Collaborative frameworks for research, learning and programme development.
We provide research, professional learning, evaluation and analytical support to a wide variety of educational and community organisations, helping to support better outcomes for the community and their learners through our research centres.
Liverpool Child Friendly City consultation process
Liverpool is bidding to become a UNICEF-recognised Child Friendly City. The process of working towards this recognition is an unprecedented opportunity to work together to improve the life chances, equity and wellbeing of our youngest citizens and to make this city a safe, inclusive, healthy place to grow up. The bid is led by Liverpool City Council in partnership with elected representatives, council staff, schools, universities, health and social care providers, Merseyside Police and others to achieve systemic and sustainable change. As part of this initiative the Young Children’s Engagement Toolkit has been developed by CEPA researchers and postgraduate students in the School of Education at Liverpool Hope. The Toolkit is being piloted in Early Years settings throughout Liverpool includes four different tasks suitable for children of varied ages encouraging them to express their views about their city and community. The tasks include ‘Liverpool Post People’, ‘A Day with an Alien’, ‘Treasure Seekers’ and ‘Mission Liver Bird’.
‘Their Name is Today’: the rights of younger children in a Child Friendly City
Childhood Research Forum, Liverpool Hope University, Friday 9th July 2021 10am – 1pm
Communiversity Dialogue Series 2020/21
In an era of pressing social challenges there is an urgent need for universities to develop and enhance new and existing reciprocal relationships with key stakeholder partners, and to be grounded in communities as partners in knowledge-creation. This will particularly be the case in the recovery that shapes the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The idea of the Communiversity seeks to connect a diversity of educational stakeholders. There are many models of communiversity which connect local social networks and research-informed tertiary education. Local ecosystems for social transformation are co-opting universities into their developmental programmes. This event series explores the possibilities associated with the concept of ‘Communiversity’ in our local context.
We recognise that trust, reciprocity, context sensitivity and mutual understanding are important elements of robust, sustainable partnerships between universities and partner organisations. Based on these principles, each event in this series will focus on particular forms of partnership activity and consider how these models can be developed further with new and existing partners.
The event series has aimed to:
· Stimulate discussion, through illustrative case examples, of partnership approaches which resonate with the Communiversity ethos.
· Profile various forms of partnership working: collaborative research, programme co-design, student involvement in knowledge exchange activity.
· Identify mutually beneficial outcomes that can be achieved through sustainable partnerships.
· Explore meanings and understandings of effective partnership through an underpinning participatory research dimension of this event series.
Reconceptualising University-School Partnerships for Social Advantage
If you missed our seminar on Wednesday 21st October 2020 here are some of the highlights:
Edits from the opening session of the Communiversity Dialogue Series on Wednesday 21st October 2020
Partnership dimension: CPD programme co-design for impact.
In this opening session Lynn Sampson Chappell (Liverpool Hope University) and Tuesday Humby (Ormiston Academies Trust) shared insights from a University partnership with a National School Academy Chain whose schools reflect a high deprivation demographic.
Responding to government policy discourses which foreground ‘disadvantage’, the partnership approach counters this narrative through the concept of ‘Partnerships for Social Advantage’. The approach is predicated on challenging the myth of ‘poverty of aspiration’.
Partnership focus: This University-School partnership focused explicitly on enhancing social mobility for disadvantaged children; through supporting evidence-based enquiry to support equity and accelerate the learning of disadvantaged children to empower the most vulnerable pupils.
Borne of frustration with the generic nature of many MA programmes in educational leadership, this Masters level CPD programme was developed to support the professional formation and future leader development of teachers working in contexts of high socio economic deprivation. The OAT multi-academy trust educates 30000 students. Free school meal eligibility in this school pupil population is twice national average.
Lyndsey Donaghy (A Hope graduate and manager of the ARC Centre, Sandymoor Academy) provided an illuminative case study of how participation in the MA programme had impacted on practice at school. The student support centre offers bespoke alternative provision which is developed through close partnership with the child and their family and informed by attachment theory and relational perspectives on learning. Bespoke learning plans and support are developed collaboratively with pupils and their families and have been effective in building trust and fostering re-connection with the school. The approach has had a clear impact on social and emotional dimensions of learning and tangible improvements in learner attainment.
Partnership insights and outcomes: The partnership has been developed within a collaborative culture, aligned to concept of deep partnerships (Hargreaves) and based on reciprocity and creative innovation.
The MA programme ‘Leading for Advantage’ is well aligned to the values and ethos of the Trust and is a key vehicle for professional formation and future leader development. It is bespoke in the support it provides for professionals working in schools within disadvantaged contexts. The course supports critical engagement with research and reflection on practice to better understand the social and cultural contexts that create notions of disadvantage and to consider ways in which schools can mitigate disadvantage and actively promote advantage.
Tensions to be navigated included ensuring a viable funding model and equity for staff access. Participation in the MA programme can be challenging for teachers.
Over the past three years the partnership has deepened. Members of the OAT Trust have become involved in initial teacher education provision. Lynn Sampson Chappell participates on OAT’s governing body. There is tangible and visible knowledge exchange. “Every MAT wants a research arm – we see Hope as our research arm.”
Topic: Developing a Communiversity: students, social business and servicing solidarity. “The case of The Good Business Festival.”
Start Time : Nov 23, 2020 16: 30PM
Contributors: Revd Dr Tony Bradley & Liverpool Good Business Festival
Various models of connecting local social networks and research informed tertiary education – are being developed, globally. Liverpool Hope Business School is closely engaged in supporting sustainable business initiatives and this session will focus on a collaboration developed with local partners. This approach is based on a conceptual framework developed in The Idea of the Communiversity (Lessem, Adodo & Bradley, 2019)
The specific project reported on is the initial stages of our undergraduate and postgraduate students working with social economy businesses in the LCR. These have been facilitated through a collaboration between LHBS and The Good Business Festival. It will demonstrate how intermediary working can establish effective mutual learning between Universities and businesses. Equally, it uses the Communiversity GENE model of developing a cyclical process of Grounding in Community, Emerging a Pilgrimium, Navigating through a Research Academy to Effecting business Innovation Co-Laboratories. Partnership dimension: Students within knowledge exchange Communiversity frameworks.
Partnership dimension: Students within knowledge exchange
Partnership focus: This collaborative programme between LHBS and The Good Business Festival demonstrates how intermediary working can establish effective mutual learning between Universities and businesses; and the integration of undergraduate and postgraduate student research support for social economy businesses in the LCR.
This approach is based on a conceptual framework developed in The Idea of the Communiversity (Lessem, Adodo & Bradley, 2019): the GENE model describes a cyclical process of Grounding in Community, Emerging a Pilgrimium, Navigating through a Research Academy to Effecting business Innovation Co-Laboratories. The gene process can offer a strategic model for expanding the connection between University and community, developing a process of learning and enterprise and economic and social development. The ‘community’ in this context is those businesses seeking to develop sustainable business practices within the Liverpool city region combined authority locality. Their commitment to a solidarity economy extends beyond for private enterprise and global shareholders to building bonds with community.
The research partnership is framed by:
- A shared understanding of social and economic systems that is not framed by mainstream neoliberal models.
- A broader concept of sustainability: not only environmental but also sustainable engagement with employees, supply chains, customers and their stakeholders.
- Alignment of culture, values and purpose, good governance, impact investment to connect sustainable sources of finance to sustainable business development.
- A collaborative and participatory action research cooperative inquiry approach is at the heart of the methodology.
- Co-designed research, conducted with local organisations with support of research students and University research centres.
Partnership insights and outcomes: The collaborative research supported by Liverpool Hope undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students is contributing:
- Insights on increasing number of consumers who are drawn to purpose driven brands and organisations.
- Business intelligence on the extent to which purpose driven companies are outperforming in the stock market.
- Financial expertise on supporting and enabling fiscal and regulatory frameworks.
Topic: Community Integration – education on and for migration
Start Time : Dec 8, 2020 16:30 PM
Contributors: Dr Carly Bagelman with Kuumba Imani initial
Community engaged research and partnerships depend on slowly and continuously building good relationships, from which reciprocity can grow. But, what happens with the community work is urgent, participants are transient and needs are unpredictable? In community work with displaced peoples such as asylum seekers and other displaced groups, the precarious time and space they inhabit (since they can be dispersed to a different city or region with little notice) requires us to re-define ‘good relationship’ so that it is more suitable for this context. Our pedagogies must also adapt to such precarity. With a teacher from Kumba Imani (the council-funded classroom designed to serve displaced children as they wait for a spot in mainstream schools), this session will explore some creative approaches to working with precarious communities. We will explore the relevance of this discussion to other groups such as community work with Travellers, Roma peoples, and seasonal or migrant workers. Partnership dimension: Challenges and possibilities of working with
communities that are transient.
Partnership dimension: Challenges and possibilities of working with communities that are transient.
Partnership focus: Jill Gudgeon from Kumba Imani (the council-funded classroom designed to serve displaced children as they wait for a spot in mainstream schools) described some of the creative approaches that are being used in work with precarious communities and highlighted:
- How pedagogic practices are adapted to such precarity and contexts of radical uncertainty.
- The framework of support provided by Kumba Imami which can assist in in providing familiarity with ‘a classroom’, learning through play, conversation and immersion; providing a nurturing space to foster learning; offering choice and voice.
- The importance of partnership building, ‘condensed trust building’. Interactions and exchanges are based on immediate usefulness.
- Abandoning certain notions of cumulative learning and progress and maintaining focus on ‘nurturing in the moment’.
Partnership insights and outcomes:
- Curriculum enrichment on the undergraduate programme through placements which provide opportunities for students to gain insights on contextual pedagogic practices and to contribute knowledge, expertise and resources to support programme delivery.
- Contextualising the research within the broader Schools of Sanctuary network and EAL research networks.
- Pursuing shared interests in the wider relevance of these perspectives and approaches with other groups such as community work with Travellers, Roma peoples, and seasonal or migrant workers.
Topic: Developing student teacher self efficacy through the Hope Challenge
Start Time : Jan 11, 2021 16:30 PM
Contributors: Dr Veronica Poulter and Christina Flattery, Science Lead, Croxteth Community Primary School
The call to raise UK educational standards focuses on the underachievement of pupils attending schools in challenging socioeconomic circumstances. This is exacerbated when lack of expertise in so-called specialist subjects affects teacher confidence and pedagogical knowledge required to engage and stretch pupils. Research suggests that music can have a significant role in developing
children’s phonological awareness and future reading ability. However, because many generalist primary school teachers do not have the confidence to teach music, student teachers may not have the opportunity to teach it whilst on placement. An action research project was carried out, the aim of which was to improve understanding of how to support student teachers in developing their confidence and competence to teach music in the early years. Undertaken as part of an approach (Hope Challenge) that brings together the LHU Initial Teacher Education programme and primary schools in challenging circumstances, this formed an approach that played a crucial role in developing confidence, pedagogical knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching music. Recent data suggest that this has had long term impact on practice.
“The call to raise UK educational standards focuses on the underachievement of pupils attending schools in challenging socioeconomic circumstances. This is exacerbated when lack of expertise in so-called specialist subjects affects teacher confidence and pedagogical knowledge required to engage and stretch pupils.”
It was with this in mind that the ‘Hope Challenge’ came into being. The aims of the project were to build confidence and resilience in the student teachers, so that they would be able to be successful in a range of schools, and to increase the number of talented graduates working in schools in challenging socioeconomic circumstances. Typically, a partnership school in challenging circumstances would be invited to identify an area of concern for a vulnerable group of pupils. In each project, Hope student teachers would be educated in an intervention, and would work in school with those children alongside their tutors. Their emerging skills would both benefit the schools and pupils, and give the students themselves a much richer sense of a range of school contexts. In the accounts of two of those projects, Veronica and Chris reflected on the impact of the Hope Challenge on the lives of the participants.
Case example 1 – Teaching Music in the Early Years
Partnership focus: Research suggests that music can have a significant role in developing children’s phonological awareness and future reading ability. However, because many generalist primary school teachers do not have the confidence to teach music, student teachers may not have the opportunity to teach it whilst on placement.
An action research project was carried out, the aim of which was to improve understanding of how to support student teachers in developing their confidence and competence to teach music in the early years. Trainees are supported by the University in introducing a music-based lesson to support the development of literacy and socio-emotional skills. Both the class teacher and Hope University tutor were present during key sessions. The in-situ debriefing model enabled by this approach has been effective in explicating tacit knowledge.
Partnership insights and outcomes: The collaborative approach has played a crucial role in developing confidence, pedagogical knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching music. Long term, most teachers in the school now regularly use music in lessons. Research has demonstrated positive educational and behaviour outcomes for learners in literacy, self-regulation and turn-taking:
Poulter, Veronica and Cook, Tina (2020) Teaching music in the early years in schools in challenging circumstances: developing student teacher competence and confidence through cycles of enactment. Educational Action Research. ISSN Print ISSN: 0965-0792 Online ISSN: 1747-5074
Case example 2 Developing teacher self-efficacy in the science curriculum
Partnership focus: Christina Flattery gave an account of a partnership running for the past three years with Liverpool Hope which has developed capacity and efficacy of science teaching. The collaborative programme (run with Tim Griffith, Liverpool Hope University) has involved 345 children, 46 trainees, 16 teachers, 102 Teaching Assistants, 3 primary schools.
A series of projects to develop capacity and efficacy have been co-developed. Within this collaborative action research model teachers are supported to develop and evaluate new interventions: not as passive consumers of research wisdom but as active co-researchers.
Partnership insights and outcomes:
- The approach has emphasised the importance of involving a broader constituency of staff (not just science leads) to ensure sustainability.
- The collaborative methods of working have contributed to a redefined role for trainees as active contributors within the knowledge exchange framework.
- The partnership working model has developed research capacity within the school.
- Close-up qualitative research methods have provided deeper insights of barriers and enablers to teacher and learner self-efficacy in science.
Topic: Working with Communities’ local knowledge resources
Start Time : Feb 10, 2021 16:30 PM
Contributors: Dr Konstanze Spohrer and Dr Catherine O’Connell
Funds of Knowledge (FoK) is an approach that recognises community knowledge as a valuable resource for improving educational outcomes for children from marginalised communities (Gonzales, Moll and Amanti, 2006). Through working with local communities, families and researchers, schools gain insight into children’s life-worlds and develop classroom practice which connects to pupils’ locally acquired experiences and skills. More recently, the Funds of Knowledge approach has been further developed to acknowledge that children live in increasingly diverse communities and develop multiple, intersecting identities (Hedges, 2015; Esteban-Guitart and Moll, 2014).
In this session, we would like to give an overview of key principles of the Funds of Knowledge concept and explore how it could be harnessed for developing partnerships between communities, schools and researchers. In the context of the vision of a Communiversity, we will discuss how the Funds of Knowledge approach could be extended to other contexts, such partnerships between universities, their students and communities.
Partnership dimension: Identifying potential partnerships between schools, universities and communities with a view to harnessing local knowledge.
Topic: Investigating primary leadership in Catholic Schools: a case study of knowledge building through active partnership
Start Time : Feb 24, 2021 16:30 PM
Contributors: Sue Cronin and Klare Rufo (Liverpool Archdiocese)
Knowledge building is an emerging model of collaborative partnership work which involves
partners working together to gather and analyse information, creating theories, explanations and novel solutions. (Laferriere et al, 2010). The paper considers a partnership between two culturally different organisations: LHU university and Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese. They together capitalised on the existing distributed expertise held between the sites to increase knowledge and understanding of the school leadership landscape within their local region. Leadership recruitment
and retention within Primary schools is an increasing challenge and effects the Catholic sector as well as secular schools. Working together on a funded project has allowed the organisations to increase their knowledge and understanding of the challenges and barriers facing their local school leaders. Partnership dimension: Co-design of research
In this research partnership LHU university and Liverpool Catholic Archdiocese capitalised on the existing distributed expertise held between the sites to increase knowledge and understanding of the school leadership landscape within their local region.
Partnership focus: Leadership recruitment and retention within Primary schools is an increasing challenge and effects the Catholic sector as well as secular schools. In a context of ‘leaky pipeline’ the research aimed to identify enablers and barriers to leadership development, to create a culture of talent spotting and to support future leader development.
Partnership insights and outcomes:
- A participatory approach to survey design engaged stakeholders from the research constituency.
- Consequently, there has been good local buy in, and participation in the research, as participants could see findings would be acted upon.
- The research project steering group adopted an advocacy role (to a greater degree than unanticipated) and has maintained an ongoing role in supporting associated developments (the steering group has been in existence for four years).
- Working together on a funded project has allowed the organisations to increase their knowledge and understanding of the challenges and barriers facing their local school leaders. There has been symmetry in the partnership, each bringing relevant and distinct expertise and complementary roles in knowledge creation.
- The research has contributed to understandings of the support needs of deputy head teachers which has led to a range of associated support initiatives.
Topic: Collaborative approaches with leaders in early years development
Start Time : Mar 24, 2021 16:30 PM
Contributors: Babs Anderson with Local Authority partner/contributor (Early years
The Local Authority (Liverpool) initiated an ongoing partnership with LHU’s Early Childhood department in creating an innovative programme, the Liverpool Early Years Chartered Leader programme. Utilising action research methodology, participants developed an evolving setting-based change management process, within a collaborative framework. This partnership was extended with another intervention, designed to support young children’s well-being, whereby LHU enabled School
Improvement Liverpool to evaluate and adapt their PANCo provision. Partnership dimension: Collaborative enquiry and participatory research
Partnership Focus and approach:
- A partnership intervention (SIL, LHU and Early years leader network) spanning 7 years.
- Aim of enhancing leadership practice at setting level through a facilitated action research programme which has engaged over 60 EY leaders to date.
- Early Years leaders supported in initiating and evaluating an enhancement project in setting.
- Linkage to LHU PG Certificate in Early Years leadership and SIL Liverpool Chartered Early Years Leaders Programme.
Insights and outcomes:
- A collaborative action research model: Key to research informed practice lied with the service delivery organisation.
- Empowering Early Years Leaders: (i) decoupling of engagement in reflective practice (action research) from performance review. (ii) Reflective practice and action research has enabled increased emphasis on, and recognition of, practitioner knowledge and local community knowledge to inform educational practice and decision making; and how to evidence this effectively in external accountability processes.
- Broadened concepts and understandings of leadership (and support for these roles at setting and network level).
- Strengthened network of Early Years leaders; nurturing of distributed leadership within settings (eg. PANKO advocate, Senco chamption networks).
- Developing pedagogic practices and understandings, reconceptualising ‘school readiness’ (applying Funds of Knowledge perspectives).
- Responsive and purposeful research network of practitioners.
Anderson, Babs and Cook, Tina (2020) Developing Early Years leadership: Examining the practice of facilitation in and through action research. Educational Action Research. ISSN 0965-0792 Online ISSN: 1747-5074
April 26 Panel session: Realising the Communiversity
This session will be both philosophical and pragmatic and will explore the possibilities, issues and tensions associated with the fuller realisation of the social mission of the university as explored through this event series. We will consider the conceptual tools and social practices that can assist in fulfilling this mission. In particular:
Where/how is the agenda for collaboration set?
Who/what is the community?
What are the drivers for partnership?