• Book review: Making sense of neuroscience in the Early Years

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor & Francis, 2017-11-08)
      Book review of Making sense of neuroscience in the Early Years Sally Featherstone Featherstone, 2017 9781472938312
    • Book review: School readiness and the characteristics of effective learning: the essential guide for Early Years practitioners

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor and Francis, 2019-02-17)
      Book review of School readiness and the characteristics of effective learning: the essential guide for Early Years practitioners by Tamsin Grimmer, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018, 206 pp.,, £13.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978 1 78592-175-9
    • Book review: Teaching religious education: researchers in the classroom

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor & Francis, 2018-07-04)
      Book review of Teaching Religious Education Researchers in the Classroom By: Julian Stern Bloomsbury, 2018 9781350037113
    • Book review: Using film to understand childhood and practice

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor and Francis, 2019-02-17)
      Book review of Using film to understand childhood and practice edited by Sue Aitken, London, Bloomsbury, 2018, 235 pp., £18.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-4742-7455-5
    • Book review: Vocabulary assessment to support instruction: building rich word-learning experiences

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor & Francis, 2018-10-11)
      Book review of Vocabulary Assessment to Support Instruction: Building Rich Word-Learning Experiences Margaret G. McKeown et al Guilford Press, 2017 9781462530793
    • Book review: Your booksmart, school- savvy, stress-busting primary teacher training companion

      Mistry, Malini Tina (Taylor and Francis, 2021-03-29)
      review of: Your booksmart, school- savvy, stress-busting primary teacher training companion by Elizabeth Malone, 2020, London, Sage, 178 pp., £16.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-5264-9419-1
    • Building the foundations for academic success: learning from the experiences of part-time students in their first semester of study

      Goodchild, Allyson; Butler, Cathal (Open University, 2020-07-01)
      This article examines the findings from a mixed methods research study exploring part- time students' perceptions of their transition into higher education. Drawing on wider research in the field of transition and utilising Gale and Parker's (2014) conceptual framework as a means of viewing the transition process, the article identifies how one group of part-time undergraduates experienced the process of becoming an undergraduate. The results highlight the importance of offering a well-framed early learning experience for students, which enables them to learn the skills needed for early academic success and provides continued support as they progress in their own time towards recognition of themselves as undergraduates. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that transition is not time bound, and individual students will need individual approaches. This will require institutions to consider how the support they offer can be tailored to a student's specific needs.
    • Busting the myth of gender bias: views from men and women primary-school trainees and teachers

      Mistry, Malini Tina; Sood, Krishan; University of Bedfordshire; Nottingham Trent University (Routledge, 2014-06-01)
      We explore the ideology associated with gender equality that despite primary schools and initial teacher education (ITE) institutions doing all they can to recruit men into primary education, a huge gender imbalance still exists. We frame our study around the notions of gender equality and professional responsibility. Using a multi-case study approach, this inquiry examined views of men and women from 12 English primary schools and one ITE institution regarding the cause and effect of gender bias. Findings show a differentially large gender gap in the sample schools and that there is good practice where schools are successful in attracting and retaining men teachers. Implications of these findings suggest that leaders in primary schools need to take a more active role to help change and shape the perceptions of men teachers in education. We conclude that leaders also need to help close the teacher gender gap in schools and ITE institutions through collaborative dialogue.
    • Can we fix education? living emancipatory pedagogy in Higher Education

      Clack, Jim (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-26)
      This paper discusses a 12-week, 15-credit module taught to second year undergraduates during semester 2 of 2017–18 academic year. The module, entitled ‘Deschooling’, aimed to explore notions of emancipatory and critical pedagogy, control and coercion in the education system. Rather than ‘teach’ these concepts as abstract academic theory, I aimed to provide students with ‘lived’ experiences of them. That is, the aim was to provide a ‘deschooled’, ‘unoppressed’ experience for students by facilitating, so far as possible, democratic decision-making amongst the group. Subsequent reflection on the successes (or otherwise) of the module threw up numerous points. This paper reports on one particular aspect – assessment. As part of the module, students were offered choice over not only how they might be assessed, but also whether or not they should be assessed. This paper then discusses the challenges surrounding critical pedagogy in the HE classroom and considers implications for future practice.
    • The challenge of achieving transparency in undergraduate honours-level dissertation supervision

      Malcolm, Mary; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis (Routledge), 2020-06-11)
      The undergraduate honours-level dissertation is a significant component of many UK undergraduate programmes, as a key stage in the longer-term intellectual and career development of potential researchers and knowledge-workers, and also a critical contributor to immediate award outcome. This study aims to identify how dissertation supervisors balance and deliver on these expectations. Qualitative analysis of twenty interviews conducted with supervisors at two post-1992 UK universities identifies how supervisors construct supervision as a multi-stage process. Supervisors describe how their individual supervisory practices enable them to maintain initial control of the dissertation, to extend supervisee autonomy at a central stage, and to distance supervisors further from the written output at a final stage in the process. This study questions whether this approach is satisfactory either in an institutional context where the supervisor is also first marker of work they may have shaped substantially, or as a pedagogic approach to developing research skills.
    • Cinderella and other stories…an exploration of practitioners’ views on bringing further education out of the shadows

      Thompson, Carol; Hopkins, Neil (University of Verona, 2019-05-08)
      Further education (FE) has frequently been portrayed as «the Cinderella service» in relation to other phases; a «submerged space» operating below the surface and out of sight of mainstream educational policy in England. A contrasting view depicts a sector often considered a panacea for social concerns. FE is charged with supplying a skilled workforce and has been portrayed as a vehicle for enhancing economic development (DfEE 1998, Leitch 2006). Despite this it has repeatedly suffered funding cuts (Tickle 2014) alongside imposed political change. This research explores the stories of tutors and managers affected by managerial processes in English FE. The findings revealed the impact of corporatisation on leadership as well as on tutor and student agency and explored how professional collaboration enabled practitioners to challenge the prevailing systems-driven culture in ways which would help the sector step out of the shadows.
    • Classroom-based action research with secondary school students: a teacher-researcher's reflection

      Wood, Audrey B.; University of Huddersfield (Emerald, 2017-05-02)
      Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to reflect on some of the professional and practical challenges which emerged during the process of carrying out a small-scale action research project into different approaches to teaching English Literature in a Year-9 secondary classroom, completed in part-fulfilment of the requirements for a higher degree. Design/methodology/approach: The author narrates an account of some of the difficulties faced by one emergent researcher whilst carrying out educational research in a comprehensive school in England. Findings: The author suggests that even within a research-supportive environment where “research” is encouraged or expected, there is often limited effort from management to articulate the practicalities or evaluate its effectiveness. Despite this, the author emphasises the benefits to teachers and students of undertaking small-scale action research projects into issues of contemporary professional concern in the classroom. The author argues for the involvement of school administrators and universities in supporting teacher-researchers. Originality/value: The value of this research lies in acknowledging some of the challenges that emergent researchers might face in conducting research in the context of the classroom, which might enable other teacher-researchers to anticipate and avoid similar problems in their own research, and circumvent criticism from those who believe that educational research should not be carried out by teachers.
    • The Common Assessment Framework form 9 years on: a creative process

      Nethercott, Kathryn (Wiley, 2016-04-19)
      Legislation within England states that local authorities should provide services for all those families in need. However, research has identified that regardless of the introduction of strategies to identify need and enhance family support, ongoing barriers to services adhere. Taking a social constructionist approach, this study explored professionals' experiences of the use of the Common Assessment Framework form. Data were collected in four different local authorities in two phases. Forty‐one professionals from a variety of agencies took part in semi‐structured interviews. Data were analyzed thematically. Findings demonstrate that the professionals experienced difficulties in working through the Common Assessment Framework process, for example, in completing the form and engaging families. This situation led to the more experienced and knowledgeable professionals utilising creative ways to successfully navigate the ‘referral process’. Such creative working practices included the terminology used to complete the form and how the process was ‘sold’ to parents, so that they could be in a better position to engage parents and complete the Common Assessment Framework form. Because of this, more experienced professionals seem to be able to accelerate the referral process in order to access much needed support services for children and young people.
    • A comparison of staff perceptions and student experiences of issues associated with university

      Briggs, Steven G.; Pritchett, Norma; University of Bedfordshire (Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE), 2010-05-31)
      A significant body of research (Yorke, 1999a; 1999b; 2000a; 2000b) has examined difficulties experienced by students who withdraw from university. However, less work has been undertaken around students who experience difficulties but choose to remain in their studies. Similarly, limited work has addressed how tutors and university support staff perceive difficulties associated with the student experience and whether these are in line with student accounts. The lack of research around university staff perceptions is surprising given that tutors must have a good knowledge of the student experience in order to be able to understand and support learning. The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, to examine what difficulties students reported experiencing during university and secondly, to ascertain if university staff knowledge of student difficulties were in line with student accounts. Using semi-structured interviews and an online questionnaire, staff and student perceptions of university difficulties were examined. Results showed that all students experienced difficulties whilst studying. It was generally found that university staff had a good knowledge of student difficulties. However, two types of difficulty were identified (related to university systems and experience of teaching) of which staff were less aware. Possible explanations for findings are offered along with recommendations as to how findings might influence a learning developer.  
    • Conceptions of learning in adult students embarking on distance education

      Makoe, Mpine; Richardson, John T.E.; Price, Linda; Open University (Springer Verlag (Germany), 2007-02-18)
      A 60-item questionnaire on conceptions of learning was mailed to students taking preparatory courses by distance learning with The Open University in the United Kingdom. Complete data were provided by 372 respondents. Their scores on six factor-based scales showed satisfactory internal consistency, cluster analysis identified five groups of students with distinct patterns of scores, and discriminant analysis identified the scales that served to distinguish among the clusters. Three groups had conceptions of learning based on critical thinking, personal development, and personal change, but the other groups had conceptions that were defined in largely negative terms. Adult learners embarking on distance education seem to hold distinctive conceptions of learning, which suggests that conceptions of learning are culturally and contextually dependent.
    • Constructing the university student in British documentary television

      Calver, Kay; Michael-Fox, Bethan (Routledge, 2021-03-18)
      As the number of university students in Britain has expanded so has public interest in them, expressed across a range of media. This chapter investigates how university students are conceptualised and represented in recent British documentary television. Conceiving of television as a space in which people experience and engage with complex social understandings, this chapter explores how these televisual representations reflect and negotiate a range of prominent socio-cultural concerns about students. We examine how excessive, distorted and caricatured notions of the student have led to representations that are often polarised, with students positioned as either ‘at risk’ and in need of protection or as posing ‘a risk’ to themselves, to other students, and to the university sector. In a context of shifting understandings about university students in Britain and when the expansion, cost, ‘worth’ and ‘value’ of higher education are all under scrutiny, this chapter analyses the ways in which media representations can both serve to highlight and evade the complex lived realities of university students. The documentaries examined here offer sometimes contradictory constructions of the higher education student that correspond to broader social and cultural shifts in the ways in which the university student is understood in contemporary Britain.
    • Constructive friction? charting the relation between educational research and the scholarship of teaching and learning

      Larsson, Maria; Martensson, Katarina; Price, Linda; Roxå, Torgny; Lund University; University of Bedfordshire (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) / University of Calgary, 2020-03-15)
      While educational research and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) are overlapping fields, over time there has appeared considerable friction between the two. There are claims that educational research has been tainted by SoTL’s emergence and that those engaged in SoTL lack adequate training. They maintain that those engaged in SoTL would benefit from a better understanding of educational research theories and methods. Some engaged in SoTL perceive educational research as too distanced from practice. What underpins these perceived differences between the two fields? How might this friction be explained? The study described in this article explored empirical, interview-based viewpoints from new and experienced educational researchers and SoTL scholars, respectively. Participants were purposefully drawn from attendees at two European conferences specializing in educational research and SoTL. The data was examined using thematic analysis and focused mainly on the perceived differences between these communities. The central themes that emerged where differences occurred are community membership and governance, scope and purpose of inquiry, and intended recipients of inquiry results. Some differences include what and who determines the value of the contribution to the field and why it is valuable. This article provides an empirically based understanding of the relative attributes of both communities. We hope that it leads to future discussions about further developing fruitful and constructive interrelationships.
    • Contested territories: English teachers in Australia and England remaining resilient and creative in constraining times

      O’Sullivan, Kerry-Ann; Goodwyn, Andrew; Macquarie University; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2020-07-23)
      Globally teachers are experiencing reductions to their autonomy and constraints on their professional practice through legislative impositions of limiting standards, external testing and narrowing curricula. This study explores the ways English educators find a balance between these external expectations, contemporary pressures, professional aspirations, and personal values. It was a qualitative investigation into the perceptions shared by thirty-three English teachers from New South Wales, Australia and across England. A significant gap now exists between the ways English teachers conceive their subject, their purposes and the nature of their work, and that determined by regulation, formalised curriculum and accreditation requirements. The enduring resilience of these teachers is revealed but also the corrosive structural effects produced by narrowly focused, neoliberal policies especially in relation to high stakes testing. However, the research demonstrates how certain English teachers remain remarkably resilient–retaining autonomy where they can–and we define this attribute as ‘adaptive agency’.
    • Creating communities: developing, enhancing and sustaining learning communities across the University of Bedfordshire

      Atlay, Mark; Coughlin, Annika; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2010)
      Creaton in Northamptonshire was the venue for the writing retreat that contributed to this volume of articles – the University’s second writing retreat. Hard on the heels of the success of the first event (Creating Bridges) a group of staff from across the University met during Easter week 2010 to discuss, review and write the various chapters in this volume. A wider cross-section of staff was involved this time extending beyond the CETL to encompass staff involved in research informed teaching and teaching and learning projects or those who just wanted to write about their own teaching and learning practices. Not forgetting our guest external, Jamie Thompson, a National Teaching Fellow at the University of Northumbria, who has been working with us on various projects.
    • Creating connections to weather the storm of marketisation

      Rainford, Jon (Taylor and Francis, 2020-04-17)
      Viewpoint