Post-compulsory education projects

Paired Peers

Paired Peers is a joint project with the University of Bristol, running from 2010–2013. It follows a cohort of undergraduate students studying the same ten degree subjects at the city’s two universities.

The impact of the students' background, particularly their social class, upon their experiences of university study is examined, with the project employing a large range of data gathering techniques including individual and focus group interviews, journals, questionnaires, diaries and photographs.

A major dissemination day conference is planned for July 2013, with invitees including politicians, civil servants, media and social commentators and educational interest groups including those from the higher education sector.

Richard Waller is the project's UWE Bristol centre lead, with Professor Harriet Bradley from University of Bristol the overall Principal Investigator.  

See further information about the Paired Peers project.

Tutoring and Mentoring

With Dr Andrew Mathers, a colleague from UWE Bristol's Department of Sociology and Criminology, Richard Waller is running a widening participation outreach project taking undergraduate sociology students into local schools and colleges to teach and mentor AS Level Sociology students from backgrounds where few people go on to university study.

We are also involving a number of trainee FE college sociology lecturers from our PGCE PCET course, who will be mentoring the undergraduates, offering valuable and appropriate experiences to all involved.

Assessing and enhancing the impact of WP initiatives on UWE Bristol's ITE programmes

This project is due to start early in 2013. It will be examining the effectiveness of the Department of Education and Childhood's efforts to recruit and retain students from groups poorly represented in teaching. We currently have a higher drop-out rate of Widening Participation students, particularly those from BME backgrounds, and need a better understanding of our strategies effectiveness, including how we best enhance their experience of studying with UWE Bristol.

ASDAN: Understanding how the Certificate of Personal Effectiveness acts to improve GCSE outcomes

This project is a follow-on from a previous report ( which demonstrated that taking ASDAN’s Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE) is associated with improved GCSE outcomes. This new project is aiming to understand some of the mechanisms by which CoPE might have this positive impact, focusing on concepts such as motivation, confidence and self-esteem. It is using a repeated measures survey with Year 10 pupils in three schools to examine how their attitudes change over time.

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