October 2017

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Coming to the University’s Careers Fair on 19 October? One of the most attractive options available to students from almost any discipline is the University of Reading’s own Institute of Education. Come and see us in Palmer 11am-3pm.

With us you have the advantage of your alumni discount; you can explore the many ways of becoming a teacher; discover short courses that convert your knowledge to teaching power; and engage in a career in one of the UK’s most rapidly expanding fields of expertise.

Embracing the demands of the 21st century requires educated, engaged and active citizens; individuals with resilience and the confidence to tackle challenges. At the Institute of Education we have the research, the expertise and the passion to help develop you into one of these leaders.

The IoE is ranked 3rd in the UK for Education (The Guardian University League Table 2018), with internationally renowned and award-winning academics. Our highly reputable partnerships with over 300 schools enables us, together, to train the next generation of outstanding teachers.



Email: ioe@reading.ac.uk

+ 44 (0) 118 378 2601

Kimberly George recently returned to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) with her family to take up her new post as head of a high ranking local primary school. Coming home with her MA Education from the Institute of Education, Reading, Kimberly was looking forward to the challenges of her new role. Yet the situation she walked into was one she could never have predicted.

The BVI had just been virtually flattened by two devastating hurricanes. Her own school, the Bregado Flax Educational Centre (Primary), was dreadfully damaged and its secondary section completely destroyed.

“Most persons have lost everything”

Kimberly is now facing one of the most challenging situations a new Principal could imagine. While her section of the school will be usable after extensive repairs, the primary children will have to be taught in temporary accommodation while work is underway – and there is a desperate need for equipment and teaching materials.

Kimberley explained:

“We have been hit really badly by two hurricanes. The BVI is quite devastated now. No communication or anything. Most persons have lost everything. And leaving the country. My family is well. We lost our roof and the things in our home but we are alive. Thank God. My girls had to be relocated for school, as school will not be up and running for a while. They are staying with my family members abroad. It is quite difficult but the people of the territory is working to rebuild.

Artwork by students of the school

“As the new Principal of the primary school it is going to be challenging in my role as we have lost more than half the schools in the territory. I am working with the staff and people in the community to see how best we get the school up and running, with government help of course. Our education department resume school with the first group of students on October 5. We will be housed in a temporary building until we get the school fixed.”

The IoE’s Dr Helen Bilton and Dr Karen Jones have set up a ‘Just Giving’ page to help Kimberly raise funds for equipment and teaching materials for the school and to support this, are also organising a sponsored carwash. The charity carwash will take place at the IoE., London Road Campus on 25 October from 09.30 – 13.00..


Dr Karen Jones

Dr Karen Jones joins the blog to talk about being guest editor of a Special Issue of the journal Administrative Sciences, which brings together a variety of articles to provide perspectives on women and higher education leadership from countries as diverse as India, China, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United States and the UK.

Putting this collection of articles together was particularly interesting because each one provides unique insights and perspectives”, says Karen, who is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Management at the IOE.

Karen’s research interests include gender, women and leadership. She explained: “this is an important topic, since the significant under representation of women in higher education leadership can be observed in every country around the world. This has been well documented over the past decade in the research literature. While this research has led to a deeper understanding of the exclusionary structures, processes, and practices that collectively create obstacles for women at various career stages, higher education institutions are slow to fix the problem.”

A key contribution of this Special Issue is that it provides fascinating and unique socio-cultural insights. For instance, Kameshwara and Shukla discuss how gender relations are rooted in the socio-cultural matrix in India. Zhao and Jones draw attention to identity and Discourse as an important, yet under-researched, aspect of women’s underrepresentation in higher education leadership and they apply this to a study of female higher education leaders in China. Alsubaie and Jones, through a synthesis of existing literature, explore the complex mix of social, religious, cultural and organisational barriers for women in Saudi Arabia and make proposals for future research directions.”

The Special Issue also draws attention to structural and organisational barriers. For example, Burkinshaw and White, through two case studies – one with female Vice-Chancellors in the UK and, the second, female early career academics at an Australian university, argue that women’s growing resistance, particularly of the younger generation, reflects their dissatisfaction with higher education leadership communities of practice of masculinities. Vicary and Jones, through autoethnography, show how casual, non-permanent forms of employment that have become common practice in higher education can stifle leadership aspirations due to lack of career progression opportunities and lead to a sense of alienation from the target community of practice. Selzer, Howton and Wallace, in a co-produced autoethnography, provide a critique of a women’s-only leadership development programme in higher education in the


United States. Finally, Manifredi writes a compelling argument for positive action in recruitment and promotion to tackle women’s under-representation in senior leadership roles.”

To read more about these articles in the Special Issue “Perspectives on Women’s Higher Education Leadership from around the World” see: mdpi.com/journal/admsci/special_issues/WHEL

We hope you will join us for a glass of Prosecco to celebrate the launch of the University of Reading’s new BA in Modern Languages with Qualified Teacher Status at our annual TeachMeet on 18 October 16.00-18.00. This is the third in Modern Languages’ series of teacher-aimed events and previous meetings have been ideal opportunities for sharing ideas and good teaching practice, as well as networking and socialising. Colleagues from the Institute of Education (IoE) and Department of Modern Languages will be on hand to chat, along with some of our current students. In our last session we considered topics suggested by teachers including: promoting diversity in the classroom, using digital media to teach, encouraging students to go beyond the curriculum and preparing for the new A-level curriculum. 

The new BA will see students reaping the benefit of expertise from both the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies and the IoE. It will equip them with high-level language skills and a sound knowledge of the cultures in which their language or languages of study are spoken. They will be trained by sector-leading educators at the IoE to develop classroom-based teaching skills that are strongly underpinned by the most recent and relevant research. Currently a £9,000 bursary is available to students during the fourth year of the Modern Languages with QTS course. Language teachers are in high demand in today’s schools and a Modern Languages degree with QTS offers job satisfaction along with competitive salaries.

If you would like to attend our event and/or would like to suggest a topic for discussion, please email Katy Green on k.e.s.green@reading.ac.uk.

For more information on the new BA please see our webpage.


Gaming is wildly popular among young people, as teachers, carers and parents would agree, usually with a groan. Now the University of Reading is spinning these preconceptions on their head with an event at their campus that will highlight how computer gaming can actually help education. On 10th November, visitors to the “Playing Peace” event at the University’s London Road campus will be encouraged to talk about children’s rights and education in times of conflict as they explore the helpful, reflective side of gaming.

Gaming is in fact a popular theme in education already. Predictably, there are strong voices about this on either side of the debate. The University hopes to foster these discussions with teachers and parents, whilst raising awareness of how computer games can actually become an excellent tool in teaching and learning reflectively.

Event organiser, Dr Yota Dimitriadi of Reading’s Institute of Education hopes to encourage young people reflect on life and raise citizenship awareness through games. She said:

By playing on the excitement of computer games whilst discussing themes of child labour, children soldiers, consequences of forced migration, and education and conflict, we hope to foster positive contributions and change perceptions. We are inviting anyone with an interest in education, children’s welfare and development to come and play – and talk about children’s rights and education in times of conflict.

Inspired by a fundraising event organised by the charity War Child, “Playing Peace” is part of the 2017 Festival of Social Science organised by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC).

  • Date: 10 November 2017 Time: 09:00 – 13:00
  • Where: University of Reading, Institute of Education, 4 Redlands Road, Reading RG1 5EX
  • Contact: Dr Yota Dimitriadi Email: y.dimitriadi@reading.ac.uk
  • Register: via Eventbrite
  • Twitter: #ioeplayingpeace
  • Organised by: ACoRNS Network