“That’s an Ofsted answer”: Sustainability and disconnection in early childhood education

The focus of this presentation was prompted by the exclamation quoted in its title, when a child’s response simultaneously delighted the practitioner who made it and unsettled the researcher who observed it. Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience of being a committed fellow traveller in early childhood research, it identifies a number of enduring disconnections – between children and adults, practitioners and researchers, policy-makers and everyone else – which have characterised my experiences of researching in the area. It suggests that removing, or at least reducing, these disjunctures is crucial to sustaining early childhood education, which itself is so crucial to sustaining everything else we value. Finally, the presentation also offers a few observations about how much early childhood and early childhood research have to teach us about research (and life) more generally.

Prof. Michael Jopling is Professor of Education at the School of Education, University of Brighton, United Kingdom.

He’s been involved in all areas of educational research, from early years and compulsory education through to post-compulsory and higher education and lifelong learning. However, his research interests coalesce around school collaboration, educational leadership, and addressing disadvantage, particularly in relation to vulnerable young people and families. He is also very interested in the application of theory to education research and the implications of postdigitality.

Before joining University of Brighton, Michael was Professor of Education and Director of the Education Observatory at University of Wolverhampton (2017-22) and Professor in Education at Northumbria University (2014-17). He studied at UCL, University Sussex and Goldsmiths, University of London and worked for Becta and the National College for School Leadership before moving into HE. Michael is the convenor of EERA’s Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education network and co-editor of the collection, Human Data Interaction, Disadvantage and Skills in the Community: Enabling Cross-Sector Environments for Postdigital Inclusion.

Source: https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/michael-jopling