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School Linking: A Southern Perspective

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Title: School Linking: A Southern Perspective

13.50-14.10 School Linking A Southern
Perspective KS3-4 Alison Leonard, Geography
Teacher, Westminster School, London
A School Link is here interpreted as between
schools in the Developing World and schools in
the Developed World. These are also referred to
in the literature as North/South School Links or
  • How are Southern teachers using these global
    links in teaching and learning?
  • How are Millennium Development Goals explored in
    such links and partnerships?
  • How are pupils knowledge and understanding
    affected when their schools participate in links?
  • Do Southern local communities benefit when local
    schools are linked with Northern partners?
  • Are Southern voices heard when learning
    outcomes are evaluated?

  • Southern Voices in Linking barriers to

Development Education?
  • I will be focusing on the impacts on Southern
    participants in the Linking process.
  • The approach will include detailed case studies
    of the effects of Linking in Southern schools.
  • As a work in progress the paper will
  • (i) Outline my research methodology,
  • (ii) Identify lessons for fellow aspiring
  • (iii) Report on my pilot study

Planned Methodology 2006
  • Audit of current research into School Linking and
    updated detailed Literature review of the topic.

Nov 2006 Conference paper presented
Dec 2006 IOE poster conference and DEA paper
Dec 07-Jan 08 Draft chapter written
Sept 2008 Book launch
Dissemination and progress
  • Access data bases for Southern Linked schools, to
    establish the global distribution of School Links
    and audit why Southern schools seek to establish
    School Links.
  • Pilot semi-structured interviews with staff and
    pupils (especially Head Teachers and Linking

July 2008 Pilot of interviews
  • Interview Ministry of Education spokespersons to
    identify how Southern governments view the
    establishment of School Links.
  • Survey key players participating in Linking
    activities in Southern schools to establish
    perceptions of the Linking process on pupils,
    teaching colleagues, local communities and school

  • Semi-structured interviews conducted with the
    Southern partners of the four Case study schools
    used for my MA work.
  • Expand the sample so that the Southern partners
    are derived from locations which proportionately
    reflect the global distribution of the Southern
  • Longitudinal studies of pupils, teachers and
    others who have taken part in School Linking,
    should it prove possible to track them.

  • Explore other Northern national examples of
    School Linking, and their Southern partners.

Progress to date
Nov 2006 Conference paper presented
Dec 2006 IOE poster conference and DEA paper
Sept 2006 Research proposal submitted
July 2007 ZED article on research
Nov-2007 CPD on Quantitative Analysis and OSDE
Dec 07-Jan 08 Draft chapter written
Jan-March 2007 CPD on Literature searching
Summer2007 CPD on Case study strategy
Sept 2008 Book launch
July 2008 Pilot of interviews
Dec 2008 Pilot transcribed and encoded
Dec 2008 CPD Workshop on Case Studies
May 2008 IOE Ethics approval MDG focus
Oct 2008 Participant in School Exchange to China
Jan 2009 Living Geography launch
Summer 2008 New book chapter co-authored
Lessons for fellow aspiring teacher-researchers
  • Time management
  • Other distractions
  • How to disseminate research findings
  • Plan to revise research proposal and refocus
  • Practicalities of overseas research

I was far too ambitious!
Teacher findings Gender Equality Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Ghanaian culture sidelines the girl child from
    getting educated, from getting full education.
    They prefer the male child going to school.

Teacher findings Gender Equality
  • But with these girl child education advocates
    all over the place and with this School Linking
    project most students, most girls, or most
    parents now understand the relevance of education
    and its helping to promote gender equality and
    empowering women
  • which eventually eradicates poverty and
    hunger. Because if women are in good jobs they
    can work, they can help support their families
    and the trend will change

Teacher findings The importance of the link
  • It has brought the two worlds together. It has
    brought in cultural integration, it has brought
    in new ideas about teaching and learning, that
    has opened the horizon of both sides, because of
    the cultural differences.

Pupil focus group findings Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Gender Equality
  • I think this partnership is also helping to get
    more girls or more of us interested in schooling

Pupil focus group findings Overcoming
stereotypes Visitor Exchanges
  • I had this notion that um, let me say, whites,
    or people here in this country UKlike when
    they are teenagers, they are, they dont
    reallytheyre out of control
  • their parents cant really control themIt
    really proved a point to me that no matter how
    they dress and no matter how they look like, they
    all have respect for their elders and then they
    have respect for themselves and it is something
  • when I send back home Ill tell my friends
    that this notion that we had is, you know, is not

Teacher findings The importance of the
link This is a Ghanaian village community which
is now part of a wider partnership of Ghanaian
and UK schools the link is no longer just
between a Northern and a Southern secondary
The Southern Voice in Linking Thinking about
North-South Linking
Thank you for listening I hope you may still be
Thinking about Linking and A Southern
Perspective A Leonard Geographical
Association Manchester, April 2009
  • Bourn, D and Leonard, A. (2009) Living in the
    Wider World, in Mitchell, D. (ed) Living
    Geography. London, Chris Kington
  • Burr, M. (2007) Thinking about Linking. DEA
  • Burr, M, Andreotti, V and de Souza, L. M.
    (January 2007) Humanities Education Centre
    (London) Southern Voices methodology design
  • Disney, A (2004) Childrens Developing Images
    and Representations of the School Link
    Environment in Catling Martin (eds)
    Researching Primary Geography. Register of
    Research in Primary Geography
  • Edge, K. (2008) North South school partnerships
    electronic resource learning from schools in
    the UK, Africa and Asia findings from Year
    1. London, Centre for Leadership in Learning,
    Institute of Education.
  • Leonard, A (2004) Geography, Global Citizenship
    and School Linking, M.A dissertation Institute of
    Education, unpublished
  • Leonard, A (2005) Lessons from UK Secondary
    Schools school linking and teaching and learning
    in Global Citizenship and Geography, The
    Development Education Journal vol.11.2,
    Stoke-On-Trent, Trentham Books/DEA
  • Leonard, A. (2008) Global School Relationships
    School Linking and Modern Challenges in Bourn,
    D.(ed)Development education debates and
    dialogue.  London, Institute of Education.
  • Martin, F (2007) School Linking as a
    Controversial Issue in Claire Holden (eds) The
    challenge of teaching controversial issues
    Trentham Books .
  • Pickering. S (2008)What do children really
    learn? A discussion to investigate the effect
    that School partnerships have on childrens
    understanding, sense of values and perceptions of
    a distant place. GeogEd Volume 2, Issue 1
    Article 3
  • Scoffham S (2007) Please Miss, Why are they so
    Poor? Primary Geographer Spring 2007 Primary

Still thinking about Linking? Useful websites
    78 Development Education Centres (DECs)