Key research methods texts – new editions!


  • Yin, R. (2017). Case study research and applications : Design and methods (6th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
    Found in the Education Library, 301/01 YIN.
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education (8th ed.). London: Routlegde.
    Found in the Education Library, 370/78 COH.
  • Denzin, N., & Lincoln, Y. (2017). The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (5th ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.
    Found in the Education Library, 301/01 DEN.
  • Creswell, J., & Creswell, J, D. (2018). Research design : Qualitative, quantitative & mixed methods approaches (5th ed.).
    Found in the Education Library, 301/01 CRE.
  • Creswell, J., & Poth, C. (2018). Qualitative inquiry and research design : Choosing among five approaches (4th ed.). Los Angeles : SAGE.
    Found in the Education Library, 301/01 CRE.

Coming soon!

  • Bell, J. (2014). Doing your research project : a guide for first-time researchers (7th ed.). Berkshire : Open University Press.
    Found in the Education Library, 370/78 BEL.

Don’t forget our Research Methods Guide on your Library Moodle site.



Looking for support with your research? Then look no further…

Overwhelmed by literature searching?  Stuck with referencing?  Bamboozled by Zotero? The Education Library Team are here to help!

Photo for one to one slide July 2017


We offer 20-minute 1-2-1 research skills sessions in the following areas:

Literature Searching

If you’re struggling to find journal articles or are overwhelmed by information and need to narrow it down, we can help you to create an effective search strategy using the Education Databases that we subscribe to. We will also show you how to create an account to save articles and searches which will save you time!



You’ve crafted the perfect piece of academic work and used the Referencing Guide on the Library Moodle Site to start your bibliography but you have a few pesky citations that don’t make sense! Never fear, we’re here to help you reference everything from government documents to Facebook posts. And if you can’t tell a book chapter from a journal article reference and have no idea what an in-text citation is, we’re happy to cover those too!


Zotero is a free, easy to use tool to help you collect, organise and reference your research. Download the software before your session with us (instructions on how to do this are on the Referencing Guide, found on the Library Moodle Site) and we will take you through the basics of using Zotero to create in text citations and bibliographies in Word documents. Aleady using Zotero? We can also help you to fix any annoying bugs that appear in the system!

If you need help with any other aspects of your research, simply choose the ‘Other’ option when you book a session and let us know what you need assistance with.

How do I book a session?

So please, don’t struggle along alone, book a 1-2-1 with the Library Team today!  Simply click on the Book a 1-2-1 here link on the Library Moodle site, giving us dates and times that you are available and we will get back to you.

Library Moodle site home page April 2018

That’s all from us, here is what some of our students had to say about their sessions:

” [The Librarian] was very helpful and patient, and went through how to use [the resources] at a good pace and with clear instructions. I felt that I was well equipped by the end of the session to do it by myself but it was also nice to know that the library team was happy to provide further support if needed.”

“I had a 1-to-1 Zotero session and it was very helpful! [The Librarian] answered my questions with great patience and provided me with a lot of useful information and resources. Also, the 20-minute session booking system on Moodle was easy to access.”



Presenting our Faculty Publications – May Day Reads 2018

With two long May Bank Holiday weekends around the corner why not take time to explore the latest Faculty publications. You can discover the full range with #EdFacPublications, as well as following our Pinterest boards.


To start off we explore global education with a chapter from Simon Brownhill in     Brown, M. (2018). The shifting global world of youth and education. London : Routledge

Shifting global world

Chapter 15  Youth migration into and within Australia

“With surging numbers of migrants and students on short-term visas, Garnaut (2015) asserts that Australia faces ‘a range and scale of policy changes not seen since World War II’. This chapter sets out to explore those young people who migrate into the country as international students and the effects that this has for both them and domestic students. The chapter also considers population drifts within Australia from country towns to cities, and from the inland to the coastal regions, examining the reasons for the prominent out-migration of young people from remote areas of the country to the cities (Alston, 2004).” (Simon Brownhill)

Simon has also co-authored our next publication:

Denton, A., & Brownhill, S. (2018). Becoming a brilliant trainer : a teacher’s guide to running sessions and engaging learners. London : Routledge

Becoming a brilliant teacher

“This book serves as an easily-accessible reference guide for teachers who support their colleagues in schools as trainers. It is written to help them to build confidence in all aspects of their training, and to offer innovative ways of adding variety and interest whilst ensuring it remains effective. We introduce the ‘A-frame of training’, a tool that readers can use to help them plan effectively or to evaluate existing adult training courses. The book follows the likely structure of training courses, beginning with Aims, working through Activities and Assessment, before finishing with Action Plans and After-care. Each chapter complements the theory with the practice, exploring relevant research whilst offering a suite of engaging practical activities.” (Alan Denton & Simon Brownhill)

Next we have a publication from the NRICH Project, written by  Charlie Gilderdale , Ems Lord and Fran Watson:

Gilderdale, B., Kiddle, A., Lord, E., Warren, B., & Watson, F. (2017). Approaches to learning and teaching mathematics : a toolkit for international teachers. Cambridge : Cambridge Univserity Press

app to maths for Twitter

“The latest publication from the award-winning NRICH team is now available. The NRICH secondary team are all experienced classroom teachers and CPD providers, who have drawn upon their expertise to provide a practical, highly accessible guide to maximising the potential of maths activities in the classroom. Each chapter uses research-informed classroom activities from the NRICH collection to illustrate ways in which teachers can enrich their students’ learning of mathematics.” (Charlie Gilderdale)


Finally, adding to our research methods collection in the Library, Anna Vignoles has written a chapter in Coe, R., Waring, M., Hedges, L., & Arthur, J. (Eds.). (2017). Research methods & methodologies in education (2nd ed.). London : Sage

Research methods and methodologies in education

Chapter 15  Longitudinal research

“This chapter describes the myriad uses that longitudinal data, that is data collected over several points in time, has in research. Longitudinal data are extremely useful for research purposes because they help researchers to better address issues of causality. With quantitative data, there are numerous complex statistical and econometric models that can be used to improve the researcher’s ability to establish causality using longitudinal data (see, for example, Baltagi, 2001, or for an easier introduction to some basic longitudinal models see Gujarati, 2003). To take a specific example, imagine you want to determine whether unemployment causes poor health. If you use cross-section data, you will be able to determine whether people who are currently unemployed also have poor health. You will not, however, be able to tell whether unemployment actually leads to poor health. Longitudinal data by contrast can tell you whether the health problem occurred before the period of unemployment rather than the other way around. The chapter is likely to be of most benefit to students who are considering the research design of their project and who want to understand more about the different uses that longitudinal data can be put to and the kinds of methods that one can use with such data.” (Anna Vignoles)

Teaching and learning with refugee children and teenagers on the island of Chios

This guest blog post was written by Elena Natale, one of our past Primary PGCE Trainees.

Elena volunteered in Chios from 17th September – 17th December  2017



“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho

The difficulty of putting my experience in Chios into words is overcome by the urge I feel to speak up. Volunteering for three months for Refugee Education Chios, I had the pleasure of meeting many individuals and hearing their stories. I now feel a duty to generate curiosity and interest in these stories and share what I have learned.
During the first few days of my time in Chios, I was flooded with contradictory feelings; excitement to get to know the children and fear at how to overcome the barriers between us. I worried about settling into a new place, and adjusting to this new life. All these feelings quickly took a backseat as I started sharing my days with the children.

“Choose connection over perfection.” – Julie Hanks

At first, my focus was to try to get through the day as smoothly as possible. I would try to keep the children engaged and prevent outbursts of negative energy in the form of panic attacks, violence, withdrawal, and other manifestations I had not yet come across.

The ‘perfectionist’ teacher in me was determined to engage the children, without too much disruption, in learning through the super creative lessons I had planned out. This goal soon disappeared as I realised that the children’s needs could not be met through traditional educational practices. Instead, I saw that through their occasional ‘shocking’ behaviours the children were calling out for recognition and support. They needed a safe space where they could be themselves and build spontaneous relationships, which they maybe lacked in their daily life in the camp.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Martin Luther King Jr.

fish 1

Recognising this changed my whole approach to the experience. My own personal goal became that of trying to transform my classrooms into small communities for, and of, children. I took the time to observe the children, their interactions with each other and with us volunteers, and get to know them through play. I started to introduce some routines and structures that challenged the children to work together, to listen to each other, to share something about themselves, and to take responsibility of their own learning.

This was a challenge for all of us, children and teachers alike, that did not come without difficulties, but the feeling of trust in each other became the connecting force that we relied on to welcome and address the days with open arms.

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” – Pooh

As the days passed, we would take steps forwards and backwards in relation to our daily achievements, but there was never a single day I did not feel personally satisfied with what we had accomplished. There was never a day we did not end with a smile and our hands raised in the air, like strong teams do, in recognition that the experiences we had lived had been common to all of us.
Some days, the achievement was keeping all the children in a class, or receiving an excited hug from a child on the way into school or after a long day. Other days, it was seeing children express their needs and communicate through drawing or some form of language. I was delighted by the children’s landmarks of growth: saying please and thank you not just to teachers but to each other; offering to clean up the classroom to the sound of Despacito; a group made up of all different nationalities playing UNO together; a class holding hands together; a whole class dancing salsa together, irrespective of gender, race or any other category; a whole class agreeing both verbally and with their actions that differences between individuals are good and make us strong.
The list of what I call GOLDEN MOMENTS is neverending. The point is that, with the right support and guidance, so many of the students were able to unleash their inherent force and energy that derives simply from being the children they are.

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

Sometimes, my feelings of satisfaction were shattered when we arrived in Vial camp and the crude reality that the children lived in emerged right in front of our eyes. This had a profound effect on the volunteers, but clearly had the greatest impact on the children who would quickly change their behaviour and attitudes. It felt as though suddenly everything that had been built up in the classroom crumbled as the children prepared to go into ‘survival mode’.

classroom display

Seeing this from the outside definitely gave me a clearer understanding of the startling behaviour that some children manifested in school, and helped me to become aware of the nature of the big beast we were trying to fight against everyday. Though I never imagined I could fix the situation completely, seeing it made me more determined to continue my work with the children in a spirit of flexibility, open-mindedness and sensitivity.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala

The children themselves were a huge source of inspiration to me, and they fueled my determination. I came across this quote, which immediately made sense to me: “Our children can be our greatest teachers if we are humble enough to receive their lessons” – B. McGill.

The children I was working with had been through so much in their lives and had so much to teach us. There wasn’t one day I didn’t learn something from them. Each child had something to teach me about resilience, or how to adapt to new situations and people, or how to express oneself non-verbally. They showed me how to learn from the simplest and smallest of things, and how to be creative whatever the circumstance.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Another key part of my experience was the team of volunteers and co-workers. Each of us had arrived in Chios for a different reason. We’d lived quite diverse experiences and therefore brought with us a different repertoire of skills and knowledge. However, we were all linked by one feeling: a love for humanity which manifested itself in a passion for education in its many forms. This helped create a community of enthusiastic and reflective individuals, ready to share knowledge, skills, experiences, and emotions with each other and with the students. Though I arrived worrying about being with people I didn’t know, I quickly saw that living and sharing everything with the team was key to feeling energised, supported, and understood. They encouraged me to not be afraid to be myself, and to channel my energy into the work we were so invested in.

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Mother Teresa

If you asked me which part of the experience I loved the most, I would struggle to give an answer that would do justice to all the people I had met. I had the honour to work with and learn from so many individuals, be they volunteers, children, teenagers or other young adults. However, I can confidently say that I take with me a plethora of golden moments: moments that are more valuable than anything tangible; moments filled with human emotion, and with deep connection to others.

If you asked me what I learned from this experience, I would say this: no situation or hardship can rob someone of their smile or feeling, especially not a child’s. Therefore, connecting to others through shared human emotion is the key to unlocking relationships with people from all backgrounds.

I have come to think that trying to understand the experiences of refugees is like fighting a lost battle. Instead, it is more powerful to build connections through empathy, and commit to opening up a space for individuals to become storytellers of their lives. As Socrates famously said: “I know that I know nothing”; it is clear to me that there is always more to learn, and that, if one is open to accepting this, then this journey can become the most exciting and important one of our lives: “Education is a lifelong journey” – J.Dewey

world children's day

If you would like to know more about volunteering opportunities contact: or visit

Presenting our Faculty Publications – Easter reads 2018

Put a ‘Spring’ into your step and treat yourself this Easter with our latest selection of publications from the Education Faculty, a children’s literature special issue!


Our first publication has chapters by one of our Professors, Maria Nikolajeva, and one of our PhD students, Sarah Hardstaff:

Ahlbeck, J., Lappalainen, P., Launis, K., & Tuohela, K. (2018). Childhood, literature and science : fragile subjects (Routledge advances in sociology). Abingdon : Routledge

Childhood lit and science. twitter jpg


Maria Nikolajeva
Chapter 7:  Visible, audible and sentient: cognitive-affective engagement with disability in contemporary young adult fiction

“This chapter develops central ideas from my recent book ‘Reading for learning: cognitive approaches to children’s literature‘, focusing on the ways fiction potentially enhances young readers’ Theory of Mind and empathy. Through a detailed discussion of three young adult novels featuring protagonists with disabilities, the chapter explores the discursive elements that stimulate readers to engage with the protagonists’ cognitively and emotionally, with the purpose of affecting prejudices and support tolerance and inclusion. Recent experimental research shows that fiction can indeed improve real readers’ empathic skills. This research is therefore relevant not only for scholars of literature, but a broader audience in psychology and inclusive education.” (Maria Nikolajeva)

Sarah Hardstaff
Chapter 10: ‘With special obligations’: constructions of young adulthood and caregiving in The Road to Memphis and Seventeen Against the Dealer

“My chapter in ‘Childhood, Literature and Science’ has come a long way from the original paper presented at the Fragile Subjects conference in Turku, Finland in the summer of 2015. I explore the representation of healthcare and caregivers in two novels for young people, both of which present episodes that raise questions about healthcare provision and discrimination in the United States. The title “with special obligations” comes from the Hippocratic Oath, and is a reminder that we all have a responsibility to help those who are disadvantaged.

I hope this piece of work will be particularly useful for students looking at social issues in children’s literature and of interest to anyone working in the medical humanities.” (Sarah Hardstaff)

Maria Nikolajeva has also edited and written a chapter in Beauvais, C., & Nikolajeva, M. (2017). The Edinburgh companion to children’s literature. Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press

Edinburugh companion 2

Below is an introduction to Chapter 23: Evolutionary criticism and children’s literature

“This short chapter is included in the ‘Unmapped Territories’ section of the Companion that explore new and recent directions in children’s literature research. It is the first ever attempt to employ the theoretical framework of evolutionary, or Neo-Darwinist, literary criticism to literature marketed for young readers. As such, it goes radically against some of the conventional approaches, based on critical theory, that view representations of childhood as cultural constructions. Instead, evolutionary criticism claims that any study of arts should take biological and bio-psychological aspects of human nature into consideration. This chapter is my first venture into a new area that I am currently expanding into a larger research project.” (Maria Nikolajeva)



Finally, we would like to welcome Joe Sutliff Sanders who joins us as a University Lecturer in children’s literature.  We have two of Joe’s publications available in the Library:

Sanders, J. (2011). Disciplining girls : understanding the origins of the classic orphan girl story. Baltimore, Maryland : Johns Hopkins University Press

Disciplining girls twitter

“Women’s sentimental novels of the mid-nineteenth century were the first bestsellers. Under the surface of their tales of tearful orphan girls was a narrative of a then-new kind of discipline, in which mothers made girls behave by shaping them with love rather than punishment.  As this formula shifted from literature for women to literature for girls, the narrative of discipline also changed, alongside emerging theories of childhood, selfhood, capital, femininity, education, and even abuse.  By 1923, when the formula finally lost traction with Anglophone readers, the shape of feminine power had changed irrevocably, from girls imagined as the malleable objects of discipline to girls as the only responsible wielders of discipline.” (Joe Sutliff Sanders)

Sanders, J. (2018). A literature of questions : nonfiction for the critical child. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Lit of questions for twitter


“The traditional understanding of nonfiction for young people is that it is only as valuable as its information is perfectly accurate, a model that imagines adults as capable of writing perfect truths and children as irreparably damaged by imperfect information. A Literature of Questions argues that children’s nonfiction is better understood as a literature that prompts questions, that imagines children as part of the project of testing knowledge. It outlines tools for recognising where—and why—nonfiction invites children to critical engagement.” (Joe Sutliff Sanders)




Explore and discover more Faculty publications by following #EdFacPublications and keep up to date with all new additions to the Education Library collection by following our Pinterest boards.