The School of Education: Lincolnshire Learning Lab

Lincolnshire Learning Lab (LLL) was established to improve the learning of all children and the working environments for teachers within Lincolnshire. The purpose is to bring academic rigour and evidence-based research into the classroom by engaging the three key stakeholders – teachers, academics and anyone involved/interested in the education system (parents/educational consultants etc.). The LLL is so called to enable research to be carried out in schools in a rigorous and innovative manner ensuring that time is spent productively on research that will benefit all (staff/children/families) whilst offering teachers the opportunity to work with academics to ensure that research is effective for all. The group was established by the School of Education at the University of Lincoln in February 2021. The main aims are to: 1. Provide opportunity to work innovatively within the ‘lab’ style approach with a range of educational professionals to provide opportunity for research to become embedded in practice. 2. Devise, lead and carry out research projects that will provide evidence for educational innovation. 3. Provide all teachers, academics and other educational stakeholders the opportunity to develop practice across the county to engage all in improving educational outcomes for all children.


Dr Rachael Sharpe, Senior Lecturer


New Study finds Dogs may reduce Stress Levels in Children

Originally posted on Lincoln.ac.uk

New research from the University of Lincoln has found that dog-assisted interventions can lead to significantly lower stress levels in children both with and without special needs.

The findings were published this week in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kerstin Meints, Professor in Developmental Psychology at the University of Lincoln, and colleagues.

The study compared cortisol levels in primary school children who participated in dog-assisted intervention sessions, relaxation sessions, or no intervention. 

Prolonged exposure to stressors can cause adverse effects on learning, behaviour, health and wellbeing in children over their lifespan. Several approaches to alleviating stress have been explored in schools including yoga, mindfulness, meditation, physical activity, teaching style interventions and animal-assisted interventions.

Researchers measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the saliva of 105 8- to 9-year-old children in four mainstream schools as well as 44 similarly aged children from seven special education needs schools. The children were randomly stratified into three groups: a dog group, relaxation group or control group.

In the dog group, participants interacted for 20 minutes with a trained dog and handler; the meditation group involved a 20-minute relaxation session. Sessions were carried out twice a week for four weeks.  The control group went to school as normal.

Dog interventions lead to significantly lower cortisol levels in children in both mainstream and special needs schools. In mainstream schools, children in the control and relaxation groups had increases in mean salivary cortisol over the course of the school term. In contrast, children who participated in either group or individual sessions with dogs had no statistically significant increase in stress levels. In addition, their cortisol levels were, on average, lower immediately after a single dog session.

For children with special educational needs, similar patterns were seen, with decreases in cortisol after dog group interventions. The authors conclude that dog interventions can successfully attenuate stress levels in school children but point out that additional research into the ideal amounts of time and contact with dogs for optimal effect is needed.

Lincolnshire Learning Lab Introduces: Active Online Reading

On: Wednesday 6th April 2022

Time: 3:30pm to 5pm

Learn more about how students read online, what they think about how we teach them to do so, and how their online reading habits relate to their transition to study at university. 

At all levels of education, reading is ubiquitous – it is relevant for all disciplines and all students.. Students’ reading practices have transformed over the past 20 years, with the increasing digitisation of resources, the emergence and then ubiquity of virtual learning environments, and the widespread use of mobile technologies. The pandemic has accelerated such developments, with the rapid roll-out of online and blended learning. Yet we know strikingly little about how students read online, how this relates to their overall learning, and which pedagogic strategies are effective.

Since 2021, colleagues from the University of Lincoln, the University of Nottingham, UCL, and Talis Education have been running a project that explores ‘active online reading’. This project explored digital reading practices and pedagogies across institutions, addressing students’ collaborative and independent reading activities. As part of the project, we ran surveys of staff and students that explored their digital reading practices and pedagogies in Higher Education, gaining over 700 responses.

Online reading is fundamental to the transition to higher-level study (learning new ways of reading, ‘unlearning’ old habits) and to disciplinarily (reading in a particular subject). In this session, we will introduce the project, before outlining our findings in relation to the reading practices and experiences of first year students, with a particular focus on the issue of transition to disciplinary study in higher education. We will then move on to outline what our research suggests are particularly effective strategies for teaching students to read actively in online and offline contexts.

Plan

  • Introduction to the Active Online Reading project
  • Survey results: transition and disciplinarity
  • Pedagogy: what works (and what doesn’t)

Biography

Jamie Wood is Professor of History and Education in the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln. He has been working on pedagogic development projects in HE History for over 15 years, with a particular focus on technology-enhanced and active learning. This work has been funded by the Higher Education Academy, the Quality Assurance Agency and others. In 2014, he a held visiting a visiting fellowship at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, where he led a project on the use of technology to teach ‘text-based’ disciplines in HE. In 2021 he won the Royal Historical Society’s Teaching Innovation prize for his ongoing work on online reading.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lincolnshire-learning-lab-introduces-active-online-reading-tickets-293858748427

Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?

Using comparable legal information, and empirical data from over 2000 members of the UK’s University and College Union and 2000 staff in universities of the European states, gathered by means of similar surveys, this paper is a comparative assessment of the de jure protection for, and the de facto levels of, academic freedom enjoyed by academic staff in the UK, when compared to their EU counterparts. The paper examines the legal and constitutional protection for academic freedom and the current levels of, and changes to, the two substantive elements (freedom to teach and freedom to research) and three supportive components (autonomy, governance and tenure) of academic freedom. The study reveals that UK academic staff believe that there is a low level of protection for academic freedom and that it has declined, both in general, and with respect to the two substantive elements and three supportive components of academic freedom. Similar trends are evident in the EU states, but statistical tests reveal that for every measure utilised, the decline in academic freedom is significantly greater in the UK than in the EU states


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Terence Karran, University of Lincoln, School of Education

Klaus D. Beiter, North-West University, Faculty of Law

Lucy Mallinson, Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute


 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Legal Education and Training in England and Wales

Globalisation, technology, and changing social (and digital) values, are dramatically and rapidly transforming the future of work. This is also true of legal practice and the future of lawyers and other law professionals. It is estimated, for example, that “nearly 40% of jobs in the legal sector could end up being automated in the long term”, and that new roles will emerge for which legal professionals at present are not adequately trained or prepared. (See here for a report by The Law Society, UK.) It is against this background that the article – The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a New Policy Agenda for Undergraduate Legal Education and Training in England and Wales – sets a policy agenda for undergraduate legal education and training that is sensitive to the opportunities and potential negative outfall of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (now exacerbated by COVID-19), while also taking into consideration the distinctive nature of legal education and training in England and Wales. It is suggested, inter alia, that the traditional, linear, and monodisciplinary LLB degree be radically transformed to accommodate and produce interdisciplinary and T-shaped graduates, those are graduates with in-depth knowledge and expertise in law, together with wider knowledge and expertise in other disciplines, including an awareness of technology and its potential applications. This will allow for more resilient, adaptable, and multi-functional law professionals in future.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Andra Le Roux-Kemp, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School


Combining Our Virtual Isolation Discussions

In this presentation, Jamie, a PhD Student studying the pathways into teaching: exploring the preparation and retention of maths and science teachers, converses with his supervisor Rachael about their combined experiences of the virtual isolation over the past year. They discuss the challenges and benefits put upon them by the situation over the last year, such as research designs and data collection, and how together they have found innovative ways to overcome them. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to possible support for future researchers and supervisors to ensure that the journey whilst challenging is a successful and enjoyable one!


Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Mr Jamie Ainge, School of Education


Reflecting on PhD supervision during the pandemic.

Postgraduate Research students have faced a difficult time during the Covid-19 pandemic, when carefully planned research has been disrupted due to recurrent lockdowns, mental health problems have come to the fore, and the challenges of doing a doctorate have been made greater due to pressures on work and family. In this short talk, doctoral supervisors from the College of Social Science talk about their experience of supervising students during the pandemic.


Dr Hannah Henderson, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Dr Joss Winn, School of Education


 

Creating Connections in a Virtual World

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020 in the UK, it quickly changed our day-to-day lives. With the closure of university facilities, doctoral researchers suddenly found themselves out of the postgraduate office and left to continue their studies from home. This shift triggered an almost overnight change in the environment surrounding many doctoral researchers, especially in terms of the interpersonal relationships with peers and supervisors. As a result, this may have increased the risk of social isolation. This presentation will provide an insight into the PGR Connect Series, which was organised to provide sport and exercise psychology postgraduate researchers at the University of Lincoln with a chance to present their work and connect with researchers at other institutions in the summer of 2020. The team at Lincoln Sport and Exercise Psychology Research will share their experiences of organising and presenting on the seminar series, which ran over nine weeks and eventually involved over 20 speakers from over a dozen institutions across six countries.


Dr Trish Jackman, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Rachel Langbein, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Rebecca Hawkins, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Ollie Williamson, School of Sport and Exercise Science
Dr Matthew Bird, School of Sport and Exercise Science


 

Overcoming the challenges of doctoral study during the pandemic.

Director of Studies, Dr Joss Winn, talks with colleague and PhD Professional candidate, Alison Raby, about the challenges she has faced during the pandemic when undertaking her research, An exploration of the personal tutoring experiences of Chinese students in the UK. The impact of Covid-19 has meant that Alison has had to rethink her data collection methods and timeline, and work around the cancellation of a planned trip to China.


Dr Joss Winn, School of Education

Ms Alison Raby, Department of Marketing Languages and Tourism