Educational research

Opinions and commentary on educational issues and concerns

Topic: Uncategorised

Forthcoming Article in Higher Education

📥  Language and Educational Practices, Uncategorised

Rose, H. & McKinley, J. (2017). Japan's English medium instruction initiatives and the globalization of higher education, accepted for publication in Higher Education.

This article analyses a recent initiative of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) which aims to internationalize higher education in Japan. It then presents an analysis of publicly available documents regarding the policy, collected from all thirty-seven of the participant universities of the Top Global University Project. Findings indicate a positive departure from older policy trends, and the emergence of flexible, unique forms of English language education in Japan’s universities.


New Research Article in Applied Linguistics

📥  Uncategorised

Rose, H. & McKinley, J. (2016). The prevalence of pedagogy-related research in applied linguistics: Extending the debate. Applied Linguistics, advance access online 10 December.

In this article, we respond to the special issue ‘Definitions for Applied Linguistics’, where the past and future of applied linguistics are discussed, and the place of pedagogy in the field’s scope is debated. Findings of the study suggest a number of practice-oriented journals now take the lion’s share of pedagogical research, allowing other key applied linguistics journals to focus on a diverse range of non-pedagogy-related language problems. Nevertheless, in general, pedagogy remains a key topic in the field.


Technology and School-Home Communication

📥  Uncategorised

Communication between schools and families is a vital support to children's learning, and modern technology offers unprecedented opportunities for communication - but how are schools to know what to use, and how to use it for the best?
In a recent article, entitled Technology and School-Home Communication, I explored these issues.

First, I proposed a definition of communication, based on the literature, which suggested that communication happens when a signal (such as a note home about a topic covered in school) passes from one person to another; however, that's not all, because for the interchange to be understood as communication, the second person involved has to be capable of understanding and potentially responding to that signal.  This second part of the definition is important because parents have often reported that schools send home too much information, in forms that parents don't understand and, importantly, can't use to support their children's learning.

We know from the literature in the field that engaging parents in children's learning is one of the best levers we have to raise achievement, but such engagement depends on accurate, two way, respectful communication between school staff and families, and the literature shows that such communication can lead to gains in children's learning.

Since over 70% of homes in the UK are considered to have access to broadband services, and over half the adult population has access to a smart phone, schools have begun to use digital communication with parents more and more.  In fact, there is now a bewildering plethora of "apps" available to schools for this very purpose - but almost all of them incur a financial cost and they will all incur costs in time to set them up and use them.

In the article, I attempt to meld the literature around engaging parents in children's learning with that around communication, to lead to some principles for good choices that schools might make in this area; I also look at some of the issues and challenges ahead in this fast paced area.


EuroSLA Conference

📥  Uncategorised

On 26/08/2016, I gave a presentation entitled "Parents and their role in language learning motivation". The abstract can be found below.

Language learning motivation is likely to be influenced by important individuals surrounding learners, such as their parents (Williams & Burden, 1997). Whereas the potential role of parents in motivating their offspring was identified early on by Gardner and Lambert (1972), there have been relatively few in-depth studies that focus on the role of parents in fostering their children motivation (Bartram, 2006; Kyriacou & Zhu, 2008), even though Bartram (2006) findings suggest that parental attitudes are not only language- but also context-specific.
This mixed-methods study investigates the role of parents in fostering language learning motivation of Polish language learners of English. 599 fifteen-year old students attending state schools completed a motivational questionnaire, in which they were asked to report their mothers’ and fathers’ level of education and level of English, and 20 learners participated in semi-structured interviews. MANOVA analyses of the questionnaire data revealed significant differences between students whose mothers and fathers had differing levels of education affecting scores on self-efficacy beliefs, English self-concept, ideal L2 self, instrumental orientation and self-regulation. The scores tended to increase with the level of mothers’ and fathers’ education. Similarly, there were significant differences on six motivational scales (self-efficacy beliefs, English self-concept, ideal L2 self, instrumental orientation, intrinsic motivation and self-regulation), when students were divided according to their mothers’ and fathers’ level of English. The scores increased in line with the level of parents’ English as reported by students. Further, the interview data revealed a number of ways, in which parents’ fostered their offspring’s language learning motivation, such as communicating positive attitudes towards studying English; parental encouragement to study English in the form of verbal comments and, to a lesser extent, rewards; actively helping children with their English studies; and stimulating the development of intrinsic motivation by creating positive language learning experiences.

More information about the conference can be found here:


Educational Leadership, Management and Governance Cluster blog – May/June, 2016

📥  Uncategorised

The members of the Educational Leadership, Management and Governance Cluster, Mike Fertig, Janet Goodall and I, have been very busy in this last month or so with research, publications, conferences and various other research-related events.


Mike and I, along with Tristan Bunnell, have been developing our work on the institutionalisation of International Schools. We have had an article accepted for the Oxford Review of Education and are working on other articles. We presented aspects of that work at the Alliance for International Education Conference in Bangkok earlier in the spring and at the AERA Annual Meeting in Washington in early April. Both papers went down extremely well. Mike also gave a presentation on ‘International School Principal Recruitment’ at the Bangkok conference. Mike and I have a chapter in press in a collection edited by our colleagues, Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson.


Janet has been very busy developing her work on parental engagement in schools – with a number of exciting projects ongoing and various journal articles in the pipeline. The parental engagement tool-kit is a particularly interesting development. Janet and I are amongst the authors of article on the governance of FE Colleges, with Ron Hill and Colin Forest which we are revising for re-submission.


One of our cluster research students, Melissa Hawkins and I presented a paper on the place of complexity in educational organisation theory at the AERA Annual meeting, and again it was very well received. We’re developing that work for a proposal for another conference paper – the UCEA Conference in Detroit in November – and a journal article. Mel successfully completed her PhD confirmation process yesterday, subject to final Board of Studies approval, which is great news.


I’ve been busy in the last month – AERA as always was excellent; an article on head teacher performance management’s been published in Education Review (DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2016.1144560); and there are articles in press in Management in Education on the challenges facing the FE sector in England, in the Oxford Review – see above, and Educational Management, Administration and Leadership on the stakeholder model of school governing in England and Wales ( – very timely given what the White Paper has to say about parents on academy governing boards. The research we’re doing with the National Governors Association and York St John University on Primary School Head teacher recruitment is progressing well. The adult ego development and school leadership research also continues to develop very promisingly. Colleague Sam Carr and research student Neil Gilbride are working on that.


And finally, I’ve recently heard that the piece Izhar Oplakta from Tel Aviv University and I had published in Management in Education last year entitled ‘An exploration of the notion of the ‘Good Enough’ School’, has been awarded the BELMAS MiE Best Article Prize for 2015 – excellent news!