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Paid Summer Research Opportunity for an Undergraduate Student

The Reinvention Centre is looking to employ an undergraduate student interested in secondary education to undertake research over the summer vacation.

Tipton RSA Academy school is a pioneer school of the RSA's 'Opening Minds' curriculum. The Reinvention Centre, in collaboration with Tipton RSA Academy will be conducting research into the transition period from Tipton's Key Stage 3 'Opening Minds' curriculum to a more traditional Key Stage 4 curriculum. Specifically, the project aims to research the experiences of staff and students experiencing the first weeks of Key Stage 4 (KS4) teaching when students have completed the RSA's 'Opening Minds' curriculum at Key Stage 3 (KS3). The aim is to investigate the perceptions of students and staff towards curriculum and pedagogy at Key Stage 4, given the background of the students in 'Opening Minds' teaching at Key Stage 3 and to undertake an initial exploration of the difference between gender groups and students of different ability and levels of engagement involved in the 'Opening Minds' curriculum.

Ideally students will have some knowledge of current issues surrounding secondary education, and in particular knowledge of academy schools, although applications from all students without specialist knowledge in this area will be welcome. To be considered for this role students must have a minimum of one year of undergraduate study remaining at the University of Warwick; students who have recently graduated are not eligible for this role. Following the successful completion of this stage of the research project there is the possibility of further employment in an additional research role throughout the 2010-11 academic year as part of a potential extension to this project.

Role description

The research will involve undertaking a detailed literature review and analysis of documentation surrounding the 'Opening Minds' curriculum, alongside a broader review of relevant literature from the field of sociology of education. The primary method of data collection will be through interviews and focus groups with pre-selected groups of staff and students with the aim to build up an understanding of the real and anticipated experiences of staff and students involved in the transition from Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4 curriculum.

The research also aims to generate some indicative findings concerning the participation in and experience of the 'Opening Minds' curriculum amongst pupils of different gender and ability.

You will need to travel on occasions for research purposes (UK-based travel only, most likely to and from the Warwick campus and to Tipton, an hour's travel on public transport from Warwick) for which all expenses will be paid.

Appropriate research training will be provided so that you can carry out this role effectively.

Job Specification

You need to be able to demonstrate the following:

  • An interest in educational research, as well as a broader interest in research in general.
  • An awareness of issues around secondary education, in particular issues surrounding academy schools and/or an interest in developing your knowledge in this area.
  • An awareness of curriculum development and/or an interest in developing your knowledge in this area.
  • You will need to be willing to carry out training (which will be provided) as necessary.
  • You will need to be willing to work independently and also as part of a research team.

How to apply

You need to fill in the application form and there will also be a short interview.

Application form

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Friday 30th July 2010

Interviews (maybe by telephone) will be held the week commencing Monday 2nd August 2010 with the successful candidate ready to start on Monday 9th August 2010.

Please send completed application forms by the specified deadline to Danny Wilding at Danny dot Wilding at warwick dot ac dot uk.