Plan Your Next Great Time With New England Weekend Getaways

For travelers young and old, New England weekend getaways are a great way to relax, have fun, and make memories. This wonderful region boasts some of the USA’s most beautiful scenery, and some of its most welcoming people.

Depending on the season, New England plays host to a wide variety of tourists. In the Winter months skiers enjoy world renowned ski resorts, while snow mobile riders and snow shoe enthusiasts explore the valleys. In the Summer happy crowds flock to the coast to bask on pristine beaches and swim in the crisp ocean water. During the Fall, all of New England is alive with color as the foliage spectacularly changes its shade. No matter the season, fresh seafood is plentiful and expertly prepared across the region. Lobster is a specialty, as are cod and a wide variety clams. The coast in dotted with old towns, where some families have been in the fishing business for centuries.

New England weekend getaways include a range of scenery, ranging from cities to pristine. Maine is a densely forested wilderness, while Massachusetts plays host to Boston, one of the world’s education capitals. Small New England towns are full of old churches, art galleries, and lovely bed and breakfasts. Those bed and breakfasts are among the best New England weekend getaways. Others getaways like the famous Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire are larger resorts, nestled among the mountains.

For those who enjoy a less traditional vacation weekend, camp grounds are plentiful in New England. Most camp grounds provide sites for both RV and tent campers. Serious hikers can challenge themselves on the Appalachian trail, which stretches from Maine all the way down the Georgia.

More leisurely visitors can take part in the New England tradition of antiquing, as antique shops seemingly carpet the North East. Larger towns and cities play host to thriving art communities, with world class museums concentrated in Boston, Portland, and Providence. History enthusiasts can visit historic sites and monuments across New England. Every town has an active historical society, and locals take enormous care preserving their communities heritage.

No matter where a visitors interest lie, a trip to this historical and culture rich region is a good time. That is why we recommend choosing from a number of great New England weekend getaways today!

UK Falls Behind in Further Education League

As the world becomes economically smaller and smaller, the world job and trade markets are becoming more and more competitive. In this type of market, it is imperative for a country to have a superb school system in order to produce competitive workers for the top fields.

England Steps Down

In recent years, England has stepped down in educational rankings when compared to other countries around the world. South Korea and Finland scored in the top positions for writing ability whereas Taiwan and Finland achieved the highest scores in maths.

Were do these numbers come from?

The figures that back this information up come from the International Student Assessment, (otherwise known as Pisa) performance tables. These tables are based on tests that are taken by children fifteen years of age. They are aimed at assessing their ability to apply their school gained knowledge to real world situations. These tests are performed every three years. Pisa ratings are based on tests that are given to 400,000 students within 57 countries. These tests are an attempt to measure the attainment of different students within different educational systems.

How is England’s progress?

In the latest report, the UK’s performance has declined in reading and in maths compared to other international competitors. The UK is the only group to have placed in the top performing group of the year 2000, to have slipped down into the lower group. The UK has also lost ground in the area of sciences.

In the year 2000, the UK placed eighth in maths and seventh in reading. From there they have slipped down to 24th place in maths and into seventeenth place in reading, Finland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Korea, the other countries that rounded out the upper group and are still placed within that group.

Passed By

The UK was passed up by Slovenia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria in the area of maths. The UK is still declining in science and reading skills also. A reading performance test was given to ten year old children in England and it was found that they had fallen from third place all the way down to nineteenth place according to the ‘Progress in International Reading Literacy Study’.

Urgent Need

The UK government has recognized the issues facing them with declining marks in an ever increasingly competitive world. Great efforts are being put together in order to intervene where students may be struggling. The ‘Every Child Counts’ program promises personalized learning so that no student falls behind. Schools are still concerned, they complain that every year the government boasts about improvements it is making to the educational system, yet every year the country falls further behind.

Researching Teacher Education and Training in England (Key Ethical and Methodological Concerns)

The present teacher education and training environment in England is characterised by schools and university partnerships and school-based only frameworks. There are however an increasing body of ‘independent’ teacher education providers. Out of this ‘new’ thinking has emerged labels and entities such as School Direct, Teach First, Troops to Teachers and School-Centred Initial Teacher Training.

This occurrence suggests that increasingly, research in teacher education and training is being carried out in a variety of schools’ contexts. This also provides researchers with a larger ‘ground’ in which to work and a diverse array of potential respondents and participants.

While there is always a ‘downside’ some may argue that the positives (such as the potential for ‘rich data’ and increased understanding of teacher education and training issue based on a wider pool of participants) out-weight the potential negatives–some are highlighted later in this article. Additionally, the highlighted negatives are also preventable with proper understanding and application of research knowledge and procedures. However, given this ‘new’ environment here are a few ethical and methodological concerns that I see as key.

Key Ethical Concerns

Increase in the pool of research participants and places means potentially, there is an increase in the number of people who can be negatively affected. This therefore lends importance to the need to promise and maintain both confidentiality and anonymity and for researchers to be vigilant in these matters.

A lapse in confidentiality and anonymity can have adverse effects on participants, bring the researcher and her or his affiliate University into disrepute and impact negatively relations between University, partnering schools and sometimes Local Educational Authority. On the extreme end of the spectrum of negative effects, a lapse in confidentiality and anonymity could lead to Job loss, or participants being ostracized especially when the research involves sensitive issues such as race, diversity, social Justice or culture.

It is my practice – where possible- to omit names and places in my research reports. However, if these are integral to your study they should only be included after obtaining appropriate consent from potential participants. The use of pseudonyms to conceal identities is a long-standing practice among researchers and continue to aid in achieving anonymity. Additionally, confidential information about children or staff should never be disclosed at any cost.

Other ethical issues which are akin to confidentiality and anonymity is openness, honesty and autonomy. As a researcher I always inform key people in the school and assure participants of their rights to withdraw from the researcher at any time, should they wish to do so, without fear of being penalised.

It is my opinion that if these ethical issues are not carefully attended to, they may lead to less than complete and honest responses from research participants which brings into question the research findings and conclusions.

Key Methodological/Procedural Concerns

The ‘new’ environment with its wide and diverse array of potential respondents and participants provides researchers with an enlarged participant pool from which to draw. This fact suggests the need for caution and care in selecting participants for your research. Participants must be ‘information rich’. Guba and Lincoln (1998) define ‘information rich’ participants as those who are able to provide insight into the issues being researched. It is worth stating here that inappropriate participants will affect the accuracy of the conclusions you draw and the potential impact your study could have.

The other key methodological or procedural concern is the need for a clearly defined research problem. In fact, getting this right, not only helps in selecting ‘information rich’ participants, but aid university based researchers to explain to potential respondents or participants in partnering schools the research focus and guides researchers’ actions and thoughts. Additionally, a clearly defined research problem also helps to determine an appropriate research framework or procedure (e.g. Biographical, Ethnographic, Phenomenological, or Applied Research) that could be used to solve a problem, data collection methods (Interview, survey, experimental) and data analysis approach (qualitative and/or quantitative)

So what have I said?

I said, key ethical concerns for researching teacher education in the ‘new’ teacher education environment in England are confidentiality and anonymity, openness, honesty and autonomy. Key methodological or procedural concerns are participants’ selection and clearly defined research problems. These are critical in light of the enlarged field of potential participant which emerges from the new environment.

Reference

Guba, E., G & Lincoln, Y., S. (1998). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In Denzin, N., K., & Lincoln, Y., S. The Landscape of qualitative research theories and Issues. Sage USA.