Malorie Blackman talks about reading, writing and her book Noble Conflict. Dr Gillian Klein and Jim Collins on getting ahead in publishing

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1 Summer 2013 issue 39 The magazine of the IOE alumni community Malorie Blackman talks about reading, writing and her book Noble Conflict Dr Gillian Klein and Jim Collins on getting ahead in publishing Heidi Safia Mirza on her visit to St James s Palace and meeting the Prince

2 Contents Profile Malorie Blackman If you love books, it s easier to talk about them, says the new Children s Laureate. Your community 20 Why I came back to the IOE Vanessa Ogden, headteacher at Mulberry School for Girls: PGCE, MA, NPQH and EdD Publications 22 Alumni and current staff publications News 2 On children s books Which book and why with no question mark, say Sue Bodman and Glen Franklin. Inside the IOE 8 How to get ahead in publishing The IOE recently acquired Trentham Books Ltd, now an imprint of IOE Press. 15 My tutor and I My students bring passion and enthusiasm for learning, says Anne Robertson. Your support 27 Scholar profile I am so grateful to the Polonsky Foundation for funding my PhD, says Marika Tsolakis. 28 Success stories New projects, funded by alumni, have enriched the IOE learning experience. Last word 30 I retired recently I keep in touch (with the IOE) online I m a Twitter addict, says Gwyneth Price. alumni life is the magazine for friends and alumni (former students and staff) of the Institute of Education. It is distributed to more than 32,000 people. Cover: View of the entrance to the main building of the IOE, from the Woburn Square side alumni life is published by the Institute of Education s Alumni and Development Office. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IOE. Print: TFW Printers Design: RF design Editor: Annie Lahellec,

3 NEWS Stress and job insecurity Britain s public sector workers no longer feel more secure than those in the private sector. In addition to fear of job loss to be expected during a recession they are increasingly worried about loss of status and unfair treatment at work. People in workplaces that have downsized or reorganised are the most likely to feel these concerns. The researchers, including Professor Francis Green of the IOE, note that employees are more content and less anxious about job or status loss where employers adopt policies that give employees a degree of involvement in decision-making at work. The reports, Fear at Work in Britain, Work Intensification in Britain and Job-related Well-being in Britain, can be found at llakes.org/llakes-research-strands/ skills-and-employment-survey-2012 Genes and reading skills Three genes that are said to have a bearing on reading test scores help to explain only 2 per cent of the educational attainment gaps between children in different socio-economic groups, found a new study conducted by Dr John Jerrim of the IOE, together with colleagues from other universities. We are not dismissing the role of genetics in influencing children s outcomes. We are simply cautioning that research of this kind is still in its infancy, he said. The socio-economic gradient in children s reading skills and the role of genetics can be downloaded from ioe.ac.uk/ research/35445.html Children with working mothers Children s literacy, maths ability and behaviour are not on average harmed if their mothers go out to work during the first years of their lives. The research evidence reflects many changes over the last 40 years, says Professor Joshi, of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the IOE. There has traditionally been a concern that the employment of mothers comes at the expense of child development. But, as the percentage of mothers in work has gone up, any impact on children has diminished. This is likely to be a result of an increasingly friendly environment for families who combine paid work with child-rearing, in the various ways now possible including more maternity leave and huge changes in the availability of childcare. Please find out more at ioe.ac.uk/newsevents/87683.html or at ioelondonblog.wordpress.com 1

4 News On children s books Sue Bodman and Glen Franklin talk about the new book they have co-written this year, Which Book and Why: using Book Bands and book levels for guided reading in Key Stage 1. Why this book why now? The Book Bands for Guided Reading series has been a well-used and valued resource in Primary Schools since its first inception in Based upon the work of Holdaway and the groundbreaking research of Clay in New Zealand, the teaching methodology of guided reading was adopted by many schools in England in the 1990s as an integral part of the National Literacy Strategy. Its key features were teaching in small groups with children working together at similar ability; the role of the teacher as a guide; the use of texts matched to a gradient of challenge; and texts banded and linked to teaching objectives that enabled teachers to address the learning needs across a range of pupil attainment. The Book Bands publications provided teachers with listings of texts which, over time, have been continually revised and extended. The fourth edition of Book Bands for Guided Reading was published in 2007; the pedagogical landscape has changed considerably since that time. In England, for example, teachers are now expected to adopt systematic synthetic phonics as the prime approach for teaching young children to read, with government-approved teaching schemes 2 alumni life summer 2013

5 NEWS in place in many schools. The Office for Standards in Education, Children s Services and Skills (Ofsted) inspectors are advised to look for evidence of impact on teaching and learning, using this teaching methodology. For some teachers, there was a perceived tension between this approach and the use of Book Bands to organise and teach guided reading. It was to address this seeming tension that we began our work in 2012 on what was initially planned to be the 5th Edition of Book Bands. What an exciting project it has turned out to be! There surely isn t a teacher anywhere that doesn t have facilitating a love of reading as the ultimate goal. In search of a title... A fortuitous lunch with Professor Morag Stuart in the IOE s Lawton Room (our cafeteria in Bedford Way) gave us our title. We were seeking contributors and had asked to meet with Morag to see if she d be interested in working with us. Over a plate of the Lawton Room s finest lasagne, she listened attentively to our plans for the book, which was at that time in a very embryonic stage. We explained that we were aiming to create a resource book for teachers and teacher educators that would support the teaching of effective guided reading for young beginner readers. We wanted to demonstrate how guided reading fitted within current theoretical understandings of how children learn, and to help teachers to choose the right book at the right time to address their teaching objectives and meet the needs of their children. Hmmm, Morag said, when we had finished, it seems to me that you re talking about which book and why. We had our title. Which Book and Why with no question mark We began from a shared moral purpose; there surely isn t a teacher anywhere that doesn t have facilitating a love of reading as the ultimate goal. We believed that, as teachers, we all have a responsibility to make learning to read a purposeful and pleasurable experience. Learning to read must be manageable and achievable for all the children we teach. Guided reading as a teaching methodology within a rich and varied reading curriculum in schools is one way we can seek to achieve this aim. As a framework for teaching, it supports teachers to address specific teaching objectives. This might be to reinforce just-taught phonemegrapheme correspondences, to develop comprehension or to teach non-fiction skills; all very different but essential facets of the reading process. We select a book to address a particular teaching focus and our reason for choosing it leads to some key differences in how it is used in guided reading. Our aim was to explore the teaching purposes for the practice of guided reading and to support the teaching decisions teachers need to make which book to choose, and why to choose it. How does it differ from Book Bands? The definition of guided reading which underpinned previous editions of Book Bands centred on the construction of meaning on whole language texts. In this latest version we include a greater range of purposes for guided reading to develop word reading skills, to develop reading for meaning, and to develop reading for information. 3

6 News Each of these makes an essential contribution to the development of the young reader. New and extensive listings now provide teachers with the opportunity to select according to their teaching focus. Those wanting to reinforce the application of phonics skills can search the listings for specific books relating to the phoneme/ grapheme correspondences taught, in a distinct section which lists all the phonically decodable texts and teaching schemes currently on the market. A separate section lists books previously included in Book Bands with new schemes and reviews added. We have also included professional development sections for subject leaders and teacher-educators, self-study units for teachers and implementation guidance for senior managers in working across these different elements of teaching early reading. We hope there will be something for everyone. A truly collaborative effort We have been privileged, as editors, to work with some experienced and knowledgeable colleagues in the field during the compilation of this book. Shirley Bickler and Suzanne Baker have contributed extensively throughout, having been co-authors of previous Book Bands editions. Professor Morag Stuart and Chris Dickinson wrote significant sections of the unit exploring the use of guided reading to develop word reading, whilst Associate Professor Ros Fisher provided us with the theoretical background to the unit on the teaching of non-fiction skills. What s more, we are thrilled that Professor Roger Beard has agreed to write the foreword for us. As we near the end of our endeavour and the publication gets underway, there is a little time to sit back and reflect. Have we achieved our aims? We sincerely hope that Which Book and Why will do exactly what it says on the cover that it will support teachers to choose the right book at the right time to address their children s learning needs and put them on that exciting road to reading. A comprehensive and clearly written book, which emphasises the importance of effective guided reading teaching in the development of children s early reading skills, within the context of a balanced literacy programme. At the heart of the book is recognition of the importance of reading for pleasure and meaning, and the complexity of the reading process. The text is full of practical suggestions, underpinned by theory, which explore focused teaching strategies which can support the development of children s decoding skills, higher order reading and comprehension skills, and which recognise the inextricable link between reading and writing. This book will be valuable not only to professionals in schools, but also to trainee teachers at the very start of their journey into teaching. Alayne Öztürk, President of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) Bodman, S. and Franklin, G. (November 2013) Which Book and Why: using Book Bands and book levels for guided reading in Key Stage 1, is published by IOE Press. See pages for further details. 4 alumni life summer 2013

7 NEWS Battlefield Tours Project The IOE and Education Travel Group are running the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Project, a 5.3 million venture, on behalf of the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government. The Project is designed to provide two pupils and one teacher from every state-funded secondary school in England with the opportunity to visit battlefields on the Western Front from 2014 to 2019 a key part of the Government s plans to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. International Baccalaureate The IOE has signed an agreement with the International Baccalaureate (IB), thereby providing students on the MA Education and the MA Applied Educational Leadership and Management programmes with the opportunity to apply for an IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research or the IB Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research. These awards will aid their understanding of student learning and increase their access to teaching jobs worldwide. The flexibility of the programme means that IB teachers can study from wherever they are based, and tailor their studies to their particular interests and professional development needs, said Dr Clare Brooks, programme director for the MA in Education. The project will encourage pupils to think critically about the War s social, economic and political consequences and its continuing significance, said Professor Stuart Foster of the IOE. Find out more about the Project on ioe.ac.uk/ww1 or Jobs for graduates A recent national survey shows that jobs requiring degrees have reached an all-time high. Those requiring no qualifications fell to historically low levels. The findings also suggest that fewer graduates are now in jobs for which they are overqualified. Those who are getting jobs are more likely to be in graduate employment, says Professor Francis Green of the IOE. The survey, Skills at Work in Britain, was led by the Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES) based at the IOE. It can be downloaded from llakes.org/ llakes-research-strands/skills-andemployment-survey-2012/ Please find out more at ioe.ac.uk/newsevents/87683.html or at ioelondonblog.wordpress.com 5

8 News Best paper prize Dr Dolapo Ogunbawo, formerly of the London Centre for Leadership in Learning at the IOE, has received the 2012 best paper prize from the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) for Developing black and minority ethnic (BME) leaders: the case for customised programmes. The paper is based on her work on the Equal Access to Promotion (EAP) programme which she was responsible for leading, writing, developing and delivering as a national programme, jointly funded by the National College and the National Union of Teachers. I believed in the EAP programme and had some of the best serving heads in London working with me, says Dolapo. Outstanding early career The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has presented Dr John Jerrim, Lecturer in Economics and Social Statistics at the IOE, with its first-ever prize for Outstanding Early Career Impact. John will receive 10,000 to maximise the impact of his research on the attainment of UK pupils compared to their peers in other countries: he analysed PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) rankings in maths and found that there is no hard evidence of any decline in comparative performance over time. He urged ministers not to base public policy on claims that are not statistically robust. Aiming for the top in music and brain research Dr Efthymios Papatzikis, postdoctoral research fellow in cognitive neuroscience and music at the IOE, is one of 15 selected out of 100 by the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) to participate in a global neuroimaging training scheme in Switzerland. Their announcement came in not only as great news to me obviously but also as a reward to my long-lasting endeavour to achieve the highest possible level of neuroscience training, he says. Efthymios s training will provide him with practical experience on how to set up, run and manage projects which study the structure, functions and development of our brain using state-of-the-art equipment. Even for most of the mainstream neuroscientists, such a great 6 alumni life summer 2013 training opportunity doesn t come easy For someone like me, whose academic story started in music, continued in developmental psychology and concluded in neuroscience at Harvard and the IOE, such an achievement brings to the fore an even deeper personal meaning. I will soon be able to bring my research work in infants neurobehavioural development through music to a whole new level, approaching music, education and neuroscience on equal and thus even more specialised terms, concludes Efthymios. Photo: Chrysa Nikoleri

9 NEWS Congratulations......to Dr Mary Stiasny, pro-director of learning and international at the IOE, who became an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Queen s Birthday honours awards, for her services to education. Dr Stiasny gained a degree in sociology at LSE, followed by a postgraduate certificate in education, a master s degree and a PhD at Goldsmiths. She has held a variety of senior roles within education from subject tutor, programme leader, deputy head and head of school in higher education institutions such as Goldsmiths, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Greenwich. She was director of education and training at the British Council for four years, and came to the IOE in In September she will be seconded to the role of interim dean of the University of London International Programme, whilst maintaining part of her role at the IOE. New Dean: Faculty of Policy and Society Professor Andrew Brown (IOE alumnus) is now dean of the IOE s Faculty of Policy and Society. He was formerly dean of the Doctoral School and oversaw considerable growth in the IOE s doctoral training and research student population. More recently he was seconded for two years to the Singapore Workforce Development Agency where, as founding director (research) of the Institute for Adult Learning, he led the development of a national research strategy for workforce development and adult vocational education. IOE ranked 7th in the world The IOE is now ranked 7th worldwide in the World University Rankings by Subject, published by the QS Intelligence Unit in May. Now in its 3rd year, this comprehensive guide reveals the top 200 universities in the world for 30 individual subjects. The news that the IOE has moved up to 7th place in the QS world rankings for education is excellent and recognises the world-leading work undertaken at the IOE. What s more, if you look only at the metrics indicators on research quality and impact, the IOE rises to third, alongside Harvard and Stanford this is a reminder of just how important the IOE is to education research globally, said IOE director Chris Husbands. 7

10 Inside the ioe How to get ahead in publishing Trentham Books Ltd recently became an imprint of IOE Press the university press based in the Institute of Education. IOE Press publish books, ebooks and journals on education and social research, complementing the IOE s mission to pursue excellence in education and related areas of social science and professional practice. Dr Gillian Klein, who co-founded Trentham three decades ago, continues to commission and develop books and journals for the Trentham Books imprint, thereby preserving its distinct identity. Jim Collins is the publisher for IOE Press titles and leads on the overall direction. 8 alumni life summer 2013 A single book can engage and have relevance to a wide variety of readers including students, practitioners, academics and policy-makers, says Jim. I want our authors research and voices to be heard I m really passionate about ensuring their research contributes to change generating impact from grassroots to policy-makers. Trentham Books has always been driven by my commitment to social justice and my belief that education can be a conduit for equality of opportunity for children and their learning, adds Gillian. The imprint could be seen as a continuation of my work on social justice and education, first in my 20 years in the Inner London Education Authority and later as a lecturer at the University of Warwick, and is reflected in all my own literature too. We boasted fourteen IOE staff among our authors when Trentham moved to the IOE last November and we re currently considering proposals from other IOE academics. Trentham s distinguished alumni authors include the late Harold Rosen. There has always been a strong connection between IOE Press and Trentham Books. Gillian

11 Inside the ioe has a long relationship with the IOE and knew Jim from meeting at academic conferences. At the British Educational Research Association in 2011, they discussed the possibility of Trentham Books coming to the IOE. At the time, IOE Press were investigating ways to develop and grow their business and Gillian was investigating ways to safeguard the future of Trentham Books. As the mission and values of both IOE Press and Trentham Books are shared, there was a great degree of serendipity. I see an impressive combined frontlist for the forthcoming academic year, with no obvious overlap but a similar rigour and strong coherence in our publications; collaboration leads to strength, says Gillian. For example, while we have broadened our author, editor and customer base, we re currently working on developing the Trentham Books ebook programme, adds Jim. We launched the IOE Press ebook programme in 2012 and we are now working on digitizing i see an impressive combined frontlist for the forthcoming academic year, with no obvious overlap. the Trentham Books and the IOE Press backlist. In parallel, we re developing and improving all aspects of our technology, including a new website and improved access to our online journals. Every book that they agree to publish is rigorously reviewed in advance. Gillian and Jim work with authors and editors to develop proposals before sending them to a review panel. Depending on the type of proposal, they will engage reviewers comprising a mix of UK and international academics and practitioners. Subject to the review, the proposal and reviews are then presented to the editorial board of IOE Press and, as publishers, Gillian and Jim 9

12 Inside the ioe advocate for their authors work in the editorial meeting. The editorial board provide final approval on all proposals. Over the years, academics have told me they could not teach their courses without Trentham s publications, Gillian tells us. So have organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card. I was thrilled to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2009 for Trentham s services to education. Trentham has published leading-edge research that has informed curriculum and school management, transformed the approach to enabling the learning of bilingual and multilingual pupils, and helped shape the curriculum for schools and universities today. The journals and books in their varied ways challenge inequalities in education and society. I am hoping that, in its niche within IOE Press, Trentham will keep its distinctive body of literature that challenges discrimination and injustice, gives a platform to important voices that would otherwise go unheard but from which we can learn so much, and that Jim and I will sustain the current synergy to the benefit of both lists. The work of IOE Press, including Trentham Books, is a vital way for the IOE to engage with a wide variety of communities in the UK and internationally, adds Jim. It is also a way to generate income that supports teaching and learning at the IOE. Our mission is to support the IOE mission, with our shared values of social justice and equality. The work of IOE Press, including Trentham Books, is a vital way for the IOE to engage with a wide variety of communities in the UK and internationally. New publications by IOE Press for 2013 include practitioner guides for the early years and schools sector looking at leadership, gender, intercultural learning and how to improve pupil outcomes. David Watson considers what higher education institutions have been doing for their students and why it matters; Claire Callender and Peter Scott provide an in-depth analysis of the reforms in higher education in the UK; Ross Deuchar investigates youth and gang violence and suggests ways of moving forward; Kate Hoskins and Bernard Barker examine the English Government s plans to improve upward mobility and consider their chances of success, drawing on qualitative interviews with 88 school-age students. Please see a selection of IOE Press forthcoming publications on pages If you wish to receive e-alerts of new books, catalogues and promotions by IOE Press, please 10 alumni life summer 2013

13 Inside the ioe Events Events and news are regularly updated on our website, so keep ioe.ac.uk/ newsevents bookmarked for the latest details. VIP reception at the IOE Thursday 12 September, 18:00, IOE Our donor reception will be an opportunity to meet scholarship recipients and beneficiaries of your gifts to the IOE, as well as donors who support our work (detailed on pages 25-29). If you support the IOE, your invitation will be on its way soon. Celebrating Robbins: the impact of the Robbins Report on British Higher Education, Thursday 24 October, 11:00 to 18:30, IOE The Centre for Higher Education Studies, in association with the Times Higher Education and the Society for Research into Higher Education, is holding a one-day conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Report. The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science, will open the conference. Speakers will include Professors Michael Shattock, Claire Callender, Sir Peter Scott and Sir David Watson. For further information, please contact Alison Peacock on or at IOE s world tour A programme of visits including academic lectures, alumni events, conferences, seminars and exhibitions takes place throughout the year, where future students and scholars find out more about the IOE and alumni catch up on IOE news. Upcoming visits include the USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Turkey, France and Germany. Find out more at ioe.ac.uk/ studentinformation/17325.html Improving learning through effective lesson observation Thursday 7 November, 13:30 to 16:30, IOE This practical and interactive workshop explores how a coaching approach can enhance the culture around lesson observation so that it makes a sustained difference to adult practice and pupil outcomes. For further information, please contact Adrian Hall at Do we have your address? The Alumni and Development Office sends regular s about events, including those overseas, to alumni for whom we have addresses. Please make sure to let us have your address if you d like to receive invitations. 11

14 Inside the ioe A right royal Caribbean audience with Prince Charles The Prince said how much he loved the Caribbean islands, recalls Professor Mirza. Photo: Paul Burns Heidi Safia Mirza, IOE professor of equalities studies in education, talks about her recent visit to St James s Palace. It seemed fitting it was a sunny spring day to have a Caribbean audience in St James s Palace with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. The reception in May was to honour the contribution of Caribbean Communities in Britain. My invitation was in recognition of my research on the underachievement and social exclusion of ethnic minority pupils in Britain. My work on migrant girls, teacher education and Black supplementary schools shows not only the commitment of Caribbean communities to education, but also the importance of a diverse teaching force if we are to challenge racism. As an expert member of the Schools Standards Task Force, I shaped many initiatives to do with raising standards for black and minority ethnic pupils, including educational resources such as the Runnymede Collection, an archive documenting the civil rights struggle for a multicultural Britain. I was delighted to rub shoulders with celebrities and household names such as Lenny Henry, the comedian, Doreen Lawrence, the civil rights campaigner, and our own IOE honorary graduate, Malorie Blackman, the new Children s Laureate (featured on pages 16-18). Over 300 people gathered in the opulent red and gold gilt throne hall as we mingled to the soft sounds of live steel pan and the clink of fine crystal glasses filled with rum punch held aloft by young waiters 12 alumni life summer 2013

15 Inside the ioe Sri Lankan connection in white jackets. Laughter and banter filled the bright sunlit room. It was like a meeting of old friends; it was truly OUR celebration as a proud postcolonial Commonwealth people. It is a tribute to the Windrush Generation who weathered the trials of post-war migration and racism that we are now inextricably part of the British cultural landscape. Musicians, opera singers, actors, theatre and carnival artists, heritage and media personalities, charity leaders, politicians, high commissioners, sport and business people, and even a few academics, like me, chatted as the Prince and Camilla moved casually through the crowd. With a strong handshake, the Prince asked what island I was from. Trinidad and Tobago, I replied. He said how much he loved the Caribbean islands and there was no better way to see them than by sea. Island hopping... a good way to enjoy the music, he said with a swing of the hips! The Duchess, on the other hand, got down to talking about education from first-hand experience, especially her love of reading to her grandchildren and her passion for the literacy programmes she supports. On the eve of the Queen s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, and the announcement that Prince Charles is to take on more duties as Queen Elizabeth stands down from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, it seemed a generous gesture for him to take time to honour a clearly valued multicultural audience in the heart of the Palace. The joyous London Community Gospel Choir ended the evening on a high note when Prince Charles and the Duchess danced out of the room much to the delight of the clapping crowds singing Oh happy day. It was a healing, historical Thank You from one small island in the Atlantic to the many who gave so much in the Caribbean Sea. Professors Andy Green, Angela Little and Siri Hettige Co-authors Siri Hettige, senior professor of sociology at the University of Colombo, and Angela Little, professor emerita at the IOE, recently launched their new publication, Globalisation, employment and education in Sri Lanka: opportunity and division. The launch was an opportunity to host a discussion with a panel of Sri Lanka experts: Jonathan Goodhand of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Roz Dixon of Birkbeck College and Markus Mayer of the nongovernmental organisation International Alert. The event, chaired by Professor Andy Green of the IOE, was well attended by staff and students from the IOE, other Bloomsbury Colleges and the wider community. It was held in the Elvin Hall at the IOE, in collaboration with the London International Development Centre (LIDC, offering free membership to all IOE alumni, see page 20). Details of the book are given in the publications section, pages

16 Inside the ioe Networks There are many ways of keeping in touch with the IOE and your fellow alumni... Alumni ambassadors and country networks The Alumni and Development Office manages a network of 68 international alumni ambassadors around the world (see ioe.ac.uk/studentinformation/ 4973.html and several alumni manage in-country networks. Please contact us if you d like to find out more at LinkedIn Build your professional network through contact with more than 1700 fellow IOE alumni. The Alumni and Development Office manages several LinkedIn groups exclusively dedicated to current and former students and staff of the IOE. IOE Alumni is open to all and other groups are course, subject or region-specific, e.g. IOE Alumni MBA Higher Education Management; IOE Alumni Museums and Heritage in Education; IOE Alumni in the USA; IOE Alumni in Canada; IOE Alumni in Greece; IOE Alumni in Asia (with subgroups by geographical areas). Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube Make contact with fellow IOE alumni through Facebook, by liking our IOE Alumni Association page. Follow the IOE on See IOE s photostream at: flickr.com/ photos/ioelondon. Browse IOE videos on YouTube: youtube.com/ user/ioelondonvideo 14 alumni life summer 2013 Career mentoring Please let us have your views on whether you d like to either hone your mentoring skills (because you are an experienced education professional), or benefit from free career advice (because you are looking for your first post or looking to move on from the current one). The Alumni and Development Office is currently looking at ways of facilitating contact between mentors and mentees and would welcome your views at surveymonkey.com/s/ ment0r IOE London blog Share your views with IOE staff writing on education and related social sciences on the blogosphere. Recent posts included: Can well-being be measured? and Sons can offer positive role models for their fathers too. Find out more at ioelondonblog. wordpress.com

17 Inside the ioe My tutor and I Anne Robertson joined the IOE in September 2003 as a lecturer in primary education and became the Primary PGCE programme leader a year later. I m surprised to hear that I am a favourite amongst alumni. I am just doing my job in the best way I can. I always admire my students openness and willingness to learn, the passion they bring to wanting to be an outstanding teacher in order to make life better for children, says Anne. In her pre-ioe years, Anne worked with Professor Philip Adey in designing Thinking Programmes for primary children, using Cognitive Acceleration as their theoretical base, and with teachers to support their use of the pedagogy aimed at increasing children s thinking ability. She is now the Primary National Lead for Teach First coordinating all the regions in England that have participants in this employmentbased route aimed at working with children in schools where disadvantage is identified. Participants have six weeks in the summer where they begin their Initial Teacher Education year, helping them to be ready to take on responsibility for their class from September onwards, with support from tutors. When asked for the key to getting the best out of her students, Anne replies: Modelling best practice, listening to their questions and offering ideas that I have tried, entering into the context and problem-solving together, listening to the issues and trying to change things where reasonable. Schools can sometimes be challenging places. Students have to relate to a lot of adults and children, some with competing agendas. Sometimes they need support in managing work, stress and social relationships, and in anchoring themselves in their strengths, what brought them into teaching this is what will keep them going when things are tough. My students bring passion and enthusiasm for learning, for wanting to engage children in the learning process. They need knowledge but more importantly they need this willingness and drive to want to keep learning this includes learning more regarding the curriculum, pedagogy and also learning more about how to read adults and children so that relationships are open, honest and constructive. If you d like to get in touch with Anne to let her know how your career has progressed since you left the IOE, or to discuss placement opportunities in your school for current IOE students, do contact her on: or via the Alumni and Development Office. 15

18 Profile New book, new title IOE honorary graduate Malorie Blackman was named Children s Laureate in June, just as her latest novel for teenagers, Noble Conflict, was about to be published. She is the eighth Laureate, a role traditionally held for two years by acclaimed authors and illustrators in acknowledgement of their outstanding contribution to their field. She is the first black Laureate and has always believed in giving black and ethnic minority children a voice through literature. She talks about reading, writing, and Noble Conflict. Can you remember which book impressed you most as a child? The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis certainly had a huge impact. A particular speech, made by Puddleglum (a marsh-wiggle!), which spoke of believing in yourself even in the face of ridicule certainly resonated with me when I read it and for years afterwards. Does it take a bookworm to generate enthusiasm for reading? It helps! Obviously, if you love books, it s easier to talk about them. I happen to love stories and reading from Homer s The Odyssey and Milton s Paradise Lost to Little Mouse s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett and all points in between. That doesn t mean that I love every book I read but the wonderful thing about reading for pleasure is that I don t have to. Did writing groups help you believe in yourself as a writer? I found attending writing groups over the years absolutely invaluable. When I wasn t sure what I wanted to write, I joined a Ways into Writing workshop. Over the years, I ve attended a Women Writers workshop, a Writing Science Fiction workshop, a Writing Plays workshop and a Writing for Children workshop all at City Lit (the adult education college in Covent Garden). Each course taught me a lot. I attended the Writing for Children workshop for a number of years at the start of my career. Each group was supportive and offered critical feedback, which I found essential. I think trying to become an author would have been that much harder without the support and encouragement of those in my writing groups. i found attending writing groups over the years absolutely invaluable. I think you said that you saw a little bit of yourself in Callum, a white boy who is one of the main protagonists in Noughts and Crosses. Last year you wrote a short story focusing on Callum. What prompted you to do that? Over the years, I ve received a number of letters and s speculating that if Callum had gone away with Sephy after she d been kidnapped, then the ending might ve been very different. I m not a great believer in fate and irrevocable destinies but in this case, I think there could have been only one outcome to Callum s story. The short story Callum 16 alumni life summer 2013

19 Profile was a flight of fancy to explore what might have happened if Callum did go away with Sephy. It s strictly a what-if story and not a part of the main narrative delivered in the Noughts and Crosses quadrilogy and should be read as such. At the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts in the spring, you were on the panel of a question time session for young adult fiction fans and also presenting your latest book, Noble Conflict. Your audience was made up almost entirely of keen readers and long-standing fans. How does that compare with your school events, where possibly a smaller proportion of the audience would be bookworms? In my school events, I try to enthuse all children about reading. I always ask for a show of hands from those who love reading and then from those who don t. There are always raised hands in both categories but what I tell the ones who don t like reading is that they just haven t found the right books for them yet. Then I ll try to find out what they re interested in and suggest books accordingly. I may suggest graphic novels, poetry books or I might suggest that they write the kind of story they d like to read. My mission is to get children to love reading! What I tell the ones who don t like reading is that they just haven t found the right books for them yet. Can you tell us about Noble Conflict? How does a story of complete manipulation and control of an entire society relate to today s society? The question the story asks is how much can you trust the word of those in authority? It s about not just evaluating what has been said, but 17

20 Profile Noble Conflict The story Years after a violent war destroyed much of the world, Kaspar has grown up in a society based on peace and harmony. But beyond the city walls, a vicious band of rebels are plotting to tear this peace apart. It is up to the Guardians an elite peacekeeping force to protect the city, without ever resorting to the brutal methods of their enemy. When Kaspar joins the Guardians, he has a chance encounter with a rebel a beautiful girl named Rhea. Haunted from that moment on by strange visions and memories memories that could only belong to Rhea he realises he hasn't been told the truth about what the rebels really want, and what he's really fighting for. also analysing what has not been said, about reading between the lines. I believe it s important to teach our children and teenagers to think for themselves and to make up their own mind about issues and not to be unquestioning about what they re told by those in authority. Given your background in script writing, including dramas for BBC education, would you consider turning Noble Conflict into a film? If you did, who would you want to see in the roles of Kaspar, Mackenzie and Rhea? I d love it if Noble Conflict was turned into a film. I m not sure I d want to write it though. I kind of feel that I ve been there, done that! And as for the actors I d like to see in the main roles? As long as they could act, I d be happy. If Will Smith s son Jaden was older, he d be perfect for Kaspar. Malorie s focus for her two-year Children s Laureate appointment will be to encourage teachers and parents to spend at least ten minutes a day reading with their pupils and children in the hope of getting more children reading more. Find out more at malorieblackman.co.uk, including writing tips, events where you could meet Malorie, podcasts, interviews with various journalists, and much more. 18 alumni life summer 2013

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