This section features blog posts around issues relating to professional learning. If you are interested in contributing a book review/blog please contact Dr Ewan Ingleby ( and read the guidance for contributors for full details.

French, A. and M. O’Leary (editors). Teaching Excellence in Higher Education: Challenges and the Teaching Excellence Framework. Bingley: Emerald

This book will interest you if you are teaching and/or researching in higher education. The book combines the talents of four experienced academics who work in a variety of University settings (Dr Amanda French; Dr Matt O’Leary [Birmingham City University]; Professor Sue Robson [Newcastle University]; and Dr Phil Wood [University...Read More »

Blanchard, J. 2017. Inside Teaching: How To Make A Difference For Every Teacher And Learner. London: Routledge

Blanchard, J. 2017. Inside Teaching: How To Make A Difference For Every Teacher And Learner. London: Routledge (172 pages, £19.99) This is a useful book for anyone who is interested in pedagogy and teacher education. The book is written in an accessible way and its structure is helpful as it covers...Read More »

Regan, L., and T. Unterrainer. 2016. Standing Up For Education. London: Spokesman Books

Regan, L., and T. Unterrainer. 2016. Standing Up For Education. London: Spokesman Books (150 pages, £7.95). Education, Education, Education Regan and Unterrainer have brought together seventeen people who stand up for education. Combining knowledge and commitment their writings provide perspective, insight, evidence and hope. The first seven letters of professional give us...Read More »

Ainley, P. 2016. Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People. London: Policy Press

Ainley, P. 2016. Betraying a Generation: How Education is Failing Young People. London: Policy Press (148 pages, £7.99) ‘This is a good book and I like it’ (W.H. Auden 1971). Patrick Ainley has written a book that makes clear critical sense of what has been happening to education in recent years and...Read More »

David, M.E. 2016. Mainstream or Tributary. A Feminist Manifesto for Education. London: Polity Press

David, M.E. 2016.  Mainstream or Tributary. A Feminist Manifesto for Education. London: Polity Press. £15.99, 200 pages “I would not be seen dead walking down the street with a ‘feller’ carrying a shopping bag. It’s a woman’s job”. This was fifteen-year-old Agnes speaking to me not long after the passing of the...Read More »

Stork, A. and Walker, B. (2015) Becoming an Outstanding Personal Tutor: Critical Publishing

Published under Critical Publishing Further Education Series the series editor is Susan Wallace ‘The diverse backgrounds of today’s students mean that the role of the personal tutor is more important than ever’ (Swain, 2008) The complexities of supporting the learning needs of students in the 21st century be they in further education,...Read More »

Boyd, P., Hymer, B. and Lockley, K. (2015) Learning Teaching: Becoming an Inspirational Teacher: Critical Publishing

Title: Learning Teaching: Becoming an Inspirational Teacher Authors: Pete Boyd, Barry Hymer and Karen Lockley Publishers: Critical Publishing, 160 pages, regular price £18.00 What is my impact on learning and learners? Learning Teaching: Becoming an Inspirational Teacher offers an interesting and unique approach to explore the complexities of learning how to teach and extending...Read More »

Bruce A. Van Sledright (2014) Assessing Historical Thinking and Understanding Innovative Designs for New Standards. New York and London: Routledge

Cost: $30.95 This book advocates, and offers models for, a revised system for the assessment of history for secondary aged pupils as currently practiced within the US school system. It also intends to promote an approach to historical pedagogy that gives a focus on the methods of the historian and the...Read More »

Carroll, M. and McCulloch M. (2014) Understanding teaching and learning in primary education: London: Sage

Pages: 323 Price: £19.79   This book explores the wide ranging and dynamic aspects of teaching in primary education. It is aimed primarily at trainee teachers and those engaged in continuing professional development. The text draws together the processes of teaching and learning and the wider theoretical research and policy contents which are...Read More »

Jolliffe, W., Waugh, D., Beverton, S. & Stead, J. (2014) Supporting Readers in Secondary School. London: SAGE

Number of pages: 115 Cost: £22.99 This book is primarily aimed at secondary PGCE and undergraduate students in Initial Teacher Education (ITE). It provides support and advice to the reader through a series of chapters relating to the teaching of reading in secondary schools. Each chapter is well-structured; presenting the reader with...Read More »

Action Research, Innovation and Change International Perspectives Across Disciplines. Oxon: Routledge. Edited by Thomas Stern, Andrew Townsend, Franz Rauch, and Angela Schuster. (2014)

Number of pages: 232 Cost: Paperback £26.99, Hardback £90 ‘Action Research, Innovation and Change’ presents an edited volume of current writing on action research (AR) from the perspective of leading international researchers in the field. The book uses case studies, taken from the 2011 annual ‘Collaborative Action Research Network’ (CARN) conference, to...Read More »

L. Becker (2014) Presenting your research. London: Sage.

Pages: 146 Price: £19.99 This is a practical overview for giving academic or professional presentations at conferences, symposiums, round-table discussions and other contexts. The book takes the reader through the whole process, from finding an event at which to contribute, preparing and submitting an abstract, choosing and preparing material, using presentation aids,...Read More »

Race, P (2014) Third Edition Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education. London: Sage

Number of pages: 290 Cost: None given The second decade of the 21st century has signalled some significant changes in the way we present learning in post compulsory learning. Teachers and lecturers need to be able to offer students different experiences in digital communication, online learning and MOOCs alongside more traditional teaching...Read More »

Xiaixin W (2014) School Choice in China London: Routledge

162 pages Cost: full RP 90 GBP This book does exactly what it says: it explores school choice in China. However the title does not do full credit to this fascinating book which gives an interesting overview of China’s political, social and education system and its workings, both formal and informal, and...Read More »

Bhopal K and Maylor U (eds) (2014) Educational Inequalities: Difference and Diversity in Schools and Higher Education, London: Routledge

288 pages This book was published in 2014 and is essentially a collection of work from across part of the globe focussing on the key issue of educational inequalities. This is an ambitious goal in itself but then to consider both schools and higher education makes the task even more difficult. The...Read More »

Temple, P.(Ed.) (2012) Universities in the Knowledge Economy: Higher Education Organisation and Global Change, London: Routledge

Number of pages: 250 Cost: none given Our universities….are the foundation of our knowledge economy’ (BIS, 2009, p. 55) Paul Temple has gathered together academics from across the world that share an interest in higher education policy. Temple recognises that universities have become the drivers for the knowledge economy and as a consequence...Read More »

Said, S.B. and Zhang, L.J.(Eds.) (2014) Language Teachers and Teaching: Global Perspectives, Local Initiatives, New York: Routledge

345 pages Cost: £85 hardcover This volume forms part of the well-established series ‘Routledge Research in Education’ and is a companion piece to the earlier linguistics centred ‘Language Teaching through the Ages’ (Wheeler, 2013). As its title promises, Said’s and Zhang’s edited collection brings together a number of empirical studies from across...Read More »

Yancy G and del Guadalupe Davidson (eds) (2014) Exploring Race in Predominantly White Classrooms: Scholars of Color Reflect

239 pages ISBN 978 0 415 83669  Effectively this text consists of seventeen papers written specifically for this book by ‘scholars of color’ working as faculty (academic staff) in institutions of higher education in USA.  Each paper contains examples and personal, biographical anecdotes covering many of their experiences. These episodes are theorised...Read More »

Bevis T B (2014) A History of Higher Education Exchange: China and America, London: Routledge

Routledge in International and Comparative Education ISBN 978-0-415-83990-3 235 pages This book is part of the series that offers a ‘global platform to engage scholars in continuous academic debate on key challenges and the latest thinking on issues in the fast growing field of International and Comparative Education.’ It is set in the...Read More »

Fuller K (2014) Gender Identity and Educational Leadership, London: Bloomsbury

Cost: £75.00 hardback ISBN: 978144116607490100  In her exploration of Gender. Identity and Educational Leadership, Kay Fuller discusses ‘how head teachers’ social identities – particularly pertaining to gender, social class and ethnicity – influence their leadership of diverse populations of pupils and staff.’[1] The book makes a very welcome contribution to intersecting fields...Read More »

Murphy D (2013) Professional School Leadership: Dealing with Dilemmas, Second edition, London: Dunedin

Number of pages: 196 ISBN: 978-1-78046-018-5 Cost:  £17.95 Dilemma: (a solution involving choice between two unsatisfactory alternatives; (b) a problem seemingly incapable of a satisfactory solution. New Penguin English Dictionary (2000) (p.1) This quote takes the reader on a journey of discovery that describes the day-to-day life of most school leaders. A role not...Read More »

Newton, Douglas P. (2014) Thinking with Feeling London: Routledge

204 pages Cost: £22.99 Douglas Newton combines scholarship and accessibility to produce a worthwhile addition to the literature on the relationship between thinking and feeling. He begins with a concise introduction to some of the issues in the interaction of cognition and emotion or, as he puts it, ‘sense and sensibility’. For...Read More »

Kucer, S. (2014) Dimensions of Literacy: A conceptual base for teaching reading and writing in school settings 4th Edition London: Routledge

ISBN: 978 0 415 82646 4 372 pages           £30.99 This book is well structured and guides the reader through the inter-relationship between four key themes relating to literacy: the Linguistic and Other Sign Systems Dimensions of Literacy; the Cognitive Dimension of Literacy; the Sociocultural Dimension of Literacy and the Developmental Dimension of Literacy. Each theme considers key...Read More »

Kennedy K J, Fairbrither G P and Shenzhou Z (2014) Citizenship Education in China: Preparing Citizens for the “Chinese Century” London: Routledge

Edited by Kerry J. Kennedy, Gregory P Fairbrother, Zhenzhou Zhao. Routledge 2013. 268 pages. Series on Schools and Schooling in Asia. Hardback: £80.00. ISBN13: 978-0-415-50272-6 The reader is left in no doubt as to the problematic nature of the term ‘citizenship education’ in China but this selection of papers from both Hong...Read More »

Krogh, S.L & Morehouse, P. (2014) The Early Childhood Curriculum: Inquiry Learning Through Integration. New York: Routledge

ISBN 978-0-415-82822-2 358 pages £55.99 This book explores the philosophy of ‘Inquiry Based Learning’ through an integrated curriculum, within the context of early years practice. It is written with a North American audience in mind, but the underlying principles of early years’ education mean that it is appropriate for a much wider...Read More »

Pollard A with Black-Hawlins K, Cliff Hodges G, Dudley P, James M, Linklater H, Swaffiled S, Swann M, Turner F, Warwick P, WInterbottom M and Wolpert M (2014) Reflective Teaching in Schools. 4th Edition, London: Bloomsbury

558 pages ISBN:   978 1 4411 9170 0 AND Pollard A (ed) (2014) Readings for  Reflective Teaching in Schools  2nd Edition  London: Bloomsbury 484 pages ISBN:  978 1 4725 0974 1  It is very difficult to write a review of effectively two texts, each of some 500 pages.  For a practitioner the core text is...Read More »

Meyer H-D. & Benavot A. (eds.) (2013) PISA, Power, and Policy: the emergence of global educational governance. Oxford: Symposium Books

335 pages ISBN 978-1-873927-96-0 The book is a series of essays from 23 different authors. After an overview in the introduction, and an insight into how PISA data has been used, the book is divided into four main sections: The Finland paradox; PISA, institutions, and the globalization of education governance; Non-educational influences...Read More »

Marks, G. (2014) Education, Social Background and Cognitive Ability. Abingdon: Routledge

ISBN 978-0-415-84246-4 292 pages (242 without references and index) Cost £74.50 From the outset, Gary Marks, the author of Education, Social Background and Cognitive Ability makes clear his intention in writing this book; to challenge commonly held views on the relationship between socioeconomic inequality, cognitive ability and educational and economic outcomes. The author...Read More »

Smith P and Bell L (2014) Leading Schools in Challenging Circumstances: Strategies for Success London: Bloomsbury

171 pages ISBN:  978 1 4411 8405 4 Although  the authors claim that the text is divided into two parts, this is not shown in the contents – which divides the text into chapters, but not parts.  In fact, the early chapters do provide a contextualisation and a conceptualist on of ‘challenging...Read More »

Holliman A J (ed) (2014) The Routledge International Companion to Educational Psychology London: Routledge

Pages: 351 (including index) Price: unspecified The book is divided into four parts. Section 1 is an introduction to educational psychology. Section 2 deals with the way in which children learn; Section 3 discusses issues concerning the assessment of children and finally section 4 relates of identification of and meeting the needs...Read More »

Early P (2014) Exploring the School Leadership Landscape: Changing demands, changing realities London: Bloomsbury

180 pages £62.15 (hc)  £22.99 (pb) This latest edited book by Peter Earley is presents those of us who are interested in the development of school leadership policy and practice, with an opportunity to  pause and review progress since the turn of the century. The nine chapters take a largely research-based approach...Read More »

Singre A J and the Hofstra New Teachers Network (2014) Teaching to Learn. Learning to Teach 2nd Edition. London: Routledge

233 pages Second edition  (first edition 2004) This book is about learning to be a teacher and adopts a firmly integrated approach. It links theory with practice, knowledge with critical analysis, practicality with beliefs and values. It offers a model somewhat clumsily named PRO/CLASS to frame the chapters. PRO/CLASS stands for...Read More »

Winkle-Wagnrer R and Locks A M (2014) Diversity and Inclusion on Campus: Supporting racially and ethnically under-represented students. London: Routledge

218 pages ISBN 978 0 415 80707 4 For students of, and practitioners in, the post secondary sector in the USA, this book is comprehensive in terms of racial and ethnic diversity and diversity and inclusion matters.  It does not, by the writers’ own admission, and despite fleeting references, cover matters pertaining...Read More »

Hopson R K and Dixson D D (eds) (2014) Race, Ethnography and Education. London: Routledge

138 pages ISBN:  978 0 415 85458 0 This text is a book developed from a previously published special edition of ‘Ethnography in Education’.  It consists of a collection of seven articles, organised into three sections.  Unless the reader holds this information in his/her head it is difficult to know when one...Read More »

Biesta G, Allan J and Edwards R (eds) Making a Difference in Theory: The theory question in education and the education question in theory. London: Routledge

216 pages In creating a space for scholars from across the English-speaking world as well as those situated in Continental modes of education research and education practice, this book considers the role and function of theory from historical and contemporary, cultural, political and moral perspectives. The first in a new series entitled...Read More »

Egan K, Cant A and Judson G (eds)(2014) Wonder-full Education: The centrality of wonder in teaching and learning across the curriculum. London: Routledge

243 pages Wonder-full Education focuses on the nature of wonder within education from a teachers’ perspective and within the joy of learning from a learners’ perspective. It is about the fascination felt when being taught by a knowledgeable passionate teacher. Whilst a play on words, the title Wonder-full Education considers how...Read More »

Lingard B (2014) Politics, Policies and Pedagogies in Education: The selected works of Bob Lingard. London: Routledge

£90, 233pp ISBN 978-0-415-84145-0 As someone who is deeply interested in education policy, the opportunity to review this book came as a delight. It is a sumptuous collection and joins the World Library of Educationalists series of scholars at the forefront of education and educational thinking.  The World Library series gathers career...Read More »

Niesche R (2014): Deconstructing Educational Leadership: Derrida and Lyotard London. Routledge

Number of pages: 144 ‘Leadership is more than an event’ (p58) Deconstructing Educational Leadership is an apt title for a book that takes two leading philosophers and critical thinkers to review education leadership. The book is part of a series in Critical Studies in Educational Leadership, Management and Administration (ELMA). A post-doctoral...Read More »

Lawn M (ed) (2013) The Rise of Data in Education Systems: Collection, visualization and use Oxford: Symposium Books

160 page ISBN:  978 1 873927 32 8 I must admit that the title of this edited text did not excite me, but I did feel it would be useful for me to examine how and why the use of data has become so prevalent over recent years.  Some three years...Read More »

C. Day and D. Gurr (eds)(2014) Leading Schools Successfully: Stories from the field London: Routledge

Number of pages: 214 Cost: £85.00 This edited book on leadership in schools derives from the longitudinal International Successful School Principalship project (ISSPP) which sought, over a period of more than ten years, to compare and analyse the processes of leadership in successful schools in over fifteen countries. It is the fourth...Read More »

O’Leary M (2014) Classroom Observation: A guide to the effective observation of teaching and learning London: Routledge

The book explores the role of classroom observation in the training assessment and development of new and experienced teachers. It describes various perspectives of classroom observation and its use in different contexts. There are three sections of which the first contextualises the topic against the wider socio-political and educational backdrop...Read More »

Branscombe N, Gunnels Burcham J, Castle K, Surbeck E with Dorsey A and Taylor J (2014) Early Childhood Curriculum: A constructivist perspective Second Edition London: Routledge

Number of pages 368 (including glossary, references and index) 341 (without) It is a book which promotes the active participation of practitioners and teachers in the development of their own classroom practice. The focus is curriculum design and implementation from a constructivist base; Piaget’s theory of ‘knowing’ and ‘how knowledge develops’...Read More »

Gilbert, I (2013) Essential Motivation in the Classroom: Oxon: Routledge

208 pages Cost: £17.99 (paperback) ISBN 978 0 415 64355 9 This book provides comprehensive guidance for enhancing pupil motivation in the classroom and the benefits from doing so. This book was first published ten years ago, yet surprisingly given the pace of change in education it is still relevant for today’s classroom....Read More »

Moll L C (2014) L S Vygotsky and Education London: Routledge

Number of pages: 173 Cost: unspecified This book examines how Vygotskian theory influences education in such diverse ways as child development, bilingual learners, development of language and literacy and inclusive practices. It is divided into four chapters beginning with biography of Lev Vygotsky. The remaining three chapters relate to the author’s research...Read More »

Van Brunt B and Scott Lewis W (eds) (2014) A Faculty Guide to Addressing Disruptive and Dangerous Behaviour, New York: Routledge

219 pages ISBN:  978 0 415 62828 0 It is essential to point out that this book is American.  Although the extreme consequences of neglecting behavioural issues may not seem altogether relevant to a European readership (mass shootings and murders on University campuses) there are many useful pointers regarding the risks faced...Read More »

Murray N and Klinger C (eds) (2014) Aspirations, Access and Attainment: International perspectives on widening participation and an agenda for change, London: Routledge

Pages: 195 ISBN:  978-0-415-82878-9 The international scope of this text covers the UK, USA, Australia and South Africa as a representative of sub-Saharan Africa.  The themes of widening participation and student retention are covered in great detail.  Indeed the issue of Widening Participation is dealt with from several dimensions – socio-economic, individual/moral...Read More »

McIntosh P and Warren D (2013) Creativity in the Classroom, Bristol: Intellect

284 pages ISBN 978 1 84150 516 9 The book consists of five parts, covering a range of teaching methods from several creative arts subject areas, including drama, film, music, poetry, photography, fine arts.  What is unique is that the teaching techniques described, and analysed relate to teaching and learning in very...Read More »

Gijbels D, Donche V, Richardson J, and Vermunt J (eds) (2014) Learning Patterns in Higher Education, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

313 pages ISBN  978 0 415 84252 5 This excellent text poses many uncomfortable questions to those with a responsibility for learning and teaching in University settings.  It is an edited text with contributions from writers from all over the world.  It is, however well edited, although several points are repeated throughout...Read More »

Crowley S (ed) (2014) Challenging Professional Learning, London: Routledge

164 pages ISBN:  978-0-415-81694-6 Sue Rowley, the editor presents, in the final chapter, what she feels are the key issues covered in this edited text: Personalised learning Leadership and responsible, earned autonomy Resourcing CPD Measure of impact and success Learning cultures and expansive learning environments In fact the book offers far more, and the selected title is very...Read More »

Gable, S.L. and Connor, D, j. (2014) Disability and Teaching. Reflective Teaching and the Social Conditions of Schooling. A Series for Prospective and Practicing Teachers. Abingdon, Routledge

Number of pages: 145 Cost: not specified The book is concerned with disability and teaching and is written by two university teacher educators who have worked previously in inner-city, small town and suburban elementary and middle school in the United States of America. They start from a premise that what happens within...Read More »

Goodfellow R and Lea M (eds) (2013) Literacy in the Digital University: Critical perspectives on learning, scholarship and technology, London: Routledge

213 pages ISBN:  978 0 415 53797 1 Many universities have, as an aspiration, that students leave as graduates, and that the graduates are digitally literate.  This edited book contains thirteen chapters, all of which cover that theme.  There is though a critical thread that runs throughout.  Providing in-house learning platforms, and...Read More »

Luckin R, Puntambekar S, Goodyear P, Granowski B, Underwood J, Winters N (2013) Handbook of Design in Education London: Routledge

516 pages Hardback: £140.00  Paperback: £70.00 ISBN: 978-0-415-80734-0, 978-0-415-80735-7 In its own introduction the book appears to cover a very wide range. Primarily it offers itself as a synthesis of current research in the field of the design of educational technology environments to support learning.  It then offers the extension of this potentially...Read More »

Caldwell, B. and Spinks, J. (2013) The Self-Transforming School. London: Routledge

Number of pages: 213 ISBN: 978-0-415-66059-4 This book is the fifth in the series of books which began in 1988 with The Self-Managing School. It moves the concept of self-management forward within this book. The idea of self-managing has developed into that of self- transforming, whereby schools are transforming their own education...Read More »

Reid K (2014) Managing School Attendance Oxon: Routledge

220 Pages ISBN: 978 0 415 85447 4 Cost: Unspecified This book is focussed on school attendance, and as the author Reid states, it takes stock of where we are in the search towards finding effective solutions for improving school attendance and reducing truancy and non- attendance. It also suggests some ways of...Read More »

Baildon M,Seng L K, Lim I M, Inanc G and Jaffar J (eds) (2014) Controversial History Eductation in Asian Contexts London: Routledge

ISBN: 978 0 41583352 3 This book provides an open exploration of both history textbook controversies and teaching historical controversy in Asian contexts. This includes case studies from a variety of countries and historical events spanning time and distance. The book is well structured and guides the reader through the issues of...Read More »