We begin this issue of RiTE with the announcement that David Wells is, very sadly, stepping down from his role as Deputy Editor of this journal. Dave has been integral to the success of this publication over the last eleven years as both its Deputy and online editor. All of us will miss him hugely – and we wish him the best of luck in the next exciting phase of his life/career.
We start this edition with an article from Ashlea Cromby on using internet memes as a pedagogical tool for enhancing learner engagement. Ashlea looks at how viable it is to incorporate internet memes into teaching mathematics and medical science.
Zenab Arleen Bukkar explores how the internalisation of gender norms affects the exploration of femininity in gender-specific youth work programmes for young women and girls. Her study is based on Beauvoir's (2010) idea that femininity is a product of civilisation, reflecting social distinctions rather than 'essential' differences between men and women.
Paula Bonet and Miles Smith explore aspects of a participatory research project undertaken in a semi-rural school in south-west England. Utilising Roleplay Learning (RL), a game-based methodology employing roleplay and dramatisation, the researchers were able to elicit and discern children's social, cultural and political perspectives.
In her article, Ruksana Beigi presents the work of Beccy Allen, Head of Creative Learning at Half Moon Theatre London, and her creative practitioners, Madeleine Graham and Daniel Mariño, on their extensive Early Years Creative Play (EYCP) programme for families and their children.
Finally, through an exploration of how far one can define oneself as a musician, and focusing on the author's father as an example, Christopher Dalladay's article examines the 'level' of specialism and subject knowledge a secondary classroom music teacher in England requires in order to teach effectively and authoritatively. This discussion is then extended to other curriculum areas and whether there is a difference in the practitioner identity and knowledge of teachers from a range of different subjects that may impact on their confidence to teach.
Our guest writer this month is Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope, Provost and Professor of Education at Plymouth Marjon University and Marjon University Cornwall, and Visiting Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University. Tanya's article is premised on her idea that the agencies that control teacher recruitment and oversee teacher retention in England have not realised the importance of 'status' in establishing a set of circumstances that contribute to declining trainee teacher numbers and increasing teacher attrition. At a time of fundamental change (has there ever been anything else in the history of ITE in England?), her article is essential reading for all of us concerned with what is happening in this sector of education.
As always, we hope that you enjoy the collection of articles in this issue of the periodical. If you are interested in writing for this publication, please contact members of the editorial team including Lindy Zubairy - RiTE's new Deputy Editor.