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CERJ: Volume 10


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  • ItemOpen Access
    Accessible and Inclusive Higher Education for Palestinian Students with Disability: Policies and Practices Review
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Al-Masri, Nazmi; Aladini, Alaa; Alghoula, Nesma; Al-Masri, Nazmi [0000-0002-4470-2114 ]; Aladini, Alaa [0000-0002-5703-256X]; Alghoula, Nesma [0000-0003-2590-1123]
    As a commitment to promoting social justice and building inclusive society, this study aimed to review Palestinian policies and practices that support the right of students different disabilities to access inclusive higher education (IHE). To achieve this aim, four data collection tools were used: email correspondence, two focus group discussions involving 38 participant students with visual, physical and hearing disability, six individual interviews with senior directors of disability care offices in PHEIs, and content analysis of 11 policy documents. The results showed absence of factual information about Palestinian students with disabilities, lack of support to adopting in IHE in almost all existing policies and strategic goals, a mixture of practices facilitating and hindering implementation of core elements of IHE, and experience-based policies and practices proposed by the participants to make higher education more accessible and inclusive. Before presenting the conclusions, the study offered recommendations for the inclusiveness of higher education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Future is in the Making: A Review of Literature on Dynamic Assessment in Second Language Education
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Jin, Can
    As a newly-introduced perspective and pedagogy in second language (L2) education, Dynamic Assessment (DA) disintegrates the long-standing dualism between instruction and assessment by unifying the simultaneous diagnosis and promotion of learners’ L2 developmental potential during the evaluation process. Aligning with a future-oriented and process-focused vision to achieve educational fairness, DA has been increasingly gaining attention and has ignited much research enthusiasm by both educational scholars and practitioners. However, little has been done to date concerning an up-to-date review of this prospective domain. This article aims to provide a thorough review of the developmental trajectories of L2 DA literature with a dual purpose. First, it seeks to comprehensively tease out the general trends and themes in L2 DA development spanning over 30 years. Second, it endeavors to critically comment on the methodologies and DA approaches employed in different studies to emphasize meaningful advances in the field. In so doing, this article first introduces the key concepts of Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory underlying the DA principle and then provides a review of empirical L2 DA works coded into three themes, i.e., the interactionist DA approach, the interventionist DA approach and the hybrid DA approach, with several sub-themes further added. Summaries and limitations of current L2 DA works are discussed and potential directions for future research are also suggested.
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ Staff turnover in secondary schools – voices from four case studies in Cambridgeshire
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Baker, David; Baker, David [0009-0004-1916-6163]
    This is a dual-purpose paper. It is both a work-in-progress report as well as the expansion of a presentation to be given at the forthcoming Kaleidoscope 2023 conference. It therefore addresses one of the Kaleidoscope 2023 themes, resilience in education. The paper uses qualitative data extracted from my ongoing PhD research project that investigates the relationship between the everyday lives of all school staff, their working conditions, and their wellbeing. The aim of that project is to see if there are policies and design interventions that might improve the working lives of all school workers. The Introduction summarises the problem of recruitment and retention, both locally and globally. By reference to recent post-Pandemic research and current (April 2023) industrial unrest it suggests the importance of continuing research in this area. The Methodologies section details the theories underpinning the mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods that have been used in my PhD research and the way in which I have extracted the ‘voices’ that form the body of this paper. The Results are selected quotations from the interviews conducted with 12 members of staff in the 4 schools that were studied. My Discussion focusses on the interviewees’ feelings about themselves, and sheds light on sources of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The article concludes with ideas about what these voices tell us about resilience and suggests possible future work based on employee experience design.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Future of Cantonese and Traditional Chinese Among Newly Arrived Hong Kong Immigrant Children in the United Kingdom – A Study on Parents’ Attitudes, Challenges Faced And Support Needed
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Wong, Hiu Ching; Tsapali, Maria; Wong, Hiu Ching [0000-0002-5969-2481]
    Acculturation occurs where culturally different groups of individuals come into contact with each other, leading to cultural changes to either or both groups. For immigrants, home language maintenance is one aspect of acculturation. Studies have shown that home language maintenance is beneficial for immigrant children’s development in various ways. This mixed methods research looked at Hong Kong immigrants in the United Kingdom under the new British National (Overseas) Visa policy. It explored parents’ attitudes towards their children’s learning and maintenance of Cantonese and Traditional Chinese (the home language of local Hongkongers), the obstacles encountered and support needed for supporting their children’s home language development. Age-group-specific differences in findings were investigated. An online survey was used to collect responses from 96 parents regarding 146 children in three age groups: n = 28 in preschool, n = 73 in primary, and n = 45 in secondary. Results showed that almost 90% of respondents viewed Cantonese and Traditional Chinese development as important for their children, with the strongest reason being ethnic identity maintenance as a Hongkonger. More books and community gatherings were found to be needed for creating a contextualised home language environment for the children. Parents with preschool children were found to express significantly higher needs for multilingual development events than those with children in primary. The study suggested support measures and prompted future policies to consider age-group differences in home language learning support needs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Stress Coping Mechanisms of Vietnamese Students In Gifted Schools
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Truong, Truc Thanh; Underwood, James
    This article takes the familiar subject of student stress and transports it to an unfamiliar setting – “gifted schools” in Vietnam. Research by Vietnamese academics into stress among Vietnamese adolescents, has so far largely been quantitative and has focused on identifying the nature of this problem within Vietnam’s high outcomes but high-pressure education system. This paper takes an alternative qualitative approach, focusing on accessing student voice and using this to understand the coping strategies that Vietnamese students develop. The focus on ‘gifted schools’, is because these highly selective institutions attain exceptionally high academic outcomes according to international comparisons but also consequently place upon their students very high expectations and an extremely high workload. It is also because these schools and their students were supportive in co-creating this study. Via the innovative use of text-based interview, a method that was co-designed in conversation with the participants, this article explores the coping strategies that these students have developed, and in the findings presents a story of how they have developed sophisticated and individualised strategies to cope with stress. This article therefore approaches this issue from a positive and empowering perspective in partnership with the participants in this study. As revealed in this study - the students emphasised the importance of self-reliance when finding strategies, accompanied by the need for self-definition of whether strategies are positive or negative. As one example: rumination, which in Western research is typically portrayed as negative was seen more positively by these Vietnamese students. However, despite the emphasis on finding their own solutions they also welcomed increases in formal mental health support. The results of this study have the potential to inform practice and also lay the groundwork for future research, particularly within the context of education in Vietnam but also within the area of student voice research more broadly.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Breaking Barriers: The Struggle for Equal Access to Higher Education in Israel's Palestinian Arab Minority
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Hamdan, We'am
    This article undertakes a historical and contemporary examination of barriers to equal and equitable access to higher education for Israel's Palestinian Arab minority, with a specific emphasis on the pre-university examination criterion. Rooted in the aftermath of the 'Nakba' of 1948 and subsequent systemic erasures of Palestinian history and identity, the analysis uncovers how the segregated education system, compounded by socio-economic factors, has persistently hindered the learning outcomes of Arab students. These layered challenges reveal a sustained pattern of discrimination against Israel's Arab citizens, leading to a state of cultural and cognitive dissonance. Drawing on frameworks of Fanon and Sen, the paper argues for achieving more equitable educational outcomes through authentic integration models that value the minority's indigenous culture. This necessitates political resolve, historical acknowledgment, and a decolonial approach. The article concludes by outlining directions for future research focused on restructuring education policy to enhance Arab students' outcomes
  • ItemOpen Access
    COVID-19 and the Evolving Classroom: Perspectives from Two Indian Classrooms
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Kartha, Riya; Stroupe, Richmond
    As in other parts of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic in India brought with it an unprecedented change in the fabric and structure of the classroom in Indian schools, with teachers having to shift from in-person teaching to online instruction without prior exposure or training to this new interface of teaching and learning. This study—which was part of a larger paper on the newly introduced Arts-Integrated Learning (AIL) approach to teaching in a section of Indian schools—throws light on the perils and the possibilities of online instruction as experienced by teachers and students in two Indian schools. Drawing on the voices of the participants from semi-structured interviews that were conducted over a duration of two months, the study reveals the challenges posed to teachers and students by voluntary and involuntary disengagement, deeply embedded systemic pressures such as shortage of time, technological shortcomings, and teacher-centric pedagogical styles. The study further revealed the changing role and function of the teacher in the classroom, from a source of knowledge to a facilitative agent in the learning process. Additionally, both teachers and students highlighted the benefits of online instruction, citing time saved as an important factor. Given these perspectives from the two most significant stakeholders in the educational landscape, the study offers practical recommendations that could potentially mitigate the challenges posed by online instruction and reimagine the online interface as a tool that could aid both teachers and students in their interactions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Improving children’s oracy skills: a qualitative study highlighting the student’s voice towards different dialogic teaching strategies used in the classroom within one U.K. Primary School
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Willcox, Kristian; Tsapali, Maria
    Throughout the past 50 years, dialogic teaching techniques have experienced some ups and downs. The benefits of dialogic interactions for children's oracy abilities are widely documented in the literature (Maxwell et al., 2015), however the child's perspective is not often highlighted. The current study aims to determine children's perceptions of a sample of dialogic teaching strategies used in one primary setting, as well as how these impact children's self-confidence and participatory processes to engage in educational dialogue. The study focuses on children who face significant socio-economic deprivation because it has previously been discovered that their language development is underdeveloped compared to their more advantaged peers (Millard & Menzies, 2016). The study utilised a semi-structured interviewing technique in an inner-city primary academy in a city located in the southwest of the UK. Eight children aged 9 to 10 and one primary classroom teacher contextualised their experiences during 20-minute semi-structured interviews. Four key themes were extrapolated using thematic analysis. Theme One is an examination of a primary school's overall oracy metacognitive strategy. Theme Two is how this strategy contributes to the development of a dialogic classroom culture. Children from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds can directly benefit from Themes Three (Physicality of Talk) and Four (Visual Indicators), which are prominent and recurrent strategies to boost confidence and involvement. The "Physicality of Talk" theme showed novelty in the field of study because there is a paucity of research on how standing to speak affects a child's perception and increases their confidence to participate in educational discourse. The study has several implications for educational policy, teaching practice, and the use of specific research tools to elicit children's voices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Is this ethnography? The Role of labels in contemporary qualitative research
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Kenney, Phoenix
    In this reflexive piece from the field, I explore possible answers to the question: is my current doctoral project ethnography? Furthermore, I question the necessity of finding and claiming a pre-established label for my emergent work. I first provide a brief overview of my current research based in Kathmandu, Nepal and the personal and institutional challenges I faced in preparing for fieldwork. Ambiguity, though disliked by institutions, comfortably occupies space within my research paradigm. It takes deep reflexivity of positionality and power to navigate different perspectives – mine, institutions’, and the peoples’ I interact with in the field. Each interaction, though argued in academia as laden with dynamics of power, doesn’t always feel that powerful. Some moments, in fact, feel really boring. However, in my approach to research, these moments add up overtime to reveal patterns. Recognizing the value I place on the momentary and the emotional, I come to the main question of this article: is my work ethnography? Rather than develop a specific answer, I review the academic boxes I’ve checked that could suggest what labels I can place on this work. However, after considering Creighton’s (1920) definition of “catchwords”, I argue the process of labelling, rather than pushing us deeper into our research, becomes a test, a gauging of our willingness to fit into traditionally accepted scholarship. From the field, I argue it is more important to focus on making choices rather than labelling them.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rethinking Employability of International Student Graduates of US and UK Universities from a Postcolonial and Critical Realist Lens: A Narrative Review
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Darni, Rizqarossaa
    From a critical realist and postcolonial angle, this paper explores the underlying socio-cultural mechanisms driving international students in their decisions and actions when transitioning from university to employment. For international students coming from the Global South (Asia, Africa, and Latin America), studying in a university in the US or UK requires not only multiple steps of actions involving a lot of money, effort, and time, it places them in a consistent state of uncertainty and emotional struggle from systemic racism, insecurity, and structural integration. In this paper, I will use Homi Bhabha’s (1994) concept of ‘third space’ or ‘hybridity’ and Roy Bhaskar’s (1975, 1989) critical realist ‘stratified ontology’ to rethink international students' employability and provide an alternative perspective to understand the realities of international student employability. This narrative review explores the conditions that enable students to transition to the workplace and experience shifting their identity from an international student to an international employee. Rather than problematizing international students’ ability to gain employment, I will take away the general focus from ‘student competence’ and use a morphogenetic approach (Archer, 1995), where I rethink employability as a process rather than as an ability. This allows us to uncover the cycle of social injustices that international students encounter since coming to study in the US/UK. In this review, I illustrated how current ways of learning in universities in the global north might oppress their transition options and mobility. I will conclude by discussing how hybridity can be used to uncover sociocultural mechanisms in international student transitions to the workplace and suggest perspectives that can be useful for universities, employers, policymakers, and future international students.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Predictors of Parental Attitudes Towards Inclusion in China
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Gao, Chenxu; Katsapi, Evi
    Few studies have investigated predictors of parental attitudes (PA) towards inclusion in China. There was also contradictory evidence on the role of several predictors of PA towards inclusion among studies in the Chinese context and between studies conducted in China and the Western world. This study aimed to identify the strongest predictors of PA towards inclusion in China by investigating and comparing different variables, including parental gender, income, education level, exposure to inclusion and the number of children with special education needs and disabilities in the household. A total of 203 participants completed an online quantitative questionnaire. The results showed that a higher parental education level, more exposure to inclusion and a larger number of children with SEND in the household significantly predicted more positive attitudes towards inclusion. Among them, exposure to inclusion was the strongest predictor. Several limitations of the current study were discussed followed by recommendations for future research. Implications of the current work for policymaking and home-school collaborations were outlined.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Teach or Treat: How do Teachers and Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapists in Hong Kong Conceptualise Autism?
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Kung, Priscilla; Bailey, Julie
    Relatively scant research has been conducted on linking conceptualisations of autism to practice, especially in non-western contexts. To gain an in-depth understanding of how frontline staff for autistic students conceptualise autism in Hong Kong educational settings, 5 mainstream classroom teachers and 5 Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapists based in Hong Kong were virtually interviewed. The semi-structured interviews were coded using an abductive thematic analysis. It was found that teachers and ABA therapists in Hong Kong generally demonstrated a medical conceptualisation of autism while teachers showed a weaker understanding of autism and more negative attitudes towards autism. Moreover, therapists and teachers were also consistent in showing an ableist approach in instruction and intervention. These findings are subject to a small sample size. The findings of this study indicate an unchallenging deficit-based model of understanding autism in Hong Kong education, and call for proactive interventions from the local government to shift the landscape of conceptualisations of autism to provide an equitable education for autistic students.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Imagining Inclusive Education through Systemic Compassion
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Fraser-Andrews, Catherine; Yeomans, Jane
    School inclusion is a key United Nations priority (UNESCO, 2017). Their goal for education by 2030, is that everyone, without exception, will access their entitlement to an “inclusive and equitable quality education” (UNESCO, 2017, p. 2). There is rising support for the role that compassion might play in achieving this goal (UNESCO MGIEP, 2021). This paper explores compassion as a mechanism for promoting equitable and inclusive education in schools in England. The research aimed to stimulate the participants’ imaginations and emotions, to envision how a compassion-informed school might be realised. The paper presents the results of two comparative focus groups of education professionals with a shared interest in compassion and inclusion: one comprising teachers, and one comprising school leaders. The focus groups discussed the potential scope of compassion in facilitating and furthering inclusive practice, and imagined how this might be accomplished in a school setting. Thematic analysis was applied to the data, and the interpretation of the findings drew on systemic approaches and social network theory. The findings suggest compassionate approaches modelled by leadership as the most important priority, and external pressures on schools as the most significant barrier, in the development of a whole school approach to compassion. The paper argues the case for the role of compassion in facilitating inclusion, finding that this is most effective when compassion informs and infuses all aspects of school life.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Styles and Trends of Online Aggressive Language among English Students in Their Blogging Activities
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Derin, Tatum; Hamuddin, Budianto; Nursafira, Mutia Sari; Yudar, Ratih Saltri; Putri, Nunung Susilo; Derin, Tatum [0000-0002-0725-5490]
    Online aggression is a prevalent phenomenon among university students because information and communication technology (ICT) is an inseparable part of their daily and academic lives. University students are a demographic that is reportedly little studied. Previous research studied popular social networking sites rather than Blog, and online aggression is rarely studied through the lens of linguistics. Therefore, this study covered these research gaps by exploring the language tendencies of English students who are engaging in online aggression in Blog. The research design is triangulation mixed methods with two data types, i.e., 43 online questionnaire responses as the quantitative data and 302 online aggressive blog comments as the qualitative data. The questionnaire results were analysed based on the percentages and scale leanings, whereas the documented comments were analysed with content analysis assisted with NVivo 12. The results revealed that online aggression among university students who are blogging is primarily done with the style of combining text and non-text elements. The trends of their online aggressive language are lowercase spellings, no proper punctuation, and frequent usage of emoji to fulfil multiple purposes, i.e., syntactic as punctuation and semantic as discourse particle or emblem gesture. This study contributed in exploring the online aggression experiences of a unique demography, specifically the linguistic tendencies of university foreign language students who are interacting aggressively non-anonymously on a social networking site that is little studied.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Role of Digital Media in Empowerment Education: Conceptualizing Participatory Methodology
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2023-12-14) Hu, John C. H.
    This paper provides an overview of advantages and issues surrounding fictional digital media in empowerment education and participatory action research involving youth. Following theoretical underpinnings of Freire expanded by Nicholl’s Pedagogy of the Privileged, the discussions first consider digital media as alternative mental spaces for pedagogy, engagement, and dissemination of knowledge. First, for oppressed youth, digital media can be employed as a Safespace in which some level of mental health respite is offered amidst forces of oppression in an individual's physical context of marginalization. Second, digital media can provide a Non-Safespace in which privileged and oppressed youth are engaged towards collaborative discourse. Social justice themes which lead to incongruent perspectives between different youth can be presented as less confrontational by digital media - which can be utilized to offer multiple, iterative chances of collaborative learning. Thirdly, digital media can be applied in research engagement as Experimental Space, in which youth access opportunities to take on the perspectives and lived experiences of characters in both privilege and oppression classes alike. This immersion in the lived experiences of the other can lead to greater understanding and potential empathy towards future action against oppression. These three spaces offered by digital media may help overcome the need to self-censor that oppressed youth face in classroom and research settings. Negative emotions associated with living in oppression can be perceived as what Stephen Kemmis identifies as society’s “unwelcome truths”, often silenced, but given potential outlet via the digital realm. The complex interplay between reimbursement in research, social mobility, and societal expectations of oppressed youth to self-help are discussed in relation to inequitable power structures. Here, digital media presents an additional interrogation of inequality, as it allows youth to be creators - who amplify their own voice without needing approval from society.