We are delighted to announce the two teaching professionals who are the recipients of the Walter Hines Page Scholarship 2023-24. This prestigious scholarship counts headteachers, policy makers and education secretaries among its alumni, and we are delighted to be partnering with the Chartered College of Teaching to offer this opportunity for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Entering its centenary year in 2023, the English-Speaking Union’s Walter Hines Page scholarships enable UK teaching professionals to travel to America to research an oracy or communication project of their choosing that can also help inform our own work in this field. Walter Hines Page was the US Ambassador to Great Britain 1913 – 1918, and this scholarship continues the early ESU mission to support transatlantic learning and cultural understanding.
Chloe Butlin is an English teacher, Research and Literacy Lead at Beverley High School, Yorkshire. She has a keen interest in the power of literacy as a tool to mitigate the attainment gap, and has seen first-hand the role that oracy plays in supporting students to communicate confidently and effectively. Her research will look at rhetoric, and how equipping students with the tools of classical rhetoric might improve their own arguments, and how to respectfully critique those of others. This is particularly pertinent today, with ‘fake news’ and ‘cancel culture’ being hot topics for both educators and young people. In the United States, rhetoric is more routinely embedded into wider teaching or alongside a character development strategy in schools, and Chloe is looking forward to exploring this in-situ in American schools.
Simrun Sanghera is a primary classroom teacher from Coventry. Her school is implementing a three-year oracy strategy as part of its school improvement plan, and Simrun’s research into oracy and racial discourse will help her to further embed this into her professional practice, as well as providing additional insights and strategies for her school to utilise. Oracy and race is a subject often investigated at a secondary level, but there is less research currently on the role that oracy can play in racial discourse in primary settings, meaning that this will provide a useful new perspective for educators globally. As a multicultural melting pot, New York will be the focus of Simrun’s research, and she plans to visit both private and public schools to investigate the range of educational approaches to this subject.
We can’t wait to read our two scholars’ research studies, and encourage all teaching professionals to become both ESU and Chartered College of Teaching members to be eligible for this opportunity in future years.