Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Sharing opportunities and understanding challenges: a study of school-university partnerships within computing education
Authors: Venn-Wycherley, Megan
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The discipline of Computing was introduced to the English National Curriculum in 2014 to equip young people with the skills and knowledge to enact social, political, and economic agency through compulsory education. Three years following its introduction, computing education was beleaguered by poor teacher support and falling levels of pupil engagement, with recommendations that external organisations should work with schools to support the shortcomings of its delivery. Universities are well-positioned to help school communities through improved access to resources, knowledge, and skills, but schools are sceptical of the transactional nature of university engagements. Currently, little guidance exists for schools or universities seeking engagement in equitable partnerships, particularly in computing education. As such, the overarching aim of this research is to develop an understanding of a school-university partnership process for compulsory computing education, with consideration of social and digital structures which occupy this space. With a focus on lived experience within a community environment through a social constructivist paradigm, the following research adopts the instrumental, exploratory case study methodology combined with an action research approach to understand the experiences of creating and participating in school-university partnerships for computing education. Furthermore, a lens of educational ecology provides this thesis with a framework and terminology to allow for the conceptualisation of the complex and dynamic educational environment, helping one understand how they might affect deliberate and conscious change of computing education as a community. This thesis presents findings and insights from a series of case studies that explore the creation, maintenance and legacy of school-university partnerships for computing education based in the North-East of England. The first set of case studies documents the experiences of creating and maintaining a school-university partnership between Newcastle University and the computing department at a local secondary school for the development of a Key Stage 3 computing curriculum, pointing towards the importance of re-negotiation of partnership roles, the impact on the engagement of pupils, and methods of support computing teachers in the classroom. The second set of case studies outlines the end of the partnership process and explores school-university partnerships' legacy. Findings from these case studies demonstrate how the framing of risk and school technology policies can constrain school engagement in such partnerships while developed processes and materials can continue to exert a positive pedagogical impact on the school environment. Drawing upon the empirical findings from these case studies, I then present a conceptual model of operational processes involved in creating and sustaining equitable school-university partnerships for computing education. I also explore the role of technologies in supporting such processes from a human-computer interaction perspective. The thesis contributes to computing education research, educational partnership research involving universities and communities and HCI research into technologies to support educational partnerships. Firstly, in drawing these case studies together and discussing lessons learned from the research, I contribute and critique the implications of the partnership approach in support of compulsory computing education in England. Secondly, my research presents a framework to define the practice of school-university partnerships for computing. Future researchers can develop their process and use of technology when supporting the development of computing education in schools, focusing on developing meaningful and equitable partnerships between stakeholders.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Computing

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Venn-Wycherley Megan 130280059 ecopy.pdfThesis6.38 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
dspacelicence.pdfLicence43.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.