Education MA students learn lessons from Sheffield’s international communities
11 Masters students from the School of Education have taken part in a unique project with members of Sheffield’s international community around their experiences of education in the UK.
Alongside their formal studies, the students worked with members of the Roma-Slovak community, the Afro-Caribbean community, and asylum seekers and refugees in the city as part of the University’s Engaged Curriculum partnership. In partnership with them, students created short films detailing their memories of the education system in the UK.
Student participants then created a fourth film drawing together their learning from the project. All films were then shown as part of a celebration event, recognising the achievement of everyone involved, including inviting community partners into the university to share in the success.
The project has been beneficial in several ways. Students said it has helped to develop their understanding of education in the UK and allowed them to travel to parts of Sheffield they wouldn’t otherwise have visited. It also helped them develop more practical skills, both about carrying out academic research, and disseminating it in a form other than written work.
One group described it as having learnt “about and with” a particular community and said: “Being part of this project is a real life experience, and has expanded our understanding about the UK education system outside the university’s border.”
A motivation behind the project was about connecting research, teaching, and educational practice within the School. This has been realised through the connections with local communities being facilitated by researchers in the School who are already working with these groups, exploring how formal education impacts upon their lives and life chances.
Each of the films contains interviews with members of the community and reflects some of their experiences of education in the UK, exploring the complexity of national identity in an international world. You can watch three of the films here.