IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE centre unifies evidence and pedagogy to transform children's lives

29 June 2018

The newly established Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (0-11 years) at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) held its first consultation seminar on Monday 30 April 2018.

Woman with young children

The Centre aims to enable all children to realise their full potential through optimal teaching and learning, particularly children living with disadvantage.

Through close collaboration between education professionals, parents, children and policy makers, it aims to bring about change on the ground by enhancing educational practice through research.

Fifty early years and primary teachers, pedagogy researchers, informal learning practitioners, policy makers, and representatives of not-for-profit organisations working with young children were in attendance, including members of the Helen Hamlyn Trust, the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, the Science Museum, Achievement for All, the Chartered College of Teaching, and the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education.

Attendees were instrumental in informing key priorities for research, training and policy relevant to children from birth to age eleven years. Presentations and lively debates prompted the exchange of diverse perspectives on a unique and special phase of education. Five key themes were established, firstly the importance of encouraging, enabling, and facilitating practitioners to engage with research and developing positive environments of respect, mutual trust, and support.

The need to create networks of knowledge and support and to sustain a continuous dialogue within and across all stakeholder groups was recognised as essential to avoid compartmentalisation within the field. Stakeholders stressed the need to involve educational professionals, parents, and, importantly, children through democratic processes when shaping pre-primary and primary education settings.

Building on this, the need to ensure that research is accessible and inclusive was highlighted so that professionals at all career levels are afforded time and resources to learn and implement knowledge from it. Finally, empowering teachers to break free from 'the tyranny of the timetable', question current pedagogical practices, experiment with new approaches, and inform and influence policy was identified as part of work needed to overcome barriers to change.

Dr Rosie Flewitt, co- director of the centre, said of the event:

"This was a highly successful day with inspirational presentations, lively debate and lots of opportunities for small group work to identify and discuss key challenges in current early years and primary education. We are now planning our second phase of consultation with children and parents. With the help of our partners, we will build on the longstanding and world- leading reputation of the IOE and the Helen Hamlyn Trust to create a lasting legacy in the field of primary and early years pedagogy."

Media contact

Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations
+44 (0)20 3108 8516