Guest lecture at the University of the West of England

Split image, with the UWE logo in red on the left hand side and a photo of the UWE campus on the right. The campus is a modern wood and glass building against a blue sky.

On 31st January, Katherin and Valentina were invited to give a guest lecture at the School of Education and Childhood of the University of the West of England in Bristol.

The lecture was delivered as part of the Policy and Contemporary Issues module offered to the students enrolled in Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for Early Years, Primary, and Secondary education.

The lecture – titled Inequalities and bias in schools: using big data to detect injustices – provided an overview over ‘traditional’ and recent academic research on socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities in education, focusing especially on the role of teacher-student relationships and school and classroom environments.

BIPE preliminary findings on teacher bias were presented, providing an example of how academic research making use of big data can be used to engage in conversations with educational practitioners and policy makers. Students were encouraged to be diagnostic in recognising the influence that big data has today on educational policy and critically evaluate its value, limitations, and complexity, especially when considering the topic of biases and inequalities in existing across schools in England today.

After the lecture, the students had the chance to engage in reflective and creative group activities in their seminar groups. Guided discussions encouraged PGCE students to critically discuss BIPE preliminary findings on teacher bias in light of their own experiences and views and reflect on potential strategies and changes to fight such biases.

Participant feedback was very positive highlighting both the interest in the topic and its relevance for their own professional development. Particularly, as the students had just finished their first 3-month placement in primary and secondary schools, they found the opportunity to relate their own first-hand placement experiences to the academic research and findings presented very useful and motivating.

If you are interested in hearing more about our teacher workshops, further information can be found on our flyer.

Slides from the workshop can be found on our ‘Teaching materials’ page.

Valentina presents at the 2023 XX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Logo of the ISA 2023 Conference

On 30th June, Valentina presented at the International Sociological Association (ISA) XX World Congress of Sociology – Resurgent Authoritarianism: The Sociology of New Entanglements of Religions, Politics, and Economies held in Melbourne, Australia.

At the 2023 ISA Conference, Valentina presented preliminary results for a work-in-progress BIPE paper investigating the socio-economic gradient in teacher biased perceptions of students’ academic abilities in England, Scotland, and Germany. The paper explores to what extent teacher assessments of students’ language skills are inaccurate – i.e., biased – and whether this inaccuracy is (partially) mediated by student behaviour in the classroom, student academic attitudes, and parental involvement in children’s education.

In all three countries, preliminary empirical evidence shows how teacher perceptions are not entirely accurate, indeed they appear to be biased based on the socio-economic background of the student in question. In England, this bias appears to be mediated mostly by student behaviour; in Scotland by both student behaviour and student academic attitudes; in Germany by parental involvement in children’s education.

Slides from the presentation can be viewed on our ‘Materials and publications’ page.

Valentina presents at the 2022 International Conference of the Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies

Logo for the SLLS conference titled "Growing Up and Growing Older Across Societies: Harnessing the Power of Comparative Research". The logo is blue with a drawing of a white tree

On 24th October, Valentina presented a published study on biased teacher assessment at the 2022 11th Annual International Conference of the Society for Longitudinal and Lifecourse Studies (SLLS) – Growing Up and Growing Older Across Societies: Harnessing the Power of Comparative Research.

The study, titled “Teacher judgements, student social background, and student progress in primary school: a cross-country perspective,” was conducted as part of the Open Research Area-funded project DICE (Development of Inequalities in Child Educational Achievement: A Six Country Study) on which Valentina worked on between September 2020 and June 2021. At the 2022 SLLS Conference, Valentina presented the paper as part of a symposium dedicated to the DICE project alongside three other papers – presented by three other project members – investigating different aspects of educational inequalities.

Slides from the presentation can be viewed on our ‘Materials and publications’ page.

Welcome to our new Senior Research Associate

We are delighted to have a new member on the project team!

Valentina Perinetti Casoni has joined us as Senior Research Associate and will be working with us on data analysis, writing up of publications and impact activities.

We are now getting started with a paper on discrepancies between teacher, parent and children’s perceptions of learning and teaching. We are curious to find out whether such discrepancies vary by student, social and ethnic background, and what their impacts on further educational pathways are.