Presenting our Faculty Publications – Autumn 2017

After the long summer, now is the perfect time to catch up with some of the new publications written by Faculty of Education Academic Staff.  This is the first in a series of blog posts which will include overviews from the authors themselves.

We start off with science education and the following edited work includes chapters written by three Education Faculty members:

Abrahams, I., & Reiss, M. J. (Eds.). (2017). Enhancing learning with effective practical science 11-16. London: Bloomsbury.

Elaine Wilson – Chemistry: Session guides 11-14
Mark Winterbottom – Biology: Session guides 11-14
James de Winter – Introduction & Physics: Session guides 11-14

Enhancing learning with effective practical science 11-16

“In recent years there have been many questions asked about the value of practical work in science and whether or not it really supports learning. This led to some large scale national and international research projects to explore how to make practical work more effective to support students understanding of ideas in science. This book draws together a summary of this research as well as providing clear, direct and specific advice for how teachers can apply these idea in their classrooms. Elaine Wilson, Mark Winterbottom and James de Winter have co-authored subject specific chapters for Biology, Chemistry and Physics that provide this research informed advice for teachers.” (James de Winter)


Next we move onto higher education with the following publication, co-written by one of our Professors, Anna Vignoles:


Family background & university success

“Our latest book provides a recent empirical overview of what is really happening in terms of access to higher education and graduate outcomes. The book seeks to provide insight into how it is that we have such a big gap between rich and poor students in the likelihood of going to university. We show that if a student achieves well in school, the likelihood of going to university is similar for both rich and poor students – even after the introduction of tuition fees. The problem is that poor students are less likely to achieve well in school and addressing this is crucial if we are to widen participation in higher education to a broader set of students.” (Anna Vignoles)

Anna has also co-written an article in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy:


Our next publication includes two chapters by four Education Faculty members – Louis Major, Bjoern Haßler, Sara Hennessy & Keith Taber:

Handbook on digital learning k 12

Major, L., Haßler, B., & Hennessy, S.
Tablet use in schools: impact, affordances and considerations


“The increased popularity of tablet computers (e.g. iPads) has led to uptake in education. This chapter builds upon the authors’ past research and experience, in particular the findings of a critical systematic literature review that reports on the use of tablets in schools [see Haßler, B., Major, L., & Hennessy, S. (2016). Tablet use in schools: a critical review of the evidence for learning outcomes. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32(2), 139-156.]. The aim of that review was to determine if, when and how using tablets impacts on learning outcomes. Outcomes of this review enable the authors to reflect on the impact and affordances of using tablets educationally, and allows them to consider factors related to the successful integration of tablets in schools. This chapter provides information and advice for educators (including initial teacher educators) and school policy makers interested in the educational use of tablets. Overall, the chapter reports how tablets have significant potential for enhancing learning—but, as with all technology—the most important element remains the teacher, and their classroom practice.” (Louis Major)

Taber, K.
The role of new educational technology in teaching and learning: a constructivist perspective on digital learning

“This chapter explores the role of digital tools in teaching and learning from the context of a constructivist perspective on learning. I would like to think the chapter might be useful both for anyone undertaking research into digital tools in learning, and for teachers (and future teachers) in thinking about how they should incorporate such tools into their work with students.” (Keith Taber)


If you are not able to come into the Library, the following ebook by David Bridges can be accessed with your RAVEN Password:


Philosophy in educational research“Philosophy in Educational Research is written as much for the wider educational research community as for philosophers by an author who has played a prominent role in both academic communities and is in a style that should make it readily accessible as well as highly relevant to research students and courses on research methods. Its 26 chapters are in four sections addressing issues of epistemology, ethics, politics and quality in educational research. There is wide ranging reference to contemporary international literature as well as historical sources and this as well as its discussion of issues encountered in research across different societies and cultures should make it especially useful to international research students.” (David Bridges)


Remember to look out for our next post, but in the meantime, you can keep up-to-date with all new additions to the Education Library collection, both print and electronic, by following #EdFacPublications on Twitter or our Pinterest board.

New BooksSee all the new titles on our Pinterest Board

When is an ebook not an ebook?

The new iDiscover catalogue lists two different types of ebooks – those that are e-legal deposit titles which can only be accessed from computers within certain Cambridge Libraries and those titles that can be accessed from anywhere.  To distinguish between the two, follow our guide below.

The wording in grey in the image below indicates that the book can only be accessed from specific computers in certain libraries in Cambridge:


The Education Faculty Library has one of these computers on Lily Pad 2, and from here you are able to either read the material online or print up to a chapter/10%.


We realise that using e-legal deposit titles in the Education Library is not going to be possible or convenient for many of our students, especially those studying at a distance from Cambridge.

However, if you let us know what it is you would like to read, we can probably help as we often have access to the material another way, either in print or as a ‘proper’ ebook that can be accessed away from Cambridge.  If we don’t, we are happy to consider purchasing it.

Ebooks that can be accessed from anywhere look like this on the catalogue and you’ll just need your Raven password to access them via the green wording below:


Remember that all Education ebooks can be accessed via the database on the Faculty Library Moodle site and all of these are ‘proper’ ebooks which you can consult anywhere.

When is an ebook not an ebook?

If you haven’t already seen this image on the LibrarySearch catalogue, be sure that it will be appearing on a list of search results near you soon!

But what does it actually mean?


Any material with the ‘Conditions of use’ label refers to books and journals that have been deposited at the University Library by publishers in a digital format, rather than in print.  Unfortunately, these titles can only be used on specific computers in certain libraries in Cambridge.

We have one of these ‘E-Legal Deposit’ computers in the Education Library on Lily Pad 2 but you can only read the material online – it’s not possible to print, download, copy and paste or photograph the material you access from here.


We realise that using e-legal deposit titles on this computer in the Education Library is not going to be possible or convenient for many of our students, especially those studying at a distance from Cambridge.

However, if you let us know which title you would like to read we can probably help you as we often have access to the material another way, either in print or as a less restrictive ebook/ejournal through the resources subscribed to by the University.

If we don’t, we will consider purchasing it either as a print book or as an ebook which can be accessed outside of Cambridge Libraries.


Latest education ebooks


Another 14 ebooks (including the 4 pictured) have recently been added to our collection.   These include Madeleine Arnot’s co-authored text Education, asylum and the non-citizen child, David Whitley’s Idea of Nature in Disney Animation, several titles on children’s literature and the philosophy of education as well as others.

For a full list of our latest titles, click here.

If you have any problems or questions about accessing  ebooks (or any other electronic material), please contact the Faculty Library team and we will be happy to help you.



The results are in…


Photo by grandgrrl @ Flickr

We’ve had a fantastic response (553 / 32%) to our print book/ebook Library survey – a BIG BIG thank you to everybody who took the time to complete it for us.

The 3 winners of the Amazon vouchers have been selected at random and will be contacted very soon.

Initial findings show that 25% of respondents have yet to use an ebook from the Faculty/University collections!  A dislike of reading on screen was given as the most common reason for not using ebooks.


Of those of you who do read ebooks, 60% just look at a few pages or read a chapter and only 2% of respondents are happy to read the whole of an ebook on screen.

Overall, less than 10% of you prefer ebooks to print books; almost 50% of you prefer print and 42% like to be able to use both.  The latter is echoed in the qualitative data which suggests that we need to continue to provide both print books and ebooks to meet your research needs.

We were overwhelmed by the lovely comments that you took the time to write!  Many of you said how much you valued the knowledge, expertise and helpfulness of the Library staff, and as professional Librarians we were delighted by this.  We are a reflective team and we aim to provide a responsive service to all of our users within current financial constraints.

We have noticed that several of you have asked specific questions and if you would like us to respond individually to those, please get in touch with us (  We have a wealth of information to evaluate and we will post updates on this blog over the coming weeks as we analyse it.  Watch this space!

Are print books becoming obsolete?

Statistics just out show that the use of ebooks across the University has increased dramatically this year compared to last. With 5 out of 10 of the top most accessed ebooks being Education titles we would have expected the use of our print books to decrease drastically too.  So do we still need print copies? Looking at the print use of our most borrowed titles which are available as ebooks the answer is more complex than you would expect.  Yes, there are significant drops in the print use of some titles but also, some surprising increases in the use of others.

 Increase or decrease in use of print copies of titles available as ebooks at the Faculty of Education Library during 2010-2011 compared with 2009-2010

Overall borrowing from the Faculty Library seems to be increasing too: figures for this Michaelmas Term (2011) show a small increase on those from two years ago (2009), despite a drop in student numbers and the increased availability of electronic material.

Figures from another library in Cambridge reveal a similarly complex picture:  Libby Tilley, the English Faculty Librarian, found that over the past 5 years there has been an overall slight increase in borrowing of the print Cambridge Companions which are all available as ebooks.

It looks as if students in the Humanities and Social Sciences still like to use print as well as ebooks, but what do you think? We are hoping that Faculty of Education staff and students will let us know their views via an online survey which we are launching on Thursday 8th March.  Watch this space for findings later on!