To help you feel prepared for your university studies, we’ve gathered together a range of course related activities including suggested reading, useful websites and some great things to do right now. Open the links below to find out more:
Your Launchpad sessions
The Faculty of Education have organised a number of virtual Launchpad sessions. Although not all of these sessions will be relevant to your specific degree, you may find a number of these sessions useful.
You will be given lots of information about which textbooks to read and introduced to the University Library, as well as the many ebooks we have for you to access, when you begin your studies in September.
However, there are some key books which will prove useful for your studies in education. The two books below are core textbooks and it would be beneficial for you to have your own copies of them and to have read the opening chapters of each:
- Introduction to Education Studies, 5th Edition by Steve Bartlett & Diana Burton. London, Sage
- Sociology of Education, by Tomas Boronski and Nasima Hassan. London, Sage
You might also find the following books useful to engage with before the start of the course for education:
- An Introduction to the Study of Education, by David Matheson. 2015. London, Routledge
- Understanding and using challenging education theories, by Karl Aubrey and Alison Riley. 2017. London, Sage
And for mathematics:
- Discrete Mathematics: an open introduction. By O. Levin. 2019. University of Northern Colorado.
- Everyday calculus: Discovering the hidden math all around us. By O. Fernandez. 2017. Princeton University Press.
- An introduction to algebraic structures. By J. Landin. 2012. Courier Corporation.
Free online course
This FREE course will support students in making the transition to university as smooth as possible, through consolidation of essential A level Mathematics skills across a wide range of the subject content. The course enables students to learn more about topics they will meet in their first-year studies and provides opportunities to explore topics in greater depth using suggestions for wider reading.Access the free online course
To prepare for this course, you should keep up to date with education news in the mainstream media. The most popular and frequently updated sources are:
You might also reflect on the push for mastery of mathematics in schools: what are your thoughts on this?
- NCETM (the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics)
Your preparation tasks
We’ve created a selection of tasks which will help you to prepare for your course. We recommend that you keep your responses and notes together in a portfolio of pre-course work as they may well come in useful in the future.
Task 1 – Educational processes in mathematics
Write a short reflection of approximately 500 words on your own educational experiences in mathematics to date, focusing on the subject and outlining the positive and negative elements you have observed.
Try to analyse these and consider which aspects you believe to be the most important parts of your own teaching and learning experiences. What practices have prompted you to continue with this subject in Higher Education? What do you think might deter other pupils from studying mathematics? How did your peers perceive the subject? What do you think needs to change in mathematics education?
If possible, chat with a couple of friends or members of your family about their experiences – do you have common memories of inspirational teachers or lessons? Were there any contradictions between what you felt was effective?
Now watch this TED talk video, in which Joe Ruhl outlines his vision for inspirational education. You might find it useful to note down some of his key points. After watching, return to your personal reflection and make notes on the following:
- To what extent do Ruhl’s ideas correspond with your experiences? Are there any similarities or points of difference?
- Can you identify instances of the five C’s in your own reflections? If not, why not? Did these not form part of your own education?
- How much do you agree with Ruhl’s key arguments?
- How realistic is his vision? Are there any potential barriers to achieving this?
Task 2 – Engage with debates
Education is in the news extensively at the moment and we would encourage you to engage with these debates, for example, regarding the reopening of schools and the cancelling of exams. When you watch politicians and journalists discussing education ask yourself the following questions:
- What is their main argument?
- What evidence are they basing this on?
- What motivates them to make these particular recommendations or position statements?
- Are you convinced by what they say, and if not, why not?
These questions will encourage you to become a critical thinker, a key skills of students of Education.
Task 3 – Inclusion and diversity
At Edge Hill, we encourage you to develop a commitment to social justice education, where all pupils can have access to and opportunities within education. Ainscough (2006) defines this inclusive practice as:
- An ongoing process in order to find better ways to respond to the needs of diverse communities
- Being concerned with the identification and removal of barriers to participation
- Ensuring the presence and participation of all students from all backgrounds
- A particular emphasis on individuals and groups who may be at risk of marginalisation, exclusion or under-achievement
As part of the course, we explore various dimensions which may impact on achievement, such as race, religion, class, gender, ethnicity, learning difficulties, or physical disability. Choose two of these groups and write a short piece explaining what barriers they may experience to education and how these barriers might be overcome.
Task 4 – Technology
Love it or loathe it, technology is part of our everyday life, and we will all have our opinions about its positive and negative contributions. Reflect on the following questions and produce a personal position statement about your values, beliefs and attitudes towards the use of technology for personal use and for educational purposes.
In general, what are your personal values (a measure of worth, or importance) and beliefs in relation to technology?
- Examples of my every day, typical uses of technology would be….
- How do the decisions that you make about technology reflect your values and beliefs?
- How do you express (through words and actions/behaviour) your values and beliefs; i.e. your attitude towards technology?
- What do you want from technology?
- I believe that young people are addicted to social media and that this is harmful
- I believe that technology use is fundamental to our way of life
- I would say that I couldn’t live without technology
What are your values, beliefs and attitudes towards the use of technology for educational purposes?
- Do you believe that it can make a difference? Support, enhance the teaching and learning process?
- Are these values, beliefs and attitudes the same as those relating to your personal use of technology? Or, for whatever reasons, is it different when you consider the use of technology by children for educational purposes? Why might this be the case?
- What do you think that teachers and children want from technology use in the classroom?
Meet your programme leader:
Additional ways to prepare
Preparing to start
This session examines how to make a successful transition to university. From planning your results day, accommodation and commuting tips, extra support available to you and general advice on uni life.Watch the session
Find out more about who you are
The following information provides an insight into what to expect when coming to university along with some good advice on how to navigate some of the potential challenges you may face.Start preparing yourself