Internet insights;Research focus;Briefing

24th September 1999 at 01:00
SEPTEMBER is perhaps the busiest month for research conferences. The British Educational Research Association held its annual conference in Brighton at the beginning of the month, and the European Educational Research Association is gathering in Lahti, Finland, this weekend.

Abstracts of more than 800 papers presented at the BERA conference can be viewed at Only 40 full papers are currently available, but this number is expected to rise to 200 by Christmas.

The European conference can also be visited on-line. Vocational education and training is one of the topics that is strongly represented this year. But the 600 abstracts cover many other subjects. This year's conference will include papers from Russia, Turkey, Slovenia, Ethiopia and (of course) Finland. About 140 of the full papers will become available over the next three months. The conference programme can be scanned at

Whatever some parents and teachers might think, the music made by children in the early-years classroom is not just a noise. You need to study it to appreciate its musicality. By the same token, little boys can sing just as tunefully as girls. It's only later that they seem to learn not to.

Graham Welch, Desmond Sergeant and Peta White of the Centre for Advanced Studies in Music Education (ASME) at London's Roehampton Institute have found that differences between the sexes in the early years are very small, and that school and other cultural factors lie behind later differences.

Susan Young, director of the ASME centre, has studied music games and free play and concludes that children as young as three can participate in expressive music that has real vitality and communicative power.

The full reports can be read on:

Sam Saunders

Readers can e-mail suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam Saunders at Education researchers who wish to disseminate their findings in The TES should send summaries (750 words max) to David Budge, Research Editor, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY.

Tel 0171 782 3276.

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