in turns to share stories from our research and discuss the challenges and joys of using this type of approach. Please come prepared with either a short story from your research or a story you use in teaching.


20 January 2021

Dr Hugh Moore

My presentation will cover the research undertaken during my doctorate:

This may be of use to anybody interested in using artefacts as part of their teaching or planning to use interviews as part of case study research.

Organic Historical Reasoning was a concept which emerged from the data during a case study of student thinking about past lives. The thinking arose from the handling of historical artefacts during teaching. 13 students subsequently took part in interviews which were transcribed and then subjected to a hybrid grounded/thematic analysis.  The concept of Organic Historical Reasoning emerged from the analysis of the data.

Organic Historical Reasoning appears to occur in three levels:

  • The first is pedagogical reasoning - where the students engage in reasoning about the teaching activity.
  • The second level arises directly from the use of original artefacts and involves thinking about the reality of the past.
  • The third level of thinking is arranged into three categories of thought.

1. the student demonstrates a sense of themselves in relation to the past. This was an unexpected category of thought and may relate to various types of memory including autobiographical memory.

2. the student appears to engage in various types of empathy as they think about the historical figure.

3. another unexpected line of thought was where the student demonstrated a sense of perspective in relation to the past (i.e. we cannot fully know the past because we weren't there).



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