iREd book launch to showcase six Beds publications

Tue 22 June, 2021
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A book launch showcasing six new works authored by University of Bedfordshire academics is taking place on Wednesday 23rd June.

The books, all written or edited by staff linked with the University’s Institute for Research in Education (iREd), bring to the fore the fascinating research being conducted in the School of Education and English Language (SEEL) and the School of Teacher Education.

With a chance to meet the authors of these six new works – either recently published or due to be published later this year – the book launch is free to attend via Collaborate. The link to join is available through the University’s Events page, with the event running from 6-7pm.

Click on each section below to read comments from the authors on their book’s focus, how they found the writing experience and their thoughts on the upcoming launch event. More information about each publication can also be found on Padlet.


Malini Mistry“Our book is about supporting all those who work with children who have English as an additional language (EAL) to help them better understand their needs for long term gain, rather than short term temporary strategies.

“We hope to support practitioners who lack confidence in working with children who have English as an additional language so that they are not ignored, excluded or seen as problem children.

“The inspiration for this book stemmed from both authors being EAL children in different contexts but yet facing similar challenges and prejudices. Essentially, we are writing from the heart and from our own lived experiences.

“We are proud to share our knowledge and expertise with others to help them in their practice. We are also proud to have our book launched within iREd.”

Meeting the Needs of Young Children with English as an Additional Language by Malini Mistry and Krishan Sood is available for purchase here.


Karen Wicks“The book provides teacher educators with an understanding of the issues around mathematics anxiety. It provides a framework of teaching strategies to support undergraduates, trainee teachers and established professionals in primary settings to develop their confidence in learning and teaching mathematics.

“My background has been as a teacher, advisor and senior lecturer. Throughout my career, I have encountered many enthusiastic and confident learners and teachers of mathematics, and I have enjoyed the perspective they bring to the classroom; however, what has always worried me is how to support those who feel anxious about learning mathematics and the impact this might have on their teaching.

“If adults working with children are anxious, this could be passed on to the children they work with. This has led me to carry out research within this field to identify, from the learners’ perspectives, what strategies might be employed to help develop their confidence.

“The process of writing a book was an interesting one. It was important to have a proper structure for writing the different elements of the book and once that was in place I particularly enjoyed the writing process. This was an ambition of mine which I am proud to have achieved and my hope is that what I have discovered will support others.

“I have attended several events relating to the publication of my book and am pleased to have been asked to feature in the iREd book launch as well.”

An online news story about Dr Wicks’ book can be read for further information: www.beds.ac.uk/news/2021/february/new-book-set-to-tackle-mathematics-anxiety 

Tackling Anxiety in Primary Mathematics by Dr Karen Wicks is available for purchase here.


Carol Thompson“In 2018 I co-authored The Trainee Teacher’s Handbook which was a guide to getting the most out of the teacher training experience. Luckily the book turned out to be very popular but I was mindful that there was very little in the teacher training book portfolio that continued to provide support when training was complete. 

Being a Teacher evolved out of this idea and is focussed on the things we need to think about when we are actually in the role. The thread running through the book is the importance of developing a professional identity and along with that, agency, so it explores topics like how our world view influences teaching, the importance of flexibility and curiosity, managing the roles we play and making the most of communities of discovery to extend our own learning. 

“One of the key ideas in the book is that it isn’t limited to education theory. Taking inspiration from Arthur Koestler’s work, The Act of Creation, the structure of the book is based around the idea of bisociation (using ideas from very different fields) as a way of creating new ideas. As a result, the book has been informed by literature and psychology as well as education and leadership theory.

“The idea for Reflective Practice for Professional Development evolved from my own work as a Teacher Educator and my view that even though we talk about reflective practice in very positive terms, when teacher training ends, so too does any form of dedicated reflection.  My aim was to produce a book which explored the purpose of reflection in a very accessible way and alongside this presented practical strategies would could be used to extend reflective practice.  Although the book title suggests it is a ‘guide for teachers’, the examples within it are not necessarily limited to a teaching context – reflection is for everyone and this book is about encouraging more people to do it.

“It is such an achievement for iREd as a research institute to be able to promote so many books this year and I am so pleased to be a part of that.”

Being a Teacher by Dr Carol Thompson and Dr Peter Wolstencroft is available for purchase here.

Reflective Practice for Professional Development – a Guide for Teachers
by Dr Carol Thompson is available for pre-order here.


Steve Connolly“The book is part history and part discussion of the study of media texts in the English curriculum. From the inception of the first National curriculum in England in 1990, the study of media formed an integral part of English (it was for example, a compulsory component of GCSE English), but the 2014 iteration of the National curriculum got rid of it completely.

“This is one of the things that prompted me to write the book, and why it is subtitled "Returning to Nowhere" because an English curriculum without media appears to me to return to a sort of pre-20th century of idea of English in which the media does not exist. The book also looks at the teaching of Media in English prior to 1990, of which there was a good deal, and also how other countries treat Media texts in their first-language curricula. 

“I came to write the book after doing some research in the National Archives at Kew. I was writing a book chapter for another project, and came across a huge amount of documentation which showed how important and carefully considered the role of Media texts were, both in that initial development of the 1990 National Curriculum and in the 20 year period afterwards.

“There were letters, minutes of meetings and memoranda from all sorts of people (civil servants, government ministers, school inspectors, academics and teachers) discussing and reflecting on the role Media should play in the new English curriculum. This was fascinating to me, and I realised that there was so much in the archives that only a book could really do it justice. 

“I'm very proud to have the book launched alongside some very esteemed colleagues within iREd. I've also been involved in "Bringing the Curriculum to Life", and the breadth of books in the launch show what a fantastic range of interesting and relevant research is going on in both SEEL and the School of Teacher Education.”

The Changing Role of Media in the English Curriculum: Returning to Nowhere by Dr Steve Connolly is available for pre-order here.


Janice and Karen“The focus of the book is clear acknowledgement of the importance of creating curricula that engage learners in their studies at all stages of formal education if they are to achieve levels of which they are capable in schools and colleges.

“The rich and diverse collection of contributions made in this book by current and previous members of the Institute for Research in Education and colleagues associated with the institute reflect a range of values, assumptions and ideas about how and in what ways different groups and communities may construct, enact and imaginatively extend curriculum within (and sometimes outside) of state-maintained schools at different levels and in different areas of the curriculum.

“A core intention of this book, is to offer its readership a wider lens through which to revisit and reflect on some of the assumptions that inform the design and delivery of curriculum in practice. Some of the overarching questions and ideas raised foreground the implicit tensions and opportunities connected to the rights of learners, the role of parents, the state and other stakeholders.

“The inspiration for this book came from our own experiences as teachers in schools where we realised the overwhelming significance to achievement during the years of compulsory education and to enhanced future life chances of students’ engagement and interest in learning.

“We were aware that other colleagues in, and associated with, the Faculty of Education and Sport at the University, felt equally strongly about this issue and had carried out important research and publication in this area. We were very pleased, therefore, when these colleagues agreed to contribute chapters for this publication.”

Bringing the Curriculum to Life: Engaging Learners in the English Education System by Professor Janice Wearmouth and Dr Karen Lindley is available for purchase here.

Professor Andy Goodwyn, Head of School of Education and English Language, is proud to see so many iREd academics publishing titles this year. He commented:

“The work done across both the School of Education and English Language and the School of Teacher Education deserves to be showcased in thoughtful and engaging titles and our academics have done an amazing job in making that a reality.

“I am looking forward to seeing the new publications featured at the iREd book launch and I am certain it will be a terrific display of the important research carried out at the University.”

The iREd book launch begins at 6pm on Wednesday 23rd of June. Visit the University’s Events page to access the Collaborate link.

For more information about the University of Bedfordshire’s Institute for Research in Education, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/ired

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