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CERJ: Volume 7


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  • ItemOpen Access
    Following the Breadcrumbs: Young Adult Holocaust Novels and their Intertextual Use of Fairy Tales
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Marsh, Olivia; Marsh, Olivia [0000-0002-9892-3473]
    This article explores young adult Holocaust literature and its intertextual use of fairy tales, examining the primary text Gretel and the Dark (2014) by Eliza Granville which uses the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel. I discuss the ethical complications of using fiction to represent the un-representable and how intertextual use of fairy tales provides opportunities and limitations for navigating the moral grey area between fact and fiction. I employ Smith’s (2007) framework of intertextuality to examine two methods of intertextuality: explicit incorporation through framed silences and through metafictional discussion of fairy tales. I seek to answer three questions: How are fairy tales used intertextually in this text; what can be gained through the intertextual use of fairy tales; and what problems arise from the intertextual use of fairy tales? I find that the use of non-realist storytelling techniques such as framed silences, meta-framed silences and metafictional elements allows the reader to actively collaborate with the work of fiction in meaning making and to build literary competence. However, intertextuality can potentially be frustrating for a reader unable to grasp the intertextual references or unable to interpret the framed silence. I conclude that the use of fairy tale intertextuality in Holocaust novels creates cracks in the text which point the reader to the fictionality of the text itself, this is significant when negotiating the difficult ethical borders in Holocaust fiction between fact and artistic creation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Speaking Through a Dead Bird: Using Art for Emotional and Communicative Accessibility in an A-level Classical Literature Classroom
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Rushton, Emily; Rushton, Emily [0000-0002-7069-5042]
    This paper explores how the viewing and creating of art improved accessibility for students with emotional and communicative learning needs in an A-Level classical literature classroom. Motivated by my own classroom, a review of the literature reaffirmed concerns that students with special education needs/disabilities (SEND) - in particular autism spectrum condition and anxiety - are at a disadvantage in being able to demonstrate the key skills required by the A-Level Classical Civilisation exam board. The literature review also demonstrated that although art therapy has seen great success in improving accessibility, this success has not yet been integrated as part of a curriculum-based intervention. This small-scale, action research project realised a teaching sequence developed by both participant and researcher, that saw students examine Homer’s Odyssey through active engagement in visual art. Findings suggested that using art as an exploratory mode improved accessibility for students with emotional and communicative learning needs, and henceforth improved their ability to demonstrate their understanding in line with the exam specification. However, the findings also raised further research questions of how educators can allow for emotional differentiation in the classroom. The project champions the inclusion of people with disabilities into the discussion of accessibility, sharing the experience of participants with SEND and myself as an author with disabilities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Critical Review of School Choice and Egalitarian Justice with Special Reference to the Philippines
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Adebayo, Seun ; Seun Adebayo [0000-0001-6411-1576]
    The complexities of many societies in the world today, coupled with the dire need to achieve quality education and social justice in every society, makes the issue of school choice and justice topical at national and international levels. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030, has established that quality education for all can significantly contribute to sustainable societal development. This paper employed a critical review of John Rawls's A Theory of Justice (1971) and Harry Brighouse’s (2000) work on school choice and social justice. The paper applies this examination to the Philippines case, paying close attention to the relationship between school choice and egalitarian justice within the Philippines education sector. This article considers egalitarian justice as a theoretical framework relevant to its discussion on school choice in the Philippines within the context of the SDG 4 – Education 2030 agenda. Findings from this review show that many Filipino parents want the best education and future for their children, and this drives their decision on school choice. Where the public system fails to provide quality education for their children, parents tend to choose other school options to enrol their children, and they remain loyal to affordable schools. The Government of the Philippines provides educational vouchers for private schooling to ensure accessible, equitable and quality education for all. Consequently, private schools are developed at the cost of public schools, while many Filipino children still attend public schools. This creates unintended inequalities within society. This paper concludes that realising egalitarian justice in a society under the school choice system will be quite problematic. Although school choice could help in making education available to some, it could spell doom for others. This review paper is relevant because, with less than 11 years left to achieve SDG 4, challenges historically inherent in many education systems and current problems being faced by educational actors on achieving the SDG 4 are worthy of our attention. Therefore, the paper calls for more research to be done on school choice and egalitarian justice in different socio-political contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Equitable Education: Opportunity and Entrepreneurship within the Spatio-Temporal Liminality of the Refugee Camp
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Eringfeld, Simone; Eringfeld, Simone [0000-0003-4518-5128]
    Refugees are spending increasingly protracted amounts of time in refugee camps, ‘waiting’ for a distant future outside of the camp to arrive. The notion of the camp as a temporary space of transition is contradicted by a reality in which this state of being ‘in limbo’ becomes indefinite, and at times even permanent. This essay presents a critical literature review to investigate what ‘equitable education’ means within this spatio-temporally liminal context of refugee settlement camps. While Amartya Sen’s capability approach and John Rawls’ theory of justice underpin many conceptualizations of equity, these do not hold in the inhumane condition of ‘bare life’, where refugees’ freedoms and rights are limited, and futures are continually delayed. Alternative reconceptualizations of the camp as a ‘third space’ of opportunity – with its refugee inhabitants as entrepreneurs rather than helpless victims – are supporting currently popular policies of (neo-liberal) self-reliance. By examining different interpretations of the triangle of concepts of ‘equity’, ‘refugee camp’ and ‘refugee’ within a framework of spatio-temporal liminality, this essay attempts to show that none of the various approaches discussed are unproblematic. Non-formal, self-led entrepreneurship education, however, may provide a chance to soften the ambiguous tensions of living in time-spaces of liminality, and facilitate a shift from education focussed on indefinitely delayed futures outside the camp towards supporting refugees’ creation of possible futures within the camp, ‘here and now’.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Understanding Equity Through Section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act in India
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Das, Angana; Das, Angana [0000-0002-2526-8252]
    This paper is an attempt to understand equity through section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act in India which aims to reserve 25% seats for economically weaker sections and disadvantaged groups in private schools. The paper is divided into four parts. Firstly, equity is conceptualized using Unterhalter’s (2009) concepts of equity from above, equity from middle and equity from below and Maitzegui-Onate & Santibanez-Gruber’s (2008) concepts of horizontal and vertical equity. I apply these different forms of equity to section 12(1)(c) of the Right to Education Act in India which is an example of ‘equity from above’ and is an equalising measure in the form of ‘vertical equity’. Secondly, Sen’s (1992) capability approach is discussed to explore the inequalities in capabilities of individuals to make effective use of educational resources. Drawing on the works of several scholars who have outlined this approach, I argue that taking individual capabilities into account is essential for achieving equity in education. Thirdly, I discuss Bourdieu’s (1986) theory of different forms of capital to understand structural inequalities and its impact on educational experiences. Due to lack of cultural capital, the educational experiences of children from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds vary greatly in comparison to children from economically better sections of the society. I establish links between Unterhalter’s forms of equity, capabilities, forms of capital and functionings in order to depict how equity can be achieved in implementing educational policies. In the final part of the paper, I draw on empirical studies to explore the challenges associated with the implementation of the section 12(1)(c) of the RTE Act in India. This paper highlights how RTE 12 (1)(c) succeeds in promoting the availability of resources to the most disadvantaged in the society as well as raises concerns over the inclusive capabilities needed to promote equity of education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Interrogating Equity in Education for Sustainable Development
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Sharma, Richa; Sharma, Richa [0000-0002-2069-4594]
    The discourse of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promises a brighter, more just, and equitable future by ‘leaving no one behind’ and identifies Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a tool for reaching this future. This paper presents a critical analysis of whether Education for Sustainable Development in its current form is fit for this purpose, based on its conceptualizations of equity. Through this paper, I argue that the way ESD is conceptualized today suffers from a ‘design flaw’ as it is embedded in the dominant theory of neo-liberalism. I showcase that neoliberalism promotes a narrow concept of equity that is (i) top-down in nature, (ii) a by-product of economic growth, and (iii) seen merely as distribution of resources. I assert that for ESD to truly deliver on ‘leaving no one behind’ it needs to be re-conceptualized through ideas and theories that broaden the concept of equity: reflexivity and ecojustice. I begin by elaborating on the evolution of ESD and sharing how the concept is conceptualized by key international organizations. I then situate ESD within the neoliberal paradigm before demonstrating how neoliberalism espouses equity. I problematize these conceptualizations of equity, contending that they are restricted in scope and inhibit ESD from being a ‘transformative’ education. Finally, I reconceptualize ESD using two intersectional frameworks that broaden the notion of equity: reflexivity and ecojustice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    UtopiaS and Reimagining the Reimagining of Higher Education
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Baker, Mollie; Baker, Mollie [0000-0003-0589-9222]
    Critiques of contemporary UK higher education oscillate between troubling ideological influences and working within the remit of these matters. In response to such circularity, this paper examines the contribution of future-oriented discussions that concern the ‘what could be’ rather than that ‘which is’. This is achieved first through a genealogical analysis of utopian thought and theory that traces from the modern’s problematic and potentially totalitarian preoccupation with the realisation of grand visions to the postmodern and feminist poststructural interest in the abstract utopian “wish” (Jameson, 2005), and second through applying these observations against existing “reimaginings” of higher education. Upon observing the emphasis these reimaginings place on expertly developed blueprints and singular frameworks for change, the final part of this paper develops a means of researching and teaching the future of and within higher education that favours the multiple and the subjective. Although this method, utopiaS, does not promise nor seek the concrete realisation of an objectively better sector, the perspectives that arise from its application will offer further insight into the shortcomings of the contemporary university. By supporting the exchange of ideas, utopiaS may also broaden the hopes and imaginative horizons of researchers, teachers, participants and peers, thereby pushing against the walls of the circle between ideology and utopia
  • ItemOpen Access
    Storying: a Reflection on Entanglements with Indigenous Australian Methodology
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Slater, Olivia JE; Slater, Olivia J.E. [0000-0003-2505-1720]
    This article explores a First Nations PhD student’s personal narrative of navigating the entanglement of obligations, relationships, and methodology, while undertaking research with their own community within the Australian settler state. The experience of First Nations PhD student in our journey toward epistemological resonance confined by our unique geopolitical contexts is not adequately represented in any one discourse. Not only are First Nations PhD students dispersed throughout disciplines with unique specific circumstances, we are relative newcomers to the academy. On my journey I privilege my scholarly Matriarchs, Ngugi and Waka Waka scholar Professor Tracey Bunda and Goenpal scholar Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson, while also honouring my own Elders and Matriarchs. I am undertaking fieldwork with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, a long running Aboriginal theatre company located in Boorloo (Perth, Western Australia). Phillips and Bunda’s Storying (2018) underpins my pedagogical approach in the classroom, which highlights students’ understandings of, and critical engagement with, culture, identity and belonging, in a high school drama classroom. I also experiment with Storying as a method of writing, further illustrating the entanglement of the work and the work’s outcomes. Moreton-Robinson provides the broader critical perspectives needed to acknowledge the role the settler state has to play in the attempted erasure of Indigenous Australian knowledges. As a result, this article stories the lived experience of a First Nations Education student in the context of studying at the University of Cambridge, while also undertaking fieldwork on their Whadjuk Noongar homelands of Boorloo.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Learner Difficulties and Strategy Choice when Learning to Read in a Genetically Related Language: The Case of a Ukrainian Language Learner
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Lee, Yan-Yi; Lee, Yan-Yi [0000-0001-8031-6942]
    In both academic studies and anecdotal reports, there is widespread consensus that learners tend to learn a language more easily if it is linguistically close to another language in their repertoire, particularly if the languages are genetically related (i.e. belonging to the same linguistic family tree). While there is evidence for such statement to hold true thanks to the phenomenon of transfer, there seems to be an unspoken overarching assumption that the process of learning a genetically related target language is natural and without major problems, and the role of language learner strategies (LLS) is somewhat undermined in such contexts. In light of this issue, this study purports to investigate two areas within the specific skill of reading: (a) learner difficulties that emerge when learning a genetically related language at beginner level and (b) the underlying mental processes that govern corresponding strategy choices. Taking the form of a single case study under a qualitative, constructivist paradigm, this research depicts the self-studying journey of a male Taiwanese individual, who, as a former Russian language learner, learns to read a closely related language—Ukrainian. With data from reading task sheets, stimulated recalls, and a semi-structured interview, the findings identify four learner difficulties that surface when starting to read in said context, thus problematising the aforementioned general claim that a genetically related target language is largely straightforward to learn. The data also shed light on thinking processes fundamental to the decision of strategies, advocating a critical convergence between the fields of language learner strategies and second language acquisition in the discussion section. Finally, the contributions, pedagogical implications, and limitations of the study are addressed in detail.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “That’s my kind of ideal but that’s not necessarily what happens” A Case Study of English as an Additional Language (EAL) Policy Enactment in a UK Primary School: Policy, Understanding and Practice
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Bentham, Grace; Bentham, Grace [0000-0003-1549-7040]
    The increasing number of English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners integrated into UK primary schools has heightened the need to research how teachers “enact” policies or make them happen. This qualitative case study investigated eleven participants’ views about EAL provision within one primary school in the East of England. The study addressed 1) the extent to which national guidance underpins the school’s own approach towards EAL provision, 2) the understandings classroom teachers have about teaching EAL pupils, and 3) the extent to which teachers’ enacted practices align with policy guidance and their own understandings. The data collection methods included policy document analysis, classroom observations, and semi-structured interviews with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), and interviews with teachers involving a stimulus card task and semi-structured questioning. Emergent themes were identified using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Unlike previous research, the study drew on teacher sensemaking theory to frame its inquiry around the intersection between teacher understandings, policy messages, and enacted practices in the context of EAL provision. The positioning of these constructs as interdependent challenges traditional assumptions that policy is superior to teachers’ own implementation. This MPhil study found that while tensions between EAL-specificity and generality emerged in all teachers’ reports and observed enacted practices, the school employed “macro-adaptive” approaches that included EAL learners (Cronbach, 1954). The study argues that the lack of systematic EAL-specific information and communication shaped teacher sensemaking. Despite no written EAL-specific school policy, teachers made sense of EAL provision by enacting shared unwritten approaches. Through the dissemination of its findings, the study has immediate implications at micro-level, shaping the case school’s provisional development of an EAL-specific policy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sociocultural and Sociolinguistic Approaches to the Role of the Social Context in Online L2 Learning: A Comparative Analysis of Two Empirical Studies
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Lee, Sunmin; Lee, Sunmin [0000-0002-1083-9390]
    This paper compares and evaluates sociocultural and sociolinguistic approaches to the role of the social context in second language learning (L2 learning), through analysing two empirical studies about online interaction. The paper argues that due to the different focus of study in the two perspectives, each approach only provides partial explanations of the complex role of the social context in online L2 learning contexts. While the developmental perspective taken by the sociocultural approach provides a detailed account of how learning is socially mediated from external to the internal planes, there is an absence of exploration about how learners themselves can impact the learning process. Contrastingly, while the sociolinguistic approach provides rich insight to how learner affect, identities, stances and ideologies can impact L2 learning processes, how these factors impact the actual acquisition of L2 code is rather unclear. After a critical evaluation of the two approaches, the paper concludes that each of the partial explanations provided by the two approaches are complementary in nature, and that together, they provide a useful tool kit for understanding the complex social nature of L2 learning. Nonetheless, some of the rigid premises set out by both approaches, such as expert-novice participation and language-culture correlation need to be re-evaluated given the backdrop of today’s multilingual age where technology and globalization have fundamentally changed the ways we interact and learn.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How do Young People Think They Learn? A Learning Theory Taxonomy Devised from Pupil Preferences
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Chatterton, Sue; Chatterton, Sue [0000-0003-2302-872X]
    This paper reports the findings from a small-scale survey of school pupils aged 10-18. It places in order of preference, the learning theories of Behaviourism, Cognitivism, Constructivism, Experientialism, Social & Emotional Learning Theory together with the use of Metacognition. The research is qualitative and quantitative, drawing on responses to a survey with follow-up interviews. The responses were gathered from 109 respondents from every school year group from Year 6 to Year 13 in three schools and compared to the responses from a group of teachers for contrast. The research consisted of a survey about common teaching strategies, each reflecting an overarching learning theory, according to findings from the literature review (and shown in Tables 1-6). Once the strategies were placed in order of preference it was possible to filter the data to reveal a learning theory taxonomy. Findings showed that all learning strategies were judged to be of some benefit but Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) approaches were considered the most important amongst young learners. Adults’ learning preferences were also surveyed and found to be different to those of young people and there were also marked differences between the sub-groups of young learners: school key stage, possession of a computer at home, and home language. A possible implication of the findings is that it may help teachers to consider the theoretical basis on which they plan for effective learning in the classroom across Key Stages.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Role of Inhibitory Control in Achievement in Early Childhood Education
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Irvan, Ryan; Tsapali, Maria; Irvan, Ryan [0000-0003-2877-4748 ]; Tsapali, Maria [0000-0002-3574-3467]
    This review paper explores the relationship between academic achievement in early childhood education and inhibitory control, namely students’ ability to regulate behaviour, emotions and thoughts to complete specific tasks. The majority of research in this area has focused on achievement in mathematics, literacy or a combination of both. Despite the recent uptake of ‘whole child’ focused education initiatives, few studies explore social-emotional learning, or all three areas collectively, a gap this paper aims to address. This paper offers a comprehensive review of previous research on inhibitory control and achievement to highlight areas of focus for future research and provide a theoretical basis for study design. The review draws on articles published in the English language and systematically compares research methodologies to elucidate the choices made by researchers. The findings indicated correlations between inhibitory control and the three areas of early childhood education, mathematics, literacy and social-emotional learning, although causation is not established. Hot inhibitory control, involving emotion or an external motivator, was found to be closely related to social-emotional learning and cool inhibitory control, limited emotional and an abstract motivator, with mathematics and literacy. Notably, emergent literacy varied by the language spoken by students. A look at the measures and samples used revealed that purposefully employing inhibitory control measures that align with real-world classroom activities may provide greater insight into the relationship between achievement and inhibitory control. The findings of this paper pose significant implications for research, policy and practice, especially with the recent uptake of social-emotional learning by education programs, as they reveal how inhibitory control relates to students’ ability to thrive in early childhood education settings. In the light of these findings, it is important for educators and researchers to consider how inhibitory control may in itself, be considered a goal of early childhood education.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Does Cogmed Working Memory Training Improve School-age ADHD Children’s Academic Achievement?
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Wu, Yanwen; Wu, Yanwen [0000-0001-8964-992X]
    Working memory deficits are consistently found in ADHD children, which might underlie core ADHD symptoms, hindering ADHD children’s academic achievement. Thus, one way to enhance ADHD children’s academic achievement is to mitigate their working memory deficits through working memory training. A widely applied training is Cogmed Working Memory Training (WMT). Despite the prevalence of this training, its effect on ADHD children has been rarely reviewed. This study aims to fill this gap by systematically reviewing the effect of Cogmed WMT on ADHD school-age children’s working memory, ADHD symptoms, and academic achievement. It systematically searched PsycINFO, Google Scholar (for accessing grey literature), and Cogmed websites. Eleven randomised controlled trials met the eligibility criteria. Findings of these studies were qualitatively synthesised. The internal and external validity of studies included in this review were critically assessed. Results showed that Cogmed WMT might have a positive effect on school-age ADHD children’s performance on trained working memory tasks. However, the effect of this training was spurious for untrained working memory tasks, ADHD symptoms, and academic achievement. Findings of this study therefore did not yield strong support for Cogmed WMT having a positive effect on ADHD school-age children’s academic achievement. Hence, educational practitioners need to maintain a critical attitude when considering whether to adopt Cogmed WMT for ADHD children. More research on the effect of Cogmed WMT on ADHD children is also needed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Editorial: Volume 7, CERJ Role and the Responsibility of our Graduate Community
    (CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 2020-11-01) Hajir, Basma; Hajir, Basma [0000-0002-1388-3282]