Liverpool Conference 2008

The 2008 BESA conference hosted by Liverpool Hope and LJMU was a successful event that was enjoyed by over 90 delegates from 30 universities across the United Kingdom. This represents just about half of all UK institutions offering Education Studies programmes. It felt like a significant step in the Association’s advance and that of ES as the fastest growing degree discipline.

37 papers were delivered during the 2 day programme and delegates heard keynote presentations from Professor Patrick Ainley (What Education Studies is and what it might become) and Professor Diana Burton (Psycho-pedagogy and personalised learning: tyranny or panacea).

36 educational research papers were given, adding weight to BESA’s claim to be encouraging the nascent research culture as the ‘friendly conference’. Themed around the culture motif (with a third using culture in their titles) the talks were reflective in their spread of the vast curricular span of Education Studies. running from early years to global and service learning, to creativity and cutting-edge technology, through to faith-based teaching models, even unicycling as a motivator.

The keynote speakers were Patrick Ainley, Professor of Education and Training at Greenwich, talking on the expansion of Education Studies, and Diana Burton, Professor of Education at LJMU, reviewing approaches to research.

A number of the papers given will appear as refereed articles on forthcoming editions of the BESA journal. A flavour of the conference can be gained from the session titles, which included:

  • Culture and Education Studies: What it is and what it could become (keynote).
  • Education Studies in the Digital Age: using our specialised knowledge to explore the value of technology-mediated learning
  • Silent voices: British Muslim pupils in mainstream schools in East London
  • A faith-based model for teacher education and social inclusion
  • Education Studies and employability: how do students and graduates define the subject and what do they perceive its vocational relevance to be?
  • ‘Holocaust’ Education
  • ‘Your views are important, fill in this form’. The NSS: reliable conduit for student voice or a ‘useless exercise’?
  • Conversations on Engaged Pedagogies, Independent Thinking Skills and Active Citizenship
  • Drama- relish or sprouts? Teachers’ perceptions of drama in the Primary School.
  • Liverpool Free Schools – the Beginnings of an Oral History
  • Studies in Finnish Education: Some initial reflections on structure and culture
  • Beyond Economic Well Being
  • The Culture of Enablement: The voice of students with disabilities within a Higher Education Institution
  • Psycho-pedagogy and personalised learning: a critique of current research preoccupations (keynote)
  • Unicycling as a motivator of young people and an influence on their self-identity and self-esteem; implications for an alternative curriculum in schools
  • ‘Simple Solutions’ – An Analysis of Two Student Mentor Scenarios and Reasons behind their Success.
  • Culture and curriculum: a critical perspective
  • The Inclusion of Every Child Matters
  • Managing Mentoring
  • Exploring perspectives on the paradox in education policy implementation: a narrative and interpretive review.

Thanks go to the organising team, Les Hankin (Hope), Alan Hodkinson (LJMU), Lisa Murphy (LJMU), Emanuel Mufti (LJMU), Derek Kassem (LJMU) and David Smith (Hope) for a very enjoyable conference.

All the evaluations were very positive, particularly about the shape and relevance of the programme and the friendliness of the participants and staff. Thanks to all who attended. Keep in touch!