Academics from the School of Teacher Development at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), Dr. Emma Clarke and Aimee Quickfall, presented their on-going wellbeing research at a British Education Research Association (BERA) special interest group, last month.
The BERA Mental Health, Wellbeing and Education special interest group support researchers in education who are looking at the mental health and wellbeing of students, teachers and children. Their July event included presentations from The Education Support Network, Professor Andrew Ravenscroft from the University of East London and Dr. Elizabeth Nye from the University of Oxford. Following the event Aimee explained how the diverse nature of the attendees made the BERA group the perfect place to present their research:
“The attendees were hugely supportive and interested in our research methods and findings. We have made links with other universities and organisations who have the same passion to improve conditions for teachers and trainee teachers that we have, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
The research project at the centre of Aimee and Emma’s presentation, which has so far included projects in Finland, Denmark and at two universities in the UK, has been carried out by Shaun Thompson, Sue Lambert, Hannah Wells, Dr. Claire Thomson, Dr. Emma Clarke, Aimee Quickfall, a team of student researchers on the BGU PGCE Primary programme and Professor Jonathan Glazzard at Leeds Beckett University, as well as faculty members in The University of Eastern Finland and UCC in Copenhagen. For Dr. Clarke the opportunity to work with student researchers on the project was a particular highlight:
“The interviews and other methods were enjoyable for researchers and participants. We particularly enjoyed working as a team with student researchers, who helped to design the research and to keep it strongly focused on the student experience of the PGCE.”
Strands of the project have used photo-elicitation to capture the daily experiences of being a teacher trainee, as well as drawing timelines of the whole programme in terms of well-being and semi-structured interviews to talk through the photographs and timelines. The team have also used a simple ‘see-saw’ model for trainees to consider their resources and challenges and whether they can balance these.
The team are now building in sessions for trainees on the PGCE Primary to think and talk about their well-being based on their pilot study findings, as well as rolling out the well-being research for a second year with Leeds Beckett University and international collaborators.
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