22nd April 2016 at 00:00

Education ‘enhances wellbeing’

Health and wellbeing are seen as prerequisites for learning and this can overshadow the contribution that education itself can make to children’s well-being, research has found. Jennifer Spratt, of the University of Aberdeen, interviewed Scottish teachers about the relationship between education and well-being. She found that while basic physical and psychological health is essential for learning to take place, many of those surveyed felt that high-quality learning could enhance children’s lives.

Teachers ‘act as health workers’

Teachers, often with minimal training, regularly undertake work that comes under the remit of health rather than education. Tony Rossi, from the Queensland University of Technology, in Australia, along with three academics from the University of Queensland, surveyed teachers in 13 Australian schools to ascertain what teachers do to support pupils’ health, how much time they spend doing it and whether this qualified as health work. They concluded that teachers regularly undertake health work, often on an urgent basis, but most had only minimum training in this area and had ongoing concerns about their own competence.

Poorer students put off by high fees

Pupils who lack family financial support are unlikely to see the advantages of having a degree as a sufficient reason to go to university, new research says. The 2012 rise in student fees, from £3,375 to £9,000 per year, made England one of the most expensive places in the world to attend university, according to Steven Jones, of the University of Manchester. Drawing on interviews with high-attaining teenagers at three schools in deprived areas, Dr Jones found that the possibility of a high-earning job, coupled with repayment concessions for low-earning graduates, were insufficient incentives to persuade the teenagers that the fees were worthwhile. Pupils also worried that they would not fit in at university.

Motivation a factor in book choice

The books that primary pupils choose to read vary depending on what it is that is motivating them, research has found. Sarah McGeown, from the University of Edinburgh, along with academics from Hampshire Educational Psychology Service and the University of Dundee, studied the reading habits of 791 children between the ages of eight and 11. They found that children who read challenging texts tended to read books recreationally. By contrast, children who were motivated by the desire to achieve good grades preferred to read school textbooks. Those who saw reading as a social activity read magazines and comics.

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