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Whose learning?
Whose learning? published by McGraw-Hill Education
Kate Bullock
Kate Bullock
Felicity Wikeley
Felicity Wikeley

Press Release - 08 December 2004

New book looks at the changing role of the tutor

A new book from the University's Department of Education has won praise from a headteacher in the Times Education Supplement:

"This book provides one of the most lucid, contemporary evaluations of the tutor's role I've encountered. …A fascinating, stimulating read."

The book Whose Learning? by Kate Bullock and Felicity Wikeley, addresses three fundamental strands of the learning process and their complex inter-relationships:

Bringing together established theoretical arguments; current activities in schools and classrooms; and observations gleaned from the authors' own research the book explores the concept that the role of the class tutor is now closer to that of an academic or personal tutor; that is, an adult who works with students to guide, support and help them manage their learning.

"The book was inspired by our work with tutors in secondary schools and further education colleges where we were impressed by the power of the educational relationships and learning interactions between the tutors and their students."

About the authors:

Kate Bullock is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Education. Formerly a teacher of science, she has been a research officer and lecturer in Higher Education since 1979. She has wide experience of research and evaluation in the areas of student learning, education relationships and school organisation.

Felicity Wikeley is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies for Research in the Department of Education. She has taught across the age range from pre-school to adults and has been a researcher and lecturer in Higher Education since 1989. Her main areas of interest are education relationships, particularly those of parents and their children; school effectiveness, and school improvement.

Full text of TES review:

"I'm often wary of books about life in schools written by people on the perimeters, but this wise and timely publication by two lecturers in university education departments is an exception.

Many schools are rethinking the role of the tutor. Tempted by the logic of replacing daily tutor time with electronic registering, we are wondering whether that 15 to 20 minutes each morning is money well spent.

This book provides one of the most lucid, contemporary evaluations of the tutor's role I've encountered. It repositions the tutor as someone who helps students know what to learn, how to learn and, crucially, to "know" themselves as learners. It has a good mix of theory and practical guidance.

It warns against over-dependence on the learning styles obsession (so what if students have nine types of intelligence? No single lesson will cater for all of them) and illustrates the tutor's powerful role in making connections between subjects and areas of knowledge. A fascinating, stimulating read."

GEOFF BARTON Geoff Barton is headteacher at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk