University of Leicester
This second edition of The Bridge continues to bring together a wide range of subject matter, as well as different styles of = presenting educational research to our readership. Building upon the first edition, which was entirely the work of EdD students who were directly involved in the journal’s conception, this second edition has brought on board new postgraduate authors involved in either EdD or PhD research in Education. We have also benefitted from the generous offers of help from other postgraduate students willing to peer review and/or proofread materials, and we hope to encourage even more contributors to join our ever-growing team in 2015.
The first article in this issue is by Laura Guihen, a PhD student at the University of Leicester, whose thesis explores the multifaceted ways in which female deputy headteachers approach career progression towards headship. Guihen’s article explores a number of theoretical lenses through which she has started to explore her PhD theme, including: feminist empiricism, feminist standpoint theory, and feminist poststructuralism. The author’s lucid discussion of these complex theories, and how they helped her to dissect her own research, will no doubt prove invaluable to researchers in a number of fields. The second article by Shane Payne, an EdD student at the University of Leicester, begins by considering the ever-growing importance of assessment in education – especially as a measure by which to “monitor” schools and colleges. From this starting point, Payne then reviews the key characteristics of formative and summative assessment, before moving on to see whether each “type” of assessment might be used for purposes beyond their preconceived remit. Payne argues that summative assessment is not limited to simply identifying a “grade,” but might also be used as evidence of deeper understanding of the specific area of study. In a similar vein, the author later claims that formative assessment can be used in a summative manner in order to inform the student about how they have reached a specific “grade,” and to open up a conversation between the student and teacher on how to move forward with their learning.
In the first literature review of this issue, Stuart Boon, an EdD student at the University of Leicester, explores how existing literature indicates the ways in which schools might become more “emotionally literate”. He explores the difficulty of separating the concepts of emotional literacy and emotional intelligence, and identifies several barriers that need to be overcome to increase emotional literacy in schools. Boon concludes that, in order to create truly emotionally literate students, educators must support an all-encompassing, positive, whole school approach to the idea. One way in which Boon feels this might be achieved is through the wholehearted embrace of peer-mentoring schemes, whereby those with strong emotional literacy help others to reach a similar level. The second literature review, written by PhD student Gurpinder Lalli, brings to the fore findings from a literature survey undertaken for his thesis, which explores the impact of food environments as venues to support learning beyond the classroom. His review begins by exploring the historical context of school meals in the UK, before moving on to explore the existing literature related to the food environment in schools – paying particular attention to the importance of staff presence and parental participation. Finally, Karen Stephens, an EdD student at the University of Leicester, reviews Reynold Macpherson’s 2014 volume, Political Philosophy, Educational Administration and Educative Leadership. Stephens finds the overall message of the book very important for all stakeholders within education, but feels that perhaps its main drawback is that it lacks accessibility for a non-specialist audience.
Overall, this issue should help educators across a number of different sectors, particularly through the surveys of existing literature common to all of the pieces included in this edition.
Beginning with Volume 2 (2015) of The Bridge, we are keen to attract submissions from beyond the University of Leicester (where the journal was started). Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome submissions from anybody enrolled in either an EdD or PhD in Education at a UK HEI. At this stage, we are happy to accept original research articles, in-depth literature reviews and think pieces.