Teacher Education in Lifelong Learning (TELL) research network update 14th May 2019

Twitter hashtag #TELLResearch general hashtag #FEResearch

Hi to all .. another events packed update. It’s amazing how many more event there are than when TELL first started. Let’s hope we helped that along at least a little.

We now have agendas for the two next TELL meetings at the University of Wolverhampton and Ashton-under-Lyne Sixth Form College, and there are new details of a conference in London on 5th – 6th July, in which TELL is also involved.


Friday 24th May 2019 10.00 to 15.00 – University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus

Theme for the day “The teacher as researcher”

The TELL Conference is hosted by the University of Wolverhampton at its Walsall Campus. It aims to promote research in and around Further Education with presentations from practitioners defining on their terms what the issues, questions and ecology of our sector is in the present time.
Contributions will be wide-ranging reflecting the sector’s various challenges and opportunities, including pedagogical transference from Higher Education to Further Education, transitional experiences of BTEC students, mentoring, widening participation and keynote speech from Sir Alan Tuckett.
Location details: University Of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus, Gorway Road, WN205/206, Samuel Johnson Building, Walsall WS1 3BEWalsall Campus is 5 minutes drive from the M6 Junction 9 and hosts ample free parking. Lunch will be provided

Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teacher-education-in-lifelong-learning-tell-conference-tickets-58373171728


10.30  Arrivals and coffee

11: 00 Welcome and Introductions

11:15  Keynote Professor Alan Tuckett, University of Wolverhampton

11:45  Research showcase

Lydia Cooper: Reading Conflict Narratives

A reflective study of how teachers and “others” learn from their conflict stories. The research explores how teachers talk about and reflect on a conflict situation that impacts them. The study uses mediation, mentoring and reflective practices to help participants recognise how a particular dispute is impacting their life, these methods were used to encourage self-awareness for teachers, helping them to consider alternative ways to respond to their current conflict situation or any future disputes. Mixing mediation techniques with mentoring and reflective theories increased teachers’ abilities to reflect on their conflict, helping participants to consider alternative ways to respond when faced with a challenging situation. The research has implications for conflict resolution in education, including supervision for teachers and classroom behaviour management. Learning how to be present during a dispute and not reacting defensively can promote alternative ways to respond to conflict.

12:15 Lunch

13:00 Research showcase continued

13.00 Mat Dudley: Pedagogical Considerations of HE Teachers in a FE Setting.

This pilot study looks at the developments of teaching pedagogy of HE teachers within an FE setting. Data has been collected from semi-structured interviews and focuses on collecting qualitative information on how pedagogy has developed, what approaches are being used currently and recommendations for future development. This study will provide the starting point for my thesis project on alternate pedagogies implemented with ‘HE in FE’ programs.

13:30 Jane Hadley: Nursing is not the only route. Exploring the alternative offer.

Mature students often come back into education via access courses in a FE college. They come with preconceived ideas formed through childhood regarding job roles and how to access those careers. This research examines how students who applied for Nursing degrees were unsuccessful and were offered an alternative degree programme, BSc (Hons) Health Studies.  We will discuss why they wanted to be nurses in the first place, if they still wished to pursue a career in nursing and recommendations regarding FE and HE working in partnership to raise awareness of alternative careers to nursing.

14:00 Sam Jones Parallel Roads: Research and Researchmeets

Sam will discuss the parallel roads she travels. The first as the ‘academic’ moving from masters to PhD student. The second is as practitioner-researcher, setting up a college research network, blog and the Researchmeet movement.  Looking at the highs and lows she will explore where they meet and where they stretch the practitioner.

1430 Professor Peter Lavender – Research dilemmas: hunting for the Snark

Research into who does not participate in education or training has an important pedigree (Courtney, 1992; Field, 1999; Crossan and Field et al[, 2003; Eurostat, 2017) but it is probably more reflected on than researched (Courtney, 1992). Policy makers in the United Kingdom (UK) have consistently and for many years set out to drive up participation in lifelong learning (DfE, 2018), even going so far as to make it compulsory for young people to be in either paid employment, training or education (DfE,2012). For many commentators the goal of driving up participation in post-compulsory education is an unquestioned good, begging the question that if it is patently so valuable why does a significant proportion of those who have left school say they have never taken part in ‘learning’ afterwards? (DfE, 2018)

For researchers, the topic is intriguing – to identify the barriers to participation in education has been the goal of many studies (McGivney, 1990). This suggests that the answers will assist education and training providers to somehow not only increase the recruitment of students, but to benefit society and future generations. And so the pursuit of the question, ‘What are the barriers to participating in learning for adults?’ has been an important part of the educational research agenda over many years.

The pursuit of answers about participation in education is often at one remove from those who are questioned. Finding out why someone isn’t there can often require ingenuity for, just as in the hunt for the Snark, those not present find it hard to say why they aren’t. Similarly, although a proportion of adults say they have done no learning since leaving school, when this assertion is checked these adults respond in a confounding way. They claim that education is not for them, explaining that they have little time or inclination, and yet they are clearly actively learning and sometimes doing so in an impressive way. This is partly because when interviewed this group of people understand ‘learning’ to mean something difficult or involving the attendance of a course, with or without qualifications, which take place in an educational establishment and where they are ‘taught’.

In this research those participating in a national survey on adult learning were followed up and asked about the barriers to learning they have experienced. Some of these said they had done no ‘learning’ in the recent past (defined as in the last three years) and yet when interviewed it was found that they had. This posed three questions: was the original participation study flawed in its methodology, or do some recent learners not recognise that they have been involved in learning, and why might this be the case? This poses a challenge to researchers.

15.00 close

Wednesday 26th June 2019 11am – 4pm – Ashton-under-Lyne Sixth Form College

TELL Network meeting and Learning and Skills Research Network (LSRN) joint meeting for Teacher Educators in Lifelong Learning and post 16 / further education staff 

You are welcome to attend the full day or part of the day. We are delighted that this is our first meeting at a sixth form college.Jo Fletcher-Saxton has come up with an innovative way of combining two networks into one day with two themes.

Joint event details:You can book for the full day (11.00-4.00) or book a half day (11.00 to 1.00 or 2.00 to 4.00).


Wednesday 26th June 2019 11am-4pm if attending full day or book a half day.

11am -1pm Teacher Educator focus

Dr Jim Crawley, Teaching Fellow, Senior Lecturer – Education Studies, Institute for Education, Bath Spa University

Teacher Education Policy – Where are we now and where are we going?

Heather Booth-Martin, EdD candidate at University of Huddersfield and Teacher Education lecturer at both Craven College and Shipley College. 

Crossing boundaries: Learning to teach in Further Education. An action research study of how Further Education teacher educators use modelling to teach values

Kathryn Pogson, ITE lecturer Shipley college.

Sharing informal feedback on trial use of Zoom with trainee teachers.
Opportunity for discussion following each presentation.

1-2 Lunch for those who are here for the full day

2pm – 4pm Practitioner Enquiry focus for Teachers and LecturersDr

Jim Crawley -Practitioner Enquiry, why do it? Researching from within.

Bryony Evett, Colleg Sir Gar, Wales. Teaching and Learning Manager.

Sharing the college’s first ventures into a college wide research initiative.

Rachel Allen, Senior Tutor at Ashton Sixth Form College and PhD student at University of Huddersfield. Details tbc.

Presentation by colleague from Reaseheath College. Action Research presentation. Details tbc. 

3 min thesis type activity allowing everyone (who wishes) to each say something about their practitioner enquiry / research.

Networking groups, supporting progress with practitioner enquiry.

CONTACT jmf@asfc.ac.uk or @jfletchersaxon (Further details about presenters will be added as confirmed).

To register, visit:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/learning-and-skills-research-network-gr-manchester-and-teacher-educators-in-lifelong-learning-joint-tickets-49843869355?aff=estw&utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-source=tw&utm-term=destsearch

Collaborative conference – Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July

TELL is happy to be one of the organisations involved in this conference, and one of our original members, Sai Loo, will be our TELL convenor for the day, as I can’t be there (because my daughter is getting married 🙂

This event is a collaborative conference involving the International Journal of Multidisciplinary Comparative Studies (IJMCS), London Learning and Skills Research Network (LLSRN), and Teacher Education in Lifelong Learning (TELL). The main themes are Further and Higher Education, Teacher Educators, Vocational Education, Lifelong Learning, etc. The keynote speakers are Professor Karen Evans (UCL), Professor Chris Winch (King’s College London) and Dr Sai Loo (UCL). The registration fee is £35.00 or £50.00 (including conference dinner).

The closing deadline for abstracts is 15th June 2019. 

More details at: http://www.conference2.ijmcs-journal.org/


Matt O’Leary Inaugural Professorial Lecture : Faith over fear: investing in professional responsibility and trust as a basis for improving teaching

Date: Wednesday 5th June 2019. Time: 17.30 – 20.00

Location: Birmingham City University- City South Campus, Seacole Building, Westbourne Road, Birmingham, B15 3TN 

A common thread running through much of O’Leary’s research is a commitment to interrogating and challenging the neoliberal ideology that continues to dominate education policy thinking and decision making. He is particularly interested in confronting and exposing those ideologies and methodologies of teaching and learning ‘improvement’ that rely on reductive performance metrics and systems of managerialist accountability. This talk will begin by unearthing the flaws of such ideologies and methodologies, arguing that they are misguided, unethical and inherently incapable of bringing about meaningful and sustainable improvements to teaching and learning. O’Leary will go on to argue that not only does the teaching profession need to resist these conceptualisations of improvement but that it must actively seek to put forward the case for a reimagined, alternative ideology that is underpinned by professional responsibility and trust.

Register for this event at https://www.bcu.ac.uk/news-events/calendar/faith-over-fear

UKFEchat conference 15th June 2019

Of interest to anyone working in – the FE sector, colleges, work-based learning and adult community education – Everyone’s welcome!

More at: https://ukfechat.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=bbe3d758885c9896524871432&id=7c972aff90&e=df9d98b884

Ann Gravells – Improving professionalism to achieve outstanding teaching, learning and assessment. 14th June, Leeds

TELL members who would like to attend can quote CPD150 to get £30 off at this meeting in Leeds. More at: https://tinyurl.com/CPDLeeds2019

#ReimagineFE19 – 2 July 2019 Birmingham City University

In our 4th successive year, we continue to reimagine further education.
Called “the most important CPD experience of the year” by participants, this is the only event on the FE calendar where teachers, managers, leaders and researchers gather to constructively discuss important themes in our provision, working collaboratively to challenge our thinking and find new ways to engage with policy and practice. The #ReimagineFE conferences do this through a novel approach to working groups in dialogic spaces, examining real issues facing the sector and exploring new approaches to address them. 

A full list of working groups and booking details can be found at https://reimaginefe.wordpress.com/

Bedford FEResearchmeet Wed 3rd July 2019

Registration open for Bedford FEResearchmeet 2019.  2019 Keynote to be confirmed

Researchmeets are days FOR FE lecturers BY FE lecturersIf you are interested in presenting, please contact Sam Jones (sjones@bedford.ac.uk).

This year’s event has two aims. Firstly, to share and encourage research within the sector. Therefore, all research presentations on the day, with the exception from the keynotes, will be from practitioners working in an FE or work based learning environment (WBE). When we say research, we are looking widely at everything from enquiry in your learning environment and action research through to post-graduate and doctoral research. The key is to reflect the breadth and thoughtfulness that exisits in the sector. So everyone working in FE is welcome to run a workshop in our ‘research’ strand.Our second aim is to support people along their research journey. This is new to the format this year. Here we are looking for those within the sector, or who have worked in the sector, to present on areas that can help others develop. So, we are looking for action researchers to explain their experiences to other and recent master’s students to share their experiences and encourage others.

KEYNOTE: Diane Dalby : Nottingham University.

Maths education and maths teachers in further education. Diane will take us through her project, research design, and findings.

SPECIAL GUEST: David Corke the Director of Education and Skills from the Association of Colleges will be leading a workshop exploring how practitioner research could be used in colleges and to inform sector policy.
To register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/feresearchmeet-bedford-2019-tickets-55872740872


The second annual SET Conference will take place in Birmingham on 6 November 2019. Following on from the success of the 2018 inaugural event, the 2019 SET Conference will focus on promoting professionalism within the Further Education sector. Shaped by members and practitioner-led, the conference will provide practical guidance for teachers, trainers and educators.

We are busily preparing the agenda for a fantastic featuring engaging keynote speakers, practical workshops with tangible take-aways and a large network of exhibitors. We will be updating information regularly, so check back soon – last year’s event sold out, so book your ticket now!


Broad, J. H. and Lahiff, A (2019) Capturing the Elusive: How Vocational Teachers Develop and Sustain their Expertise, in The Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training, Chapter 22,  433-454.

Bullen, T. (2019) Teaching in Context: An easy-access guide to teaching in FE. Independently published

With this note from Tina

“Are you a new FE teacher, worried about all the reading you need to do for your teaching qualification? Then this book is for you. Easy-access and dyslexia friendly, this book provides lots of examples, diagrams and uses layouts that are easy on the eye. It is written in conversational, plain English and aims to make sense of the general teaching principles and methods by putting them into real-life, vocational contexts. This is the book to read before you read the other ones”

Orr, K. (2019) VET Teachers and Trainers, in The Wiley Handbook of Vocational Education and Training, Chapter 17. pp.329-348.


Wolstencroft, P. and Lloyd, C. (2019) Process to practice: The evolving role of the academic middle manager in English further education colleges. Management in Education.

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