Academic Practice Groups

The Academic Practice Team in CLAD and Learning Spaces run monthly Writing, Research and Reading Groups that are open to colleagues who would like to explore topics related to higher education (e.g. teaching and learning, academic practice, HE leadership).

Academic practice writing group

The Academic Practice Writing Group offers time away from distractions, for focussed writing, in the company of others. We write for a set amount of time and have breaks for lunch and tea/coffee. During our breaks we share our progress, frustrations, seek and give advice.

We welcome colleagues from across the University of Birmingham, regardless of the nature of your contracts and level of employment. The group welcomes in particular colleagues writing on topics related to higher education. This can include, but is not limited to, writing for publication, writing up BEACON applications, EEF project applications/reports and PCAP assignments.

Due to popular demand, we will have one full day of writing each month as well as a half day for those colleagues who are unable to set aside a whole day for writing.

Writing group dates 

Friday, Full Day (9.30am-4.30pm) Glynn Rooms, Watson Building

  • 7 October 2016
  • 4 November 2016
  • 2 December 2016
  • 6 January 2017
  • 3 February 2017
  • 3 March 2017
  • 7 April 2017
  • 5 May 2017
  • 2 June 2017
  • 7 July 2017

Wednesday, Half Day (10am-1pm) Glynn Rooms, Watson Building

  • 26 October 2016
  • 23 November 2016
  • 7 December 2016
  • 18 January 2017
  • 15 February 2017
  • 15 March 2017
  • 26 April 2017
  • 17 May 2017
  • 14 June 2017
  • 19 July 2017

For further information please contact:

Please do book in advance of attending:


Preparing to attend a writing day

Colleagues have found the following suggestions useful when preparing for a writing day:

  • Do be prepared to commit to the full duration of the day (9:30-16:30), as well as to adhere to the structure of the day.
  • This day is about focusing exclusively on writing, offering clear uninterrupted writing periods (so no access to e-mails and the Internet whilst writing!).
  • Be clear about your writing goal for the day, i.e. sections of paper/chapter, number of words. Be prepared to discuss your goals, writing progress, and outcomes from the day.
  • Research, read and collect key literature and references in advance. Do bring along the key literature sources, in electronic or hard copy.
  • Consider how you are going to keep a clear and easy record of your work. For example create a writing day/group folder on your desktop or memory stick and decide how you are going to code different versions of your paper files.
  • Prepare to bring along your laptop, and do not forget the power chargers!
  • Please note lunch will not be provided, however it is intended that participants will share meal times. Normally, this involves participants having lunch at Staff House, so do bring cash or a packed lunch as needed. Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided.

Academic practice reading group

The AP Reading Group is organised and hosted by the Academic Practice Team at the Centre for Learning and Academic Development. It meets regularly to discuss texts relating to a wide range of topics on academic practice. It is a space away from our routine where we can explore these topics and argue, agree or disagree, but ultimately think about our work in a scholarly and evidence-based way.  The Reading Group is intended to engage all colleagues, and in particular those involved in professional development, such as the PGCert, IAP and Beacon programmes offered by our team. It is open to anyone. Any accidental side-effects such as dissemination of ideas and encouragement of collaboration and discussion are welcome.

Tea and coffee will be available as always, and you can also bring your lunch along if you like.

Time: 13:00-14:00 at the CLAD Social Space

No prior booking required for the Reading Group. For details and reading list, contact Marios Hadjianastasis:

 Heading Here

  • 12 September 2016 - John Dewey (1916). Democracy and Education (New York: Macmillan) [1930 edition] link: I-V
  • 26 September 2016 - F. Marton and R. Saljö (1976). On Qualitative Differences In Learning: I-Outcome And Process. British Journal of Educational Psychology, Volume 46, Issue 1, pages 4–11, February 1976.
  • 24 October 2016 - John Dewey (1916). Democracy and Education (New York: Macmillan) [1930 edition] link: VI-VIII
  • 28 November 2016 - John Dewey (1916). Democracy and Education (New York: Macmillan) [1930 edition] link: XI-XII
  • 12 December 2016 - 1) Charl Fregona and Agata Sadza (2016). Blended Learning. In Helen Pokorny and Digby Warren (eds.). Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education (London: Sage), pp. 91-105.
    2) Adrian Kirkwood (2009). E-learning: you don't always get what you hope for. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, Volume 18, Issue 2
  • 9 January 2017 - John Holmwood (2011). A Manifesto for the Public University (London: Bloomsbury); Chapters 1-3 (pp. 12-55)
  • 23 January 2017 - 1) Pierre Bourdieu (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.) Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education (New York, Greenwood), 241-258.

    2) Rachel Brooks (2009). Accessing Higher Education: The Influence of Cultural and Social Capital on University Choice. Sociology Compass, Volume 2, Issue 4, pages 1355–1371, July 2008

    3) Roy Nash (1990). Bourdieu on Education and Social and Cultural Reproduction. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 11, No. 4 (1990), pp. 431-447.
  • 13 February 2017 - 1) Richard Hill (2011). Risky Business. Educational Developments, 12.1, March 2011.

    2) Steinar Kvale (2007). Contradictions of assessment for learning in     institutions of higher learning. In David Boud and Nancy Falchikov         (eds.). Rethinking Assessment in Higher Education (Abingdon and         NY: Routledge), pp. 57-71

  • 27 February 2017 - Bill Readings (1997). The University in Ruins (Harvard: HUP); Chapters 1-5 (pp. 1-69)
  • 6 March 2017 - Gert J. J. Biesta (2011). Learning Democracy in School and Society: Education, Lifelong Learning, and the Politics of Citizenship (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers); Chapter 4 ‘Knowledge, Democracy and Higher Education’, pp. 45-58.
  • 27 March 2017 - 1) David Jaques and Gilly Salmon( 2007). Learning in Groups (Abingdon: Routledge) Chapters 1-2 pp. 5-49

    2) Denise Batchelor (2008). Have students got a voice? In Ronald Barnett and Roberto Di Napoli (eds.) Changing Identities in Higher Education: Voicing Perspectives (Abingdon: Routledge), pp. 40-54,

    3) Working With Small Groups. Psychology Teaching (HEA Psychology Network)
  • 8 May 2017 - Andrew Wall, David Hirsch and Joseph Rodgers (2014). Assessment for Whom: Repositioning Higher Education Assessment as an Ethical and Value-Focused Social Practice. Research & Practice in Assessment (Vol. 9, Summer 2014), pp. 5-17
  • 22 May 2017 - 1) Wally Morrow (1994). Bounds of Democracy: Epistemological Access in Higher Education (HSRC Press); Chapter 6: ‘Entitlement and achievement in education’, pp. 69-86.
    2) Johan Muller (2014). Every picture tells a story: Epistemological access and knowledge. Education as Change, 18:2, pp. 255-269
  • 12 June 2017 - 1) John Biggs and Catherine Tang (2007). Teaching For Quality Learning at University (Maidenhead: SRHE and OU Press). Chapter 4: Using Constructive Alignment in Outcomes-Based Teaching and Learning, pp. 40-54.
    2) Tine S. Prøitz (2010). Learning outcomes: What are they? Who defines them? When and where are they defined? Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, May 2010, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp. 119–137;
  • 26 June 2017 - 1) Kathleen Lynch (2013). New managerialism, neoliberalism and ranking. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics (Vol. 13), pp. 1-13;
    2) Jo Peat (2016). ‘“Don’t put your head above the parapet”: why academics don’t come for help. Educational Developments, 17.2 (June 2016), pp. 5-8.
  • 17 July 2017 - Pepi Leistyna(2010). Taking on the Corporatization of Public Education: What Teacher Education Can Do. In Sheila Macrine, Peter McLaren and Dave Hill (eds.Revolutionizing Pedagogy: Education for Social Justice Within and Beyond Global Neo-Liberalism), pp. 65-87.