Iram Siraj

Effective Transitions in the Learning Life Course of Vulnerable Children aged 3-16: Evidence from Research

Thursday, 10 September. 14:00 - 15:00

Location: IV. Előadóterem [Main]

The keynote reports on 50 Child and Family Case Studies (CFCS) that were conducted as part of the Effective Provision of Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE) research project.  The CFCS was designed as a mixed-methods study in order to look at why and when certain children manage to succeed ‘against the odds’ while others do not. Using in-depth interviews with students, parents and teachers, quantitative data available from EPPSE and a literature review on risk and resilience, the CFCS provides ‘thick descriptions’ and explanations of how child, family and school factors interact and contribute to children succeeding against the odds of disadvantage. The study shows that in families with children succeeding against the odds, parenting is characterised by ‘active cultivation’ and that schools, teachers, peers and the wider community contribute to children’s academic success by providing emotional, practical and relational support. As a result these children are facilitated and encouraged to develop a combination of positive cognitive and socio-behavioural characteristics that helps them become active agents in their learning life-course.  The CFCS provide information that can be of use to both policymakers and practitioners. It has implications for parenting and home-school relations and may serve to inform policies and practices that aim to increase the chances of children ‘at risk' and help in narrowing the gap between those who are academically and socially advantaged and disadvantaged. The results are fully reported in a recent book by Cambridge University Press authored by Siraj and Mayo (2014) Social Class and Educational Inequality: The impact of parents and schools.

About Iram Siraj

As Professor of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, Iram’s recent research projects have included leading on the:  Evaluation of the Foundation Phase across Wales and she is  a principal investigator of the major DCSF 15-year study on Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education (EPPSE 3-16, 1997-2013) and of the influential Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years project (REPEY). She is an expert in mixed method and qualitative research design and analysis, and is currently working on longitudinal studies/RCTs as a principal investigator in a number of countries including the UK, Australia and Ireland.

Her recent DfE publications on effective pedagogy in primary schools (EPPSEM study, Siraj-Blatchford et al 2011)  and ‘unpacking’ the influences on the trajectories of children performing ‘against the odds’ (Siraj-Blatchford et al 2011) have received international recognition. She has always been particularly interested in undertaking research which investigates disadvantage and to give children and families from these backgrounds an equal start. She is a specialist, early years advisor to governments and ministers in the UK and overseas. She has advised UNESCO, World Bank and UNICEF. She has published over 60 major research reports, monographs  and books and over 200 peer reviewed articles and chapters in scholarly books. She is currently specialist adviser to the House of Commons Select Comm on Education and undertaking a stocktake of the Foundation Phase for the Welsh Govt. and a review of the early years workforce for the Scottish Govt.

Recent publications:

  • 2014         Siraj, I. and Mayo, A.
    Social Class and Educational Inequality: The impact of parents and schools. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming
  • 2014         Siraj, I., Taggart, B., Sammons, P., Melhuish, E. and Sylva, K.
    Effective Teachers in primary Schools: key research on pedagogy and children's learning. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books.
  • 2013         Siraj, I. and Hallet, E 
    Effective and Caring Leadership in the Early Years. London: Sage.
  • 2012         Siraj-Blatchford, I., and Mayo, A.
    Major Work International Reader, Early Childhood Education. 4 vol London: Sage.
  • 2010        Siraj-Blatchford, I. 
    'Learning in the home and in school: how working class children succeed against the odds', British Educational Research Journal 36 (3), 463-482, Routledge Article of the Year Award winner.


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ECER'22, Yerewan
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