Easter Entertainment

The Easter break may be the time to watch one of the new DVDs that has recently been added to the Library’s Education in Literature Collection.
There are new versions of old favourites Jane Eyre (starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender) and Goodbye Mr Chips (starring Martin Clunes).
Sarafina! is set in 1990s Soweto and is about schoolchildren protesting about the implementation of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in schools.
In The First Grader, after the Kenyan Government announces free primary education for all, Maruge, who is 84, tries to enrol in his local rural primary school. His fight for an education becomes an extension of the struggle for independence that he was involved in as a member of the Mau Mau in the 1950s.
Cracks (starring Eva Green) is set in a boarding school in the 1930s. The relationship between a clique of girls and their diving teacher ends in tragedy.
Another film that explores the pupil-teacher relationship is the South Korean film The Harmonium in my Memory. A young teacher from Seoul is sent to teach in a rural school where a 17 year old girl develops a crush on him.
Box sets are all the rage and the 3 hours of the recent television adaptation of Winnifred Holtby’s novel South Riding (starring Anna Maxwell Martin and David Morrisey) will help to pass a rainy afternoon or two.

By Beverley Hinton

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UCL Academy’s visit to the UCL Institute of Education Library

UCL Academy - Founder's Day VisitYesterday, as part of the Founder’s Day celebrations at the UCL Academy, Sally Perry, Curriculum Resources Librarian, and I welcomed approximately 60 members of staff from the UCL Academy to the Newsam Library and Archives. In traditional school-trip style the staff were split into two groups, marched through the library and parked in the Library Teaching Room and in the Space. We had two presentations between us – mine was on the history of the library and the Special Collections and Sally’s was on the current collections and on accessing education.

UCL Academy 3On display for the group were some of the Special Collections focussing on the ‘tools of the trade’. These included a selection of historical textbooks from the Baines, Michael and Historical Textbooks Collections. Early readers from the History of Education Collection, School Histories, the BBC Broadcasts to Schools and examples from the Official Publications Collections were also available to browse along with some historical materials from the Classroom Teaching Materials Collections (soon to be part of the Historical Textbooks Collection).

All in all, it was an enjoyable afternoon for us – as we hope it was for the staff from UCL Academy. Some of the discussions we had included the use of the Special Collections and Archives in the classrooms at UCL Academy – an exciting possibility.


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The History Of: African and Caribbean Communities in Britain’ book donation

The History of the African and Caribbean Communities in Britain

At the UCL Institute of Education, we are always happy to receive donations! We recently received a copy of ‘The history of the African and Caribbean communities in Britain’. This book was given to us by one of the institute’s academics, Dr Victoria Showunmi, who received the copy during the book’s launch which took place at the institute this week! It is a wonderful introduction to the history of Black communities in Britain covering history from the sixteenth century to the recent past. There are very informative chapters on both the first and the Second World War with lots of images, making it a perfect resource for younger learners.
I’m passing it on to our cataloguers now so check our library catalogue or the IOE Library search soon!

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ALPAG and Parents Initiative

I’ve just catalogued a collection relating to two connected political groups, ALPAG (All London Parents’ Action Group) and Parents Initiative, who were both active in the 1980s and 1990s.

The central aim of these groups was to levy greater parental influence over their children’s education in response to increasingly more rigid and bureaucratic government policy-making. In particular, Parents Initiative sought to bring together various groups, including many teachers’ unions, so they could work together to promote ‘a well-resourced, publicly funded and accountable education system for all children’.[1]

They pursued these aims through resourceful, grass-roots political activity. Their protest against the proposed 1994 Education Bill was a good example of this. In working with various organisations who shared their aims, they organised the co-ordinated lobbying of the Conservative MPs, with particular focus on the Secretary of State for Education, John Patten. Using this process, they were able to press their concerns over the perceived centralisation of school organisation and funding.

This bill, they argued, also threatened further funding cuts for education which would have a profound impact on school facilities and teaching.[2] One such concern, over the provision of resources for disabled students, is expressed in this flyer:

ALP/11, Integration Alliance, ‘“Teach the ‘Best’ Ignore the Rest” Stop the Education Bill’, Feb 1993

ALP/11, Integration Alliance, ‘“Teach the ‘Best’ Ignore the Rest” Stop the Education Bill’, Feb 1993

The campaign was largely realised through the ‘March for Education’ which sought to voice the concerns of these various groups, as well as celebrate the positive achievements in local schools. Below is a flyer which articulates the aims of the event.

ALP/11, Parents Initiative, ‘March for Education’ Flyer, Feb 1993

ALP/11, Parents Initiative, ‘March for Education’ Flyer, Feb 1993

This is an example of part of the work these groups engaged in. If you wish to explore the organisations further, the collection can now be viewed at the IOE Archives. It contains large amounts of promotional material for various campaigns, newsletters for both ALPAG and Parents Initiative, meeting minutes and notes on the research carried out by these groups on local education and Government policy. The full details of the collection can be found in our online catalogue, and further details can be found on our libguides site. If you wish to come and view materials, please contact us at arch.enquiries@ioe.ac.uk.


[1] Parents Initiative, ‘March for Education’ Campaign Statement, Feb 1993 (IOE Archives, ALP/11).

[2] CASE, NAGM, Integration Alliance and Parents Initiative, ‘Press Statement’, Feb 1993 (IOE Archives, ALP/11).

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She’s My Dad

LGBT + History Month may have ended on the 28th February but novels and films with LGBT characters are always available for loan from the Education in Literature Collection.

One recent addition is the novel She’s my Dad by  Iolanthe Woulff. The main character is a transgender woman named Nickie Farrell. Nickie is hired as an Assistant Professor of English at the ultra-liberal Winfield College in Northern Virginia. Although the Principal and some of the staff know her history Nickie wants to be accepted for her abilities and not as a curiosity.

Unfortunately she is outed by a lesbian journalist student Cinda Vanderhart. Whilst some people are supportive and accepting, others are not and Nickie is attacked by a pair of homicidal sociopaths and her budding romance with a fellow member of staff is jeopardised.Cinda is also determined to uncover the connection between Nickie and a young waiter, Collie Skinner, who shares her trait of different coloured eyes (think David Bowie).

‘She’s my Dad’ is an interesting novel with an underlying theme of the power of love and tolerance to overcome hate, especially that which arises from a fear of the unknown.

Iolanthe Woulff is herself a transgender woman and  is the eldest child of the writer Herman Wouk.

Other items of interest are the books A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood, Olivia by Dorothy Bussy, Stripping Penguins Bare by Michael Carson, The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, Empress of the World  by Sara Ryan , Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson, Embrace by Mark Behr, Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris and the DVDs Tomboy and Another Country.

Books may be borrowed for three weeks and DVDs for one week.

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Woman ! A creature… who would probably be imagined as some strange kind of beetle

Browsing the Woman Teacher (the Journal of The National Union of Women Teachers), I chuckled my way though the article below, reviewing a lecture given by Rose Macaulay, who I can only assume was this Rose Macaulay, given the Chair’s endorsement. I have abridged it for the sake of brevity, the full version can be found here.

While many advances for equal rights have been achieved in the eighty years since the article was written, readers might recognise all too well the approach taken by some some media channels to Woman

“Miss Macaulay said that women were becoming a great and increasing nuisance. Someone made a pronouncement on something connected with women and immediately she was rung up to know her opinion about it ; should women study art, should modern women marry, should women smoke, should women cut their hair, should women’s clothes be short, &c.


The historians of the future, keenly interested in the history of the present time, in their research would come to the conclusion that a strange and new being was evolved at this period. Woman ! A creature continually mentioned in the writings of the time, who would probably be imagined as some strange kind of beetle.


Women seem to be regarded as a separate species and as a topic are a hardy annual, monthly, weekly, or daily. Their physical and psychological state is continually discussed. It is not so with men. Woman holds the field as a topic. ” Women have no sense of honour ” ; ” Can women think ? ” ” The surplus woman.” Possibly there are too many men also, but WOMAN is so interesting that it is also interesting that there are too many of them.


Numerous books had been written on Woman <…>. One recently published, she had read, a thing which seldom occurred. It was Pandora’s Hope ‘ by Austin Harrison, and purported to be a study of Woman. <…> Opening at random, we read, ” Woman has no sense of humour ” ; ” woman has no imagination ” ; ” woman is near the earth, man seeks the stars ” ; ” boys are taught that it is wrong to lie, girls are not ” (the author’s must have been a strange family). ” Man thinks out a thing, woman jumps at it.” ” From infancy woman is taught to think sexually.”

The historian will certainly conclude that woman is low in the scale although she attracts a lot of attention. The fallacy of this generalisation lies in thinking that all women are like each other and form one conglomeration—Woman.

When women were granted the franchise a noble lord, in the place where he belonged, said he could not bear to think of two million all voting the wrong way. And at election times startling headlines appear ” The Women’s Vote ” ; ” What will the women do ? “, the implication being that women are more likely all to act in the same way than men are—that women have many minds but a single thought–forming a kind of mental coalition.


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Using Graphic Novels to inspire reluctant readers

From Reluctant Reader to Comic Genius

On display in the Curriculum Resources section of the library we have a selection of work by pupils from St Peter’s Primary School, W9. The work is the result of a project run by NQT Maureen Pepper with a group of reluctant readers who met twice a week at lunchtimes and were introduced to graphic novels and supported to create their own work.

West End Comix, as the cartoonists chose to be known, produced an inspiring array of publications, and sold copies of them to raise money for the school (£180 to date). The artwork was used to produce badges too, and Maureen explains ‘this was very effective as the entire school was wearing them and children who previously were proud to state “I don’t read books” were now saying “Hey, I wrote that comic”’.

Of the project overall Maureen says ‘The structure of graphic novels and comics allows the child to create a story one step at a time with a clear visual focus. This seems to help some children unlock their creativity.’

And we are very privileged to be able to enjoy that creativity in the library. The graphic novels used by Maureen to launch the project are listed in the display, and examples of them, along with other graphic novels from the Curriculum Resources collection, are available to borrow.

Come and have a look. The display is at the far end of Level 4 and runs until the end of February.

Comix 1       Comix 2

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