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The Charity – The Education Futures Collaboration

efcVision and Values

The ideas, values and work strands underpinning the charity supporting MESH, the Education Futures Collaboration (EFC), have been evolving for many years through the work of a number of Founding Members. In 2012, they formed the Education Futures Collaboration. Membership is open to all with an interest in education.  Further details are available  on www.edfuturescollaboration.org

Aims of the Education Futures Collaboration:

  • Improve student attainment
  • Improve the quality of teaching in schools, further and higher education
  • Provide newly qualified educators with ongoing support
  • Provide access to research informed professional knowledge for educators
  • Find new and practical ways to improve educators’ knowledge and educator quality including the use of technologies to give cost effective solutions
  • Create a joined up profession, linking research with best practice in all schools, further and higher education for the benefit of student learning
  • Break through barriers in student learning, teaching and learning of particular concepts
  • Join up the pockets of excellence in teaching and evidence based practice.

There are pockets of innovation, evidence-based practice and excellence in teaching and learning, nationally and internationally, but if educators are to succeed in a time of global financial uncertainty and educational change, then we must act together to join these pockets up within a specialist environment, which connects us and our ideas and aggregates our networks for the betterment of our profession and the learners.

The Education Futures Collaboration is an education sector developed and managed initiative,  providing an e-infrastructure to support education as it transforms into a ‘knowledge industry’ and supporting knowledge transfer, collaborative knowledge building and sharing within education sectors in individual countries as well as worldwide. Knowledge management (KM) tools and web 2.0 tools are being adopted widely by private companies and other public sector organisations as ways of improving practice but this is lacking in the education sector.

The Education Futures Collaboration aims to professionalise teaching and to support professional judgement with evidence through the creation of a sustainable model for knowledge mobilisation and collaboration using digital tools in the education sector.

The Collaboration notes parallel work undertaken in health to build and quality assure the research base and make this available to practitioners through, for example, the Cochrane Collaboration, the Map of Medicine and in the UK, NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).   The work of the Campbell Collaboration in the social sciences is also noted.

Staff from different countries and from a wide range of universities and schools are already involved in EFC activities. Contributions are welcome in any language. The Google Translate tool at the top of the Welcome page provides translation help in 80 languages. If you are interested in doing this please email enquiries@MESHguides.org . The current EFC co-chairs  are Professors Sarah Younie, De Montfort University, UK and Professor Marilyn Leask, University of Winchester and De Montfort University.

Governance and Membership

MESH Governance is through a formally constituted Board including Trustees registered with the  UK Charities Commission (registration number 1157511). The Board and Full Members make decisions about the development of MESH. There is an Annual General Meeting (including virtual attendance) where Full Members hold the Trustees to account, vote for Board members and vote on the direction of the charity.

Membership is open to all who support the MESH strategy of mobilising existing knowledge relevant to teaching through inviting expert research units to provide summaries of research and to keep these updated. Full Members and Trustees have voting rights.

Membership categories

Full Members

Formal membership is defined in the Constitution of the Education Futures Collaboration Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Section 9.

Full Members pay an annual subscription fee based on organisational type and size. Benefits are close involvement in development including engagement and training of staff, priority setting, extending the reach of research, updating of staff and voting rights at the AGM. Typically Full Members are professional organisations and universities with a stake in teacher training.

Founder Membership was available to those who founded the charity to take forward MESH.

Advisory Board

An Advisory Board of representatives from ministries of education is being established to ensure opportunities for leading researchers to contribute to the MESHGuide research summaries for teachers are conveyed to universities and research units in all countries. In some countries, academics are required to demonstrate the impact of their research on users and the web statistics showing use of a MESHGuide may support such claims for impact.

The MESH network recognises that no one country has been able to provide research-based subject content or subject pedagogic knowledge in every single area covered in school curricula to meet the needs for every type of learner.  Our proposal is that through collaboration, existing knowledge may be more effectively shared and that resources can be more easily targeted at gaps in the knowledge base. Such an aspiration carries challenges of quality assurance, dealing with controversies and selection of material. However well established processes for managing these issues already exist in the world of academic publishing.

Each ministry needs to find resources to support their in-country engagement and a contribution to overall project management.

Individual MESH Associates (non-voting): are volunteers and supporters. There is no charge for associate membership but there is an expectation that associates will undertake activities to take forward MESHGuides development and use. In return Associates are expected to identify experts and support the development of MESHGuides in their field. Associates can expect to be part of an international network and may receive a range of professional opportunities as a result. Authors and In-country organisers are MESH Associates.

Corporate MESH Associates (non-voting): provide a logo and are included as associate members. These may include professional associations, unions, companies.

Patron

Professor Stephen Heppell, Bournemnouth University and previously Director of Ultralab Anglia Ruskin University is a Founding Patron.