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November 2015

Feature series: SR in the Curriculum

(29 October 2015)

In support of the priority to encourage socially responsible graduates, Humanities provides funding to course leaders through the annual Social Responsibility in the Curriculum competition. The aim is for Humanities students to be encouraged to think how their enthusiasm for their subject can communicate, connect or be relevant beyond the immediate demands of their course. The call for 2016-17 is now open.

Each issue we will be featuring a project which has benefited from the competition. This issue, we introduce you to Dr Lisa Murtagh’s project which helps Primary PGCE students gain first-hand experience of education and research.

The project will involve two students being paired with a primary school where they will carry out an enquiry project.

Their chosen project will be decided upon in collaboration with the school-based staff to ensure that the project can help train the PGCE students but also improve the lives of the pupils they will be working with. Eight PGCE students will take part, in pairs across four schools. They will gather and analyse data and then disseminate the findings to the four schools in the cluster.

The aim of the scheme is to provide the students with the chance to gain skills as practitioners but also to encourage them to exercise ethical responsibilities and understand the importance of research-informed practice. The scheme will also enable the schools to engage in research and forge stronger links with the University.

Once the project has been completed a conference will be held so that the students can share their findings. They will also produce a pamphlet which will be shared with the schools involved and will allow them to enact any findings. Finally, the projects will be published online to allow for greater dissemination of the findings.

Lisa Murtagh said: “The Primary PGCE team is delighted to have the opportunity to work in new collaborative ways with teachers in Manchester. Our project commenced on 18 September and teachers from our partnership schools were invited to attend sessions to prepare them for undertaking research-based teacher enquiry with our trainees. We are excited to have the opportunity to enable trainees to develop skills and knowledge through collaboration on authentic tasks, whilst also developing the research expertise of teachers in our partnership schools.  We are very much looking forward to working in innovative ways with our partner schools and trainees.”