Since the opening of its founding college in 1844, Liverpool Hope University has been committed to developing and investing in its teacher training programmes.
It has a particular approach to education, preparing future teachers to not only look at the academic outcomes of their pupils, but also at their whole development.
The university has a School of Education which is a hub for research, teaching and professional development in teacher education, early childhood and education studies. It offers a number of degrees leading to the award of qualified teacher status (QTS) or postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).
Television actor turned trainee drama teacher Sarah Lamb said she'd "always loved the idea of teaching" before enrolling on a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at the university, and said staff made her career transition easy.
She said: "I know that if I ever need support, I can reach out and get help. Even if I need my lecturer to run something through with me 100 times I know they will be patient and ensure I understand everything.
"They even helped me organise all my school placements, which leaves me time to focus on my studies and essays, which is great.”
The biggest misconception about becoming a teacher, according to Liverpool Hope University, is that you have to be the finished article at application - something it says couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We are looking for potential - people with a passion for working with young people, not those who already know how to teach,” said Michelle Pearson, head of teacher education.
Often people may be put off following their passion as they worry about finding a job after graduation, but with employment rates for the year 2020-2021 at around 80 per cent, you can be more confident of finding your dream role.
Ms Pearson said: “Many of our graduates are now subject co-ordinators, assistant headteachers and headteachers. Many work in international schools in Dubai, Europe and the Far East.”
In fact from last year’s cohort 79 out of 99 of its BA QTS and 419 out of 532 of the PGCE graduates are now working as a teacher or supply teacher either in the UK or abroad.
The typical lowest starting salary is £25,714, and this rises to £32,157 depending on location. If you include the amount of holidays you get compared to many other professions, it is a pretty good place to start.
When it comes to applicants, it really doesn’t matter what your background is, if you have passion and potential.
“We get students from all backgrounds - mature, male, those who have lots of experience in schools and those who have worked with children in different capacities such as clubs or scouts,” said Ms Pearson.
As for entry requirements, you need a Grade C or above in maths and English GCSE, along with science GCSE. You also need the equivalent of 112 UCAS points, which can be gained in numerous ways, including A-levels, BTechs, an access course or T levels.
You need to have some school experience working with the age group that you want to teach. If you’re unsure, call 0151 291 3636 for advice.
Work experience within a school with children in the age group you wish to teach is a must before applying for a course, but you also get lots of opportunity during your training - the courses are a mix of lessons and classroom-based experience on placement in local schools.
Placements are carefully chosen, with lots of support so trainee teachers can get a wide range of experience.
There is a strong partnership with more than 400 primary schools and early years settings, more than 150 secondary and further education settings and an additional 74 schools for children with special educational needs in the North West.
In 2012 Liverpool Hope added School Direct - an innovative route into teaching enabling schools to take a leading role in Teacher Training, giving trainees the opportunity for development and progression.
“We get students from all backgrounds - including those who have lots of experience in schools and those who have worked with children in different capacities such as clubs or scouts,” said Ms Pearson.
"At Hope, we aspire to enable teachers who are creative, proactive and reflective practitioners," said Ms Pearson. "As an ambitious Hope teacher, you will have an enthusiastic, innovative, flexible and collaborative approach to learning and teaching indoors and outdoors, in all sorts of different settings."
For more information about the university and its teacher training courses, visit its website.
I have always thought that people learn best when they’re having fun. When I transitioned from in-person to asynchronous online teaching — in which my students and I engage with my course’s content at different times — my greatest challenges were implementing experiential exercises online and creating meaningful interpersonal experiences without ever seeing my students.
Then, the big challenge came: I needed to design and teach an accelerated introductory statistics course for my department’s new master’s programme, during the COVID-19 pandemic. How could I help students to overcome their fear of statistics and learn the content? I turned it into a game.
‘Gamification’ is the use of video-game elements, such as achievements, badges, avatars, adventures and customized goals, in non-game contexts. Think about customer-loyalty programmes: they motivate customers to reach certain numbers of points or levels in exchange for a reward, such as premium service. Research has shown that the use of game elements in education can create an environment that is conducive to learning and can generate long-lasting motivation and engagement among students.
In my search for resources and ideas, I found two reasons for optimism: first, gaming is ubiquitous. There were some 3.24 billion gamers around the globe in 2021, according to the statistics portal Statista, including 67% of all US adults. Furthermore, higher-education instructors have reported success with this approach. I was particularly inspired by Dan Childers, an English instructor at Pearl River Community College in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who explained why and how he gamified his class in a now-deleted post on Canvas, a learning management system (LMS) used to develop course sites and administer online material. Canvas has a self-paced course on implementing gamification in the classroom, and my university was already using Badgr, the Canvas extension that creates and awards badges for completing modules.
I opted for a low-tech route to ease access for my students. My gamified course uses learning elements you might find in more-standard lecture courses, including practicing assignments, lecture and tutorial videos, self-check quizzes, tests, discussion boards and reflection prompts. I turned the class into a game by incorporating a comic-style textbook and gaming elements, such as badges, leaderboards, quests, ‘bosses’, rewards and silly avatars that react to online quiz responses. Quality Matters, a non-profit organization in Parole, Maryland, that promotes and improves the quality of online education, has certified my course as well conceived, well designed and well presented.
The best part? Instructors can easily create gamified content using tech tools that they already have or can get for free. I used Microsoft PowerPoint to make slides and images, Screencast-O-Matic to record lectures, PlayPosit to insert self-check quizzes into lecture videos and the messaging platform Discord to create a gaming environment for students. (I explained how I use these tools in a February podcast.)
Define your goals. Do you hope to help students achieve technical competencies, discover more about themselves, develop a narrative or build social relationships with others? These early decisions will influence your design, sometimes called aesthetic elements. For instance, my statistics class lent itself to fantasy, challenge, fellowship, discovery and expression aesthetics. The sci-fi narrative I chose presented quests that students have to complete, prompted interactions and collaborations, allowed them to learn and encouraged them to reflect on their own learning processes.
Embed fantasy or role-playing elements. This step is optional, but it will make your class more fun. Thanks to the comic-style textbook that I use, my students are already immersed in a clichéd ‘save the princess’ storyline. All I needed was to tie other activities to that theme. You can make your gamified class about world travel, fashion, building an empire, running a business or slaying a dragon — whatever fits your needs.
Establish concrete outcomes. Students need to know early on what the goals of the game are and how to win. In my class, students earn badges for achieving the statistical competencies. Their grades are directly determined by the number of badges they earn (for example, nine out of ten badges corresponds to an ‘A’ grade). If the game involves running a business, how profitable does it need to be? If they must slay a dragon, how do they do so?
Define gameplay dynamics. Will your students choose their own adventures, or select which challenges to complete? What kind of assistance is available to them? In my class, each week students must read the textbook, watch my lecture videos, test their knowledge and practise their statistics skills to prepare for the badge test. I have practice quizzes at normal difficulty and advanced quizzes for more inquisitive students. Quiz scores translate to virtual money that they can use in the game.
Identify collaborative opportunities. Is your game single- or multiplayer? If interaction and collaboration are allowed, what rules must students follow? For example, I have assignments called ‘boss battles’, in which the entire class can work together to defeat the ‘bosses’ by solving statistical problems. If the class average exceeds 80%, everyone gets a reward. These assignments provide opportunities for students to study together, check their comprehension, commiserate and support one another — which they really appreciate.
Create activities and assignments. Instructors already do this for non-gamified classes. To adapt your learning activities and assignments to a gamified setting, you just need to ensure that they are consistent with the existing aesthetics, mechanics and dynamics of the game.
Establish feedback strategies. Video games provide instant feedback. Try to do so in your class. For example, my students can immediately view their scores, badges and game money in the LMS. I added feedback and avatar reactions to each quiz question. I also use automated bots in Discord to facilitate the gaming experience and try to respond as quickly as I can to student questions.
Add bonus features. Once the skeleton of your course is complete, add bonus features to increase the fun. These can include colourful maps, a video-game-like home page, theme music and videos or an in-game shop. My students can use their game money to add 5% to their test scores, retake an test or get a hint on a question. They can also scavenge for game money. I suggest making these features truly optional, so students don’t have to engage if they choose not to.
Provide clear instructions. Some students will inevitably be confused by the gamified class format, so clear instructions are crucial. Use a combination of rule books, video tutorials, lists of quests, timelines, presentations and syllabus quizzes to ensure your students know what to expect.
Start small. Your class needn’t start out as a full-blown design with all the bells and whistles; start with something that is easy to implement but potentially impactful. You can always refine the next time around.
Gamification principles can work with anything from face-to-face, to hybrid, to fully online teaching. Technology makes it easier, but being tech-savvy is not a requirement. Gamification adds motivation and alleviates fear for students, but it does not detract from the rigour of the subject. I hope you provide it a try — it has been an exciting and rewarding experience for both me and my students. Said one: “The gamification of the course actually made me excited to learn about and engage with statistics!”
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Minecraft Student Ambassador Programs have proven successful at letting gaming-experienced students practice their leadership skills and at getting even the most reluctant teachers on board with using Minecraft: Education Edition in classrooms, resulting in dramatically more engaged learners, access to coding skills across every subject where Minecraft is used, and better learning outcomes, said Atlanta Public Schools’ Felisa Ford, who created the first-ever Minecraft Student Ambassador Program in her district two years ago.
The student ambassador groups are locally selected and managed within each school or district; the educators serving as sponsors connect the student ambassadors with networking and training opportunities specifically created by Microsoft for Minecraft student ambassadors, primarily to teach the students how to coach other students and teachers as they dip their toe into Minecraft: Education Edition, or how to provide presentations to their classmates, and so forth. The program, Ford explained, teaches students who are already experienced Minecraft players how to be leaders and help others in their school grow more comfortable with the instructional version of the game.
Any educator can sponsor a Student Ambassador program — even an educator who does not like video games or has never played Minecraft.
As Allison Matthews, Head of Minecraft: Education Edition at Microsoft, told THE Journal: “The first step for teachers who want to dip their toe into Minecraft is to provide yourself a break!” she said. “Realize that as an educator bringing Minecraft into the classroom, you are never going to understand the game as much as the students in your classroom. You get to be the learner in this scenario, you don't have to be the expert — and it doesn't matter how much training we offer for educators, those 8-year-olds, those 12-year-olds, they are always going to be the experts at video games.”
There are no prerequisites or costs for an educator to participate in Microsoft’s sponsor training and start a Minecraft Student Ambassador Program at their own school, other than having a Microsoft Education account; sponsors don’t need to have student ambassadors already signed up, either, according to Microsoft.
The Minecraft Student Ambassador Sponsor program is open to classroom teachers, instructional technology coaches, school or district leaders, and “anyone who is interested in starting a Minecraft Student Ambassador program in their class or school.” The sponsor training program is guided by and aligned with standards-based instruction, according to Microsoft, integrating “key experiences highlighted in the ISTE Standards for Students, IB Learner Profile, and the 21st Century Framework.”
Educators interested in starting a student ambassador program in their school can choose either a self-guided, 10-unit “Start a Minecraft Student Ambassador Program” learning path on the Microsoft website, or they can apply to participate in a live, virtual sponsor program for educators that just completed its first cohort in late spring. The second cohort of the live, virtual sponsor training kicks off on Sept. 7, 2022. There is no cost to participate in either program.
Applications for the September cohort are being accepted now; the program requires participation in three live, virtual sessions (each offered at two different times) on Sept. 7, Sept. 21, and Oct. 7, followed by a two-hour live, virtual “bootcamp” event for the sponsors and their new student ambassadors on Nov. 9.
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — More than 220,000 students in Hillsborough County will head back to school one week from Wednesday.
Safety is the top priority for the district and it’s top of mind since the Uvalde school shooting in Texas.
In preparation, the district’s chief of security said there’s a direct line to the 911 center and each campus has armed officers.
Inside Ms. Tracey Scott’s kindergarten classroom at Dorthy C. York Innovation Academy, she will have 18 students.
“Their kids become my kids,” she said.
Chief John Newman said all district schools are Allyssa’s law compliant after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in 2018.
“We limit the amount of people we have on our campuses,” Newman said. “We do a lot physically for our campuses that much of that I can’t talk about, but it’s everything from window treatment to cameras access, control building signage.”
Newman said the Centegix crisis alert system is a game changer.
“You just press a button and the cavalry is coming in,” he said. “It tells us exactly where you are and who you are, so if you’re in building five classroom 505 and you activate it, we’re coming to 505.”
All 26,000 employees have this card on a lanyard.
The district is also scrambling to fill more than 1,000 open positions. It needs 680 teachers.
“We need stability,” Superintendent Addison Davis said. “Last year, we ended the school year with 400 instructional vacancies and that’s equivalent to 8000 students who did not have stability in front of them.”
Superintendent Davis wants that stability this school year. He said the district has deployed nearly 300 district staff members to cover some of the hundreds of teacher openings.
“We may have to increase class size by one or two students in an effort to ensure that there’s a qualified skilled teachers in front of them.”
While Ms. Scott currently has 18 students, she knows that may increase by next week.
“We’re willing to take 22 to 24 kids,” she said.
Davis is pushing for the mileage tax increase, which the district said will increase funding around $146 million annually over four years.
“I think something needs to happen,” Scott said. “Teachers definitely need to know that they’re valued.”
During primary elections, voters will decide.
“I think August 23 can absolutely help us in that process and allow us to retain our best and brightest,” Davis said.
The district also has over 150 bus driver openings.
James Freeman is assistant editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page and author of the weekday Best of the Web column. He is the co-author of "Borrowed Time: Two Centuries of Booms, Busts and Bailouts at Citi," recognized as a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Financial Times Business Book of the Month. He is a contributor to the Fox News Channel and a host of "Deep Dive" on Fox Nation. Before joining the Journal in September 2007, James served as investor advocate at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he encouraged the transformation of financial reporting technology to benefit individual investors. He is a graduate of Yale.
Follow James on Twitter @FreemanWSJ
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Refugee teachers play a crucial role in their communities. However, oftentimes they do not receive the support they need and face unsurmountable barriers to continuing their career in their host country. On June 30th, 2022, at the Transforming Education Pre-Summit hosted by UNESCO in Paris, INEE, UNHCR and Education International co-convened a side event focused on the status of refugee teachers and highlighting their importance in current global efforts to transform education.
Titled “Transforming our understanding of refugee teachers and teaching in contexts of forced displacement”, the side event brought together a panel of refugee teachers, refugee youth, and government, NGO, and United Nations representatives to discuss three challenges. Their responses, along with contributions from the audience, have been summarised in a Meeting Outcomes and Recommendations memo.
Recommendations from the side event, along with recommendations from other teacher-focused side meetings, will inform the final discussion paper for Action Track 3: Teachers, Teaching and the Teaching Profession, which will frame priorities and guide debates at the Transforming Education Summit in New York.
“The fate of teachers in crisis-affected contexts deserves greater attention from the international education community. If we fail to support teachers in these extreme situations, we fail the most vulnerable students. The Transforming Education Summit is a unique opportunity to act. We need bold commitments to ensure that teachers in refugee and crisis settings are adequately remunerated and provided with appropriate working conditions that enable them to deliver quality education to their students. Education International and our members around the world have been working for years to promote the rights of refugee teachers and students and we remain fully committed to our colleagues and students who are facing the worst of circumstances,” stated David Edwards, Education International General Secretary.
Education International advocates for the rights of refugees and migrants on every continent and works with its member organisations to ensure that every child, every student, every teacher who flees their home finds a welcoming education community.
For instance, in Germany and Sweden, at the height of the Syrian crisis, education unions advocated for the rights of refugee teachers and assisted Syrian teachers in building community connections and continuing their teaching career. In Sweden, EI member organisation Lärarförbundet was directly involved in the development of a fast-track for refugee teachers aiming to provide participants a coherent individual path to a Swedish teaching certificate. In Germany, the Saxony branch of the education union GEW has been working with a network of refugee teachers to develop a model of integrating refugee teachers in the national education system in order to help counter the teacher shortage and support refugee students.
More recently, education unions across Europe have played an important part in responding to the Ukrainian crisis. Unions from Ukraine and host countries have connected, creating key networks for sharing information and resources. Unions have also been active fundraisers. Education International has launched a solidarity fund where affiliates have made donations that are used to provide stipends to Ukrainian teachers through local unions.
In neighboring countries receiving large numbers of refugees, education unions have mobilised to support displaced Ukrainian teachers. In Poland, the union ZNP hired a Ukrainian staff member dedicated to communicating with refugees and information has been made available to Ukrainian educators about access to the labor market. In Moldova, the Education Trade Union Chisinau Branch has closely collaborated with the municipality on a joint mechanism to identify refugee teachers’ qualifications and available Russian-speaking teaching and non-teaching vacancies, which has facilitated the employment of Ukrainian educators.
In Africa, through the BRICE/Education for Life project, Education International is working with its affiliate, the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), and international partners to Excellerate the conditions of teachers and students in South Sudan and Uganda. UNATU supports teachers in refugee areas and is working to ensure that all teachers, including those in refugee camps, are recruited, deployed, and paid under the same terms and conditions. Among many other aspects of the project, UNATU also works with refugee teachers directly, providing trainings on the Teachers’ Professional Code.
The Transforming Education Pre-Summit brought together education ministers and vice-ministers from 154 countries and nearly 2,000 participants. It aimed to energise global action on education in the lead-up to the Transforming Education Summit, which will take place on September 19 in New York City.
Convened by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, the Transforming Education Summit will bring together heads of state from around the world in order to mobilise political ambition, actions, solutions, and solidarity to accelerate progress on Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education for all.
Education International will be the voice of teachers at the Transforming Education Summit. Education unions are actively advocating at national and international levels for the Summit to have concrete, tangible outcomes that advance teachers’ status and rights, a commitment to investing in public education, and the fulfilment of the right to education for all. Click here to find out more and get involved.
Contact: Sarah Nicholas
STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State faculty member is collaborating through a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to advance immersive learning environments for Latine multilingual learners (LML) with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math settings.
Lourdes Cardozo-Gaibisso, an assistant professor in MSU’s English department since 2021, said the five-year project focuses on creating spaces for LML students to engage with science inquiry experiences using features of translanguaging—the practice of maximizing communication using more than one language within a classroom lesson.
“We know that creating and using immersive learning environments to support culturally and linguistically diverse students is crucial,” Cardozo-Gaibisso said, noting the lack of current research into the topic. “We feel this study is important because it addresses the ‘how’ questions from a multitude of perspectives—deep learning theories, immersive learning environments, machine learning, educational linguistics and translanguaging.”
The project—SISTEMAS: Stimulating Immersive Science Through Engaging Multilingual and Authentic Scenarios—is supported by a Science Education Partnership Award and housed at the University of Georgia. Cardozo-Gaibisso is a co-investigator in collaboration with UGA faculty member Georgia Wood Hodges, an expert in immersive learning environments, along with UGA researchers Allan Cohen and Xiaoming Zhai.
Cardozo-Gaibisso earned her Ph.D. in language and literacy education from UGA in 2018, her master’s degree in education with an emphasis on research in teaching and learning processes from Universidad ORT Uruguay in 2013, and her bachelor’s degree in English language teaching from Instituto de Profesores Artigas, also in Uruguay, in 2010.
Cardozo-Gaibisso served from 2018-2019 as an education consultant for World Bank’s Regional Program for the Development of the Teacher Profession in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2020, she was the curriculum development specialist in teacher policy for the International Institute for Educational Planning, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IIEP-UNESCO).
Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, more information about the Department of English is available at www.english.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.