Monday, June 22, 2015

Readings for reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education - book overview

Readings for reflective teaching in further, adult and vocational education
Edited by M. Gregson, L. Nixon, A. Pollard and T. Spedding (2015) published by Bloomsberry

Website supporting textbook (in its fourth edition) and this book (first edition) along with a similar series through the educational sector – early childhood teaching through to higher education. The theoretical framework draws from the work undertaken in the UK in the early 2000s through their teaching and learning research programme (TLRP)

A collection of pertinent and some seminal readings relevant to vocational education. Five parts further divided into 17 sections covering a range of issues, topics and information in one book.
Part one – becoming a reflective practitioner has parts on 'identity' (defining who we are and what we stand for); overview of ‘learning’; summary of the concepts of reflection; and provides ‘principles’ of effective teaching and learning.

Part two – creating conditions of learning covers a definition, relationships, engagement and ‘spaces’ which includes the physical and the virtual.

Part three is on ‘teaching for learning’ with readings on curriculum, planning, pedagogy, communication and assessment.

Part four covers reflecting on consequences with sections on outcomes (monitoring student learning) and inclusion.

Part five – deepening understanding has sections on vocational educators own development of expertise and professionalism.


Generally a UK slant with most readings from UK researchers / educators although there is a sprinkling of authors from other countries. The book is recommended as an accompaniment to a textbook for vocational educator programmes in the UK, so contexts etc. pitched to that audience. Readings are generally short (2 – 3 pages) and are summaries or collations (a couple are of books) rather than the whole article. Reference is provided to the main source for follow up if required. Most still retain their academic style of writing. To provide focus there is a list of suggested questions at the beginning of each reading. 

Overall, the book is pitched at vocational educator / further education tutor course work within the UK context. The book is a one-stop shop for those interested in a general background on vocational education, including the latest thinking on curriculum design and pedagogy. A good reference book.

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