Mental Health and Wellbeing Trainee Teachers project

This project explored the extent of current provision that Initial Teacher Education providers offer to trainee teachers to support their mental health and wellbeing.

This is distinct from any curriculum based resources they may receive as part of their training to support their own pupils in the future. We also investigated what support trainee teachers may need in this area.

The project aimed to:

  • Explore current provision of mental health and wellbeing for trainee teachers in all providers of Initial Teacher Education in UK.
  • Explore what type of provision would be suitable/is needed for trainee teachers from the perspective of providers of Initial Teacher Education in UK; trainee teachers; and school mentors.
  • Explore key concerns in each of the key stakeholder groups through in-depth interviews.

The research project is led by Dr Kate Russell with Mrs Deirdre Medler, Mrs Miriam Jones, Dr Victoria Warburton and Lois Ferguson.

Project report

Initial findings are available as a summary report presented at the BERA conference in 2021.

 

Gender Diversity and Inclusion in Physical Education

As more and more young people begin to explore and express their gender identities in fluid and diverse ways, complex considerations around gender and its place in the school context are beginning to surface.
 

Rainbow laces in trainers

Physical Education (PE), a traditionally gendered subject, is an area of formal education where debates around participation and inclusion are beginning to centre around that of gender diverse youth.

Yet, in the UK there is a lack of empirical research that highlights exactly how the PE environment is experienced by these young people, and how PE teachers consider their participation and inclusion.

This research project, therefore, explores the PE experiences of trans, non-binary and gender questioning youth in secondary schools in the UK, and the perspectives that PE teachers have regarding gender diversity and inclusion in PE.

Through a qualitative inquiry, the project aims to gain insights on the PE climate and how it currently addresses gender diversity and inclusion. The findings will help to raise awareness of key issues and identify ways in which schools and educators can work to create more inclusive PE environments for gender diverse students.

The research project is being led by Lois Ferguson as part of her PhD thesis.

Learn more and take part

We're inviting both PE teachers and trans, non-binary and gender questioning youth to take part in separate projects. 

If you'd like to learn more about these projects and/or take part, please choose a link below.

This research project involves working with trans, non-binary and gender questioning young people aged 13-18 years old, to find out more about their PE experiences in UK secondary schools.

Previous research has shown that PE is not always a welcoming or inclusive environment for trans, non-binary and gender questioning youth, so this research aims to learn more about this and find out what could be improved to encourage greater inclusion.

The project will also involve speaking with PE teachers to find out more about their understanding of gender diversity and inclusion in PE. The study forms part of an individual PhD research project being conducted by the lead researcher.

What does the study involve?

The study is made up of two activities:

  1. an arts-based activity to participate in from home, where you can sketch/draw/paint/make/create something visual that expresses your feelings towards PE
  2. an audio-recorded interview (on Zoom or in-person) between yourself and the researcher for up to one hour where we talk about your experiences of PE and how the environment could be improved for you.

The creative aspect is designed to be fun and flexible, allowing you to express yourself however you like, so you can do as much or as little as you'd like!

Risks and benefits of taking part

Taking part in this project will allow you to share your thoughts and experiences on an important topic, and your contribution will help to raise awareness of the key issues in PE and how schools and teachers can work to create a more inclusive PE environment.

It should be an enjoyable and beneficial experience where you can talk confidentially about important matters. Your personal details (e.g. name, school, location) would be changed so your contribution would be anonymous to protect your identity.

It is possible that some sensitive or difficult topics may come up that could cause you to get upset. Rest assured you'll never be asked to continue talking about things you're not comfortable with and if you become upset, we can take a break, move onto something else, or stop altogether.

Who is leading the project?

Lois Ferguson (she/her) is the lead researcher on this project. She is a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, and also a volunteer with a local LGBT+ youth group. The project is overseen by Dr. Kate Russell, Lois' primary supervisor from the University of East Anglia.

What happens when the study is finished?

Once the researcher has completed all interviews with those who choose to take part, the interviews will be written up and analysed to find out the key findings.

The creative outputs (e.g. drawings, paintings, illustrations) will also be explored to find out what important matters come up.

These findings will be used in the researcher's PhD thesis, and may be used in publications and presented at conferences. It is hoped that the findings will also be made into an animation or video which can be shared far and wide to raise awareness of key issues.

I'm interested, how do I take part?

It's great to hear that you're interested!

Please email Lois (lois.ferguson@uea.ac.uk) to let her know that you're interested, or if you have any further questions you'd like to ask before making your decision.

This research project involves working with PE teachers to learn more about their understanding of gender diversity and inclusion in PE in UK secondary schools.

There is very little research in the UK that provides insight on this topic and how PE teachers might create inclusive environments for those with diverse gender identities such as trans students.

This project aims to gain insight on this in order to highlight key areas where PE settings could be improved to encourage greater inclusion, what forms of good practice are being used by PE teachers, and where further training might be helpful to enhance their practice.

The research will also involve speaking with a range of trans, non-binary and gender questioning youth to gain an understanding of their experiences in PE. The study forms part of an individual PhD research project being conducted by the lead researcher.

What does the study involve?

The study will involve a choice of an in-person or online (via Zoom) audio-recorded interview with the lead researcher to learn more about your understanding of gender diversity, promoting inclusion and any experiences of teaching gender diverse youth.

Risks and benefits of taking part

Taking part in this project will allow you to share your thoughts and experiences on an important topic, and your contribution will help to raise awareness of the key issues in PE in relation to gender diversity and inclusion for gender diverse youth. Your personal details (e.g. name, school, location) would be changed so your contribution would be anonymous.

It is possible that some sensitive or difficult topics may come up during the discussion. Rest assured you'll never be asked to continue talking about things you're not comfortable with and we can take a break, move onto something else, or stop altogether.

Who is leading the project?

Lois Ferguson (she/her) is the lead researcher on this project. She is a BA Physical Education graduate and a current Postgraduate Researcher at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.

The project is overseen by Dr. Kate Russell, Lois' primary supervisor from the University of East Anglia.

What happens when the study is finished?

Once the researcher has completed all interviews with those who chose to take part, the interviews will be written up and analysed to find out the key findings.

These findings will be used in the researcher's PhD thesis, and may be used in publications and presented at conferences.

It is hoped that the findings will also be made into an animation or video which can be shared far and wide to raise awareness of key issues.

I'm interested. How do I take part?

It's great to hear that you're interested! Please email Lois (lois.ferguson@uea.ac.uk) to let her know that you're interested, or ask any further questions you have before making your decision.