Sage Research Methods trial

Good news! We now have trial access to Sage Research Methods! To gain access, see our Database A-Z LibGuide to find out more.


In addition to thousands of pages of Sage content, there are lots of useful tools for understanding different methodologies and finding out which one(s) are best suited to your area of interest.

Using the Method map, you can choose the type of research you’re interested in and see what’s available.Methods map

We’re always happy to receive feedback on resources so let us know how you get on.

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The Journal of Moral Education

I have recently commenced a traineeship with the archives team at the IOE as part of a program run by The National Archives. In this role I will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of archiving skills as well the chance to indulge my interest in archive collections. My first foray in this capacity was the cataloguing of a collection donated by the Journal of Moral Education. This collection documents the Journal’s organisational policies and procedures giving specific insight into the conceptual processes of the organisation and more general insight into the running of an academic journal. There is an interesting range of materials in the collection, including an extensive selection of meeting minutes (ranging from 1974 to 2012), promotional materials, legal documentation, conference programmes and selected special issue publications.


An example of the Journal of Moral Education’s promotional material (JME/3/1)

The Journal of Moral Education was inaugurated in 1971 in the UK with the support of the Social Morality Council, an organisation which promoted school curriculum developments in the areas of personal and social morality (see here for further material relating to this organisation). In 1997/98 the journal became a registered company and also obtained charitable status becoming the Journal of Moral Education Trust with strong links to the Association of Moral Education.

It was originally led by an editorial board composed of well-known British educationalists and academics, but it increasingly became international in both the composition of the editorial team and range of its contributors, as well as in its scope and content. Furthermore, through collaborations across disciplines, such as their work with renowned American academic, Lawrence Kohlberg (also see JME/4/2 for a series of memorial lectures discussing Kohlberg’s legacy), the Journal moved toward an embrace of both psychological and practical approaches to understanding morality in the field of education.

The conceptual issues relating to this approach emerge through a close reading of the organisation’s minutes; particularly those from its early years (see JME/1/1). These documents reveal the initial debates about the direction the Journal should take.

There was a desire to strike a balance between a more philosophical exploration of moral education and a direct discussion derived from research based on actual classroom experience. As such, the Journal aimed to appeal to teachers, on a practical level, and also contribute to an expansion of the concept of moral education through academic research across a broad range of disciplines.

To accommodate this level of diversity, the journal became an international, multi-disciplinary resource driven by the unifying goal to ‘advance public education and promote research in the theory and practice of moral education'(1).

The archive collection can be explored through the online catalogue. For general enquiries or to book an appointment to view the collection, please contact us at The journal itself can be found in the library or in digital form through the library’s electronic resources.


1. Taylor, M. J. (2012). An Historical Overview of the Journal of Moral Education (JME), 1971-2011.

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A rich heritage of books by African, Asian and Caribbean writers.

Last month was Black History Month 2015 . The following are just a few of the books by writers with an African, Asian or Caribbean heritage that can be found in the Education in Literature Collection. They describe life both in the UK and further afield.

The Bachelor of Arts (1937) by R. K. Narayan (1906-2001) describes the college days of Chandran. Narayan is regarded as one of the leading figures of early Indian literature in English. Many of his gently humorous novels are about the people who live in the fictional southern Indian town of Malgudi.

The African Child (L’Enfant noir) (1953) by Camara Laye is an autobiographical work regarded as one of the earliest major works in Francophile African Literature. The author grew up in the then colony of French Guinea in West Africa. He first attended school in Kouroussa before going on to attend a technical college in then colonial capital Conakry. Success in his studies meant he went onto study mechanics in Paris. Whilst abroad, feelings of homesickness caused by living in such a different culture, lead him to write about his childhood.

To Sir, With Love (1959) by E.R. Braithwaite (1920- ) a Guyanese novelist,writer,teacher and diplomat. A semi-autobiographical novel about a well qualified Afro-Caribbean man who serves in the RAF during WWII but then cannot find work. He becomes a teacher in a  school in London’s East End and gradually overcomes the intial racism he encounters. Also available as a DVD (To Sir, With Love ) of the 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier.

School Days (1994) by Patrick Chamoiseau (1953- ) reflects his school days in Fort-de-France, Martinique. What makes his experiences different is his struggle to retain his unique Creole culture in the face of his strict Francophile teachers.

So Long a Letter (Une Si Longue Lettre) (1980) by Mariama Ba (1929-1981) a Senegalese author and feminist who wrote in French. Senegalese school teacher Ramatoulaye writes a letter to her friend in which she describes her feelings about being abandoned by her husband and later widowed. It is a testimony to the plight of women who live in a society that denies them their proper place.

Gifted (2007) by Nikita Lalwani (1973- )   Rumi Vasi lives with her Hindu parents in 1980’s Cardiff. She is a maths prodigy who receives extra tutoring from her father. Once at Oxford University she finds it hard to cope with her new- found freedom. This is a funny and tender story about how Rumi’s intellect isolates her from her peers. Nikita Lalwani was born in Kota, Rajasthan and raised in Cardiff.

True Murder (2009) by Yaba Badoe (1955- ) a Ghanaian – British documentary film-maker, journalist and author. Eleven-year –old Ajuba’s mother has a breakdown and her Ghanaian father abandons her in a Devon boarding school. The owners of the school are kind and supportive. However Ajuba has the misfortune to be befriended by a new girl Polly Venus and her glamorous and chaotic family. Polly is obsessed with the magazine ‘True Murder’ and enjoys playing dangerous games.

Miss Timmins’ School for Girls (2011) by Nayana Currimbhoy is set in 1974. Young Charulta Apte arrives in Panchangi to teach Shakespeare to rich Indian girls in a boarding school that is still run like an outpost of the British Empire. Charulta is enjoying her new life until a body is discovered. Panchangi is a mountain village in Western India founded by the British . Women and children were sent there to escape the heat of the plains. Nayana Currimbhoy herself attended a boarding school there from the age of seven.

Last but no means least is  I know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) by Maya Angelou (1928-2014) the African-American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer. The first of her seven autobiographical works.




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Donations from alumni

Donations from alumni are always wonderful things to add to the collection! I recently received a publication by Nikos Kiliaris called ‘Secondary Music education in Cyprus; a historical and philosophical perspective since 1960’.

Nikos studied here at the IOE in 2008 and, in addition to teaching music in secondary schools, he is a conductor and an active researcher in music education. His publication investigates the teaching of music in secondary schools in Cyprus- specifically the methods and contexts that are used. Consequently, his book is an interesting and authoritative study which draws on both historical and philosophical doctrines to produce a unique insight into musical instruction in Cyprus. More about Nikos’s research interests and involvement in music education can be found here.

Music education has always been a popular area in our collections; a simple search of the catalogue yields over 2000 book and journal titles covering all phases of education and many different countries and methods. We have 21 titles relating to music education in Cyprus alone- including Nikos’s original MA dissertation, which you can read in our library.

‘Secondary Music education in Cyprus; a historical and philosophical perspective since 1960’ has been added to our Comparative education collection, and is now available for loan.

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School Examination Papers – the largest collection of its kind?

Sunninn Yun and Qian XuAt long last I have had a moment to write about a mammoth summer project undertaken by our wonderful Archives and Collections Assistants (ACAs), Sunninn Yun and Qian Xu (Tracey).  Sadly, both Sunninn and Tracey have left us – Sunninn to continue with her PhD studies and teach part-time and Tracey to return to China after completing her Masters degree here at the IOE in order to teach ESL in a school. However, I am still celebrating their achievements. Sunninn and Tracey amalgamated three different exam paper collections:   the largest donated by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), the original IOE collection which was relatively small and the Leeds University Collection which was donated to the Newsam Library in 2012. The latter were shipped to us in eighty boxes!  The ACAs were tasked to create one running sequence of papers arranged alphabetically by exam board – the major examining boards include the AEB (Associated Examining Board), JMB (Joint Matriculation Board), University of London, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Oxford and Cambridge, and other regional groups – and in chronological order.  The earliest papers date from about 1907 and the latest are from the mid-1990s. It  took Sunninn and Tracey just over four months, working a total of ten hours a week, to complete this project.  I am full of admiration of the work they have done on this project;  it required determination, enthusiasm and commitment – all of which they had plenty of.  The outcome is ‘stunning’ – a word I only use to describe library collections, of course!  It truly is visually stunning, row after row of gleaming red boxes is a feast for my eyes!  It no longer takes me ages to find papers that researchers request and I can easily identify the gaps in the collection because of their arrangement. I no longer have to rummage around looking for a particular paper and then wasting time trying to put them back in some sort of order.  So a belated thank you so very much to Sunninn Yun and Tracey Xu.  I keep in touch with both of them via Facebook so this is a post I will make sure they see – thanks are always better late than never.

Our next task is to re-box these papers in acid-free boxes – and perhaps to digitise sample papers for the different subjects which are represented in the collection – when funding becomes available.

More information on our School Examinations Collection can be found on the Special Collections LibGuide at and here.

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Possible Data Protection issue with Adobe Digital Editions v4

warning_imagescad61b08It has recently come to our attention that the software used to access some of the Library’s ebook collections, Adobe Digital Editions, may be logging data on the books used with this application, and any other ebooks that have already been downloaded on the devices of library users. The reports we have heard state that this information is being uploaded in plain text to Adobe servers, and is being sent without any encryption, meaning that book logging data is potentially open to interception by anyone with a moderate level of technical skill. Note that this data protection breach seems to be limited to Digital Editions v4, the most recent version of the software. As far as can be detected, Digital Editions 2 and 3 are unaffected.

Newsam Library and Archive Services provides access to thousands of ebooks. All can be read online.  However, due to DRM (digital rights management) restrictions in place with some of our ebooks, if a user chooses to download a book to a device for offline reading, they must use Adobe Digital Editions. This is a condition of purchase that has been unavoidable for all libraries providing ebook content.

The ebook provider used by IOE Library which makes use of Adobe Digital Editions when reading a downloaded copy is:

EBL Ebook Library

We have contacted EBL and they state that they are aware of the issue with Adobe Digital Editions, have raised it with Adobe and will provide guidance in due course.   EBL ebooks can be read on tablets and smart phones using the free app Bluefire Reader which does not have these data protection problems.

On creating an account with Adobe you may be asked whether you wish to allow information about your ebooks to be sent to Adobe.  We recommend that you say no to this option.

If you are concerned that your right to privacy has been violated, we recommend that you uninstall Adobe Digital Editions v4 from all of your devices immediately. You can still read ebook content online, or you can follow up with the Library Enquiry Desk about options for print alternatives.

The Library values our users’ right to privacy, and we have expressed concern and alarm to our ebook supplier, and asked them to advocate on our behalf. The Library has passed this information on to the Data Protection Officers at IOE who will decide what further action, if any, should be taken.  We will keep you informed about this issue as we receive updates.



Text adapted from Ryerson University Library & Archives blog post with thanks.  
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Different Worlds

In the last week I have read two books from the Education in Literature Collection which describe two very different educational experiences.

First Year Up by D.W. Hackman was published in 1951. It describes the first year experiences of Kit, Jane and others who are students at the Setterfield Training College. It is a Teacher Training College in a small English market town which, despite its size, has two cinemas, antique shops, several cafes and the ever useful Woolworths. There are several contrasting schools where the students go for teaching practice.

The descriptions of lectures and students’ experiences of trying to keep classes engaged with their carefully prepared lessons, whilst coping with living away from home for the first time seem very authentic.

The book may seem quaint to our modern eyes but I have the feeling that this is how some people trained as teachers in the 1950s. The numerous line drawings by W. A. Sillince, who was an illustrator for Punch Magazine, add to the book’s charms.

The second book Beyond this Horizon by David Thompson could also be described as a historical description of an individual’s educational experience. It was published in 2012.

Thomas Arthur Taylor, known as Tat, is from a farming family in the Upper Eden Valley in Cumbria. His intelligence gains him a place at Appleby Grammar School. Interesting as the descriptions of his life as a boarder at this school are ,the book really came alive for me when Tat begins his Law studies at UCL just after the First World War.

His rugby playing prowess leads to a friendship with Ollie, a student of sculpture at The Slade School. Through Ollie , Tat meets and falls in love with Jane, a talented art student. When Jane dies in a tragic accident Tat’s grief is compounded by the discovery of her long standing affair with an older, married artist. His academic work, Ollie’s friendship and, unexpectedly, his love of singing all provide solace.

As a first time novelist Davis Thompson has indeed’ written about what he knows’ He too attended Appleby Grammar School as a boarder and was a postgraduate student at The Slade School of Art, specialising in sculpture. Apart from success as a sculpture he also worked as a tutor in the sculpture department of The Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury.

I enjoyed learning about such diverse subjects as the Appleby Horse Fair, the casting of bronzes, the sculptor Epstein and jazz in 1920s London. I too have queued on Gower Street for the No. 14 bus.

Both books are evocations of a bygone era although the educational establishment in First Year Up was a contemporary one when it was published.

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