Welcome to LINK, an online journal published by the University of Hertfordshire School of Education.

LINK was created to make visible the research and scholarship undertaken by colleagues within and linked to the School of Education, including academics, professional staff, visiting lecturers and our partners in schools and other professional settings, as well as current and past post-graduate students.

We are very excited that Theo Gilbert’s work on embedding compassion into seminar design and assessment (Volume 2, Issue 1) Assess compassion in higher education? was featured in the Times Higher Education (THE) last month. Our thanks to Theo for ensuring the insertion of a hyperlink to LINK into his THE article. We are sure that this will support our widening readership.


The articles in this issue of LINK focus on the power of collaborative working in developing learning and teaching. Rebecca Thomas’s piece invites us to consider setting up novel, sociable spaces and zones of hospitable exchange, in order to encourage the critical discussion of teaching strategies. Rebecca makes a compelling argument for establishing open, creative spaces in which staff can think outside of the pressures of an increasingly marketised HEI agenda.

An article on staff-student partnership takes the concept of collaborative learning still further. Developed collaboratively by four authors, the article focuses on student-staff partnership working in the University of Hertfordshire. The authors describe a range of initiatives undertaken during the past six years and identify some of the challenges, opportunities and learning derived from this type of collaborative work.

Our final article investigates the impact of a particular form of teacher-led professional development, lesson study, on the learning of two student-teachers. In addition to an explanation of the process and purpose of lesson study, the article gives some fascinating insights into how participation in the collaborative learning process changed the student-teachers’ self-identified position within their community of practice.


The authors of our first four thought- pieces ask us to consider various impacts on learning. Michele and David Lloyd’s thought-piece challenges us to consider the impact which school design can have on young people’s experience of education. This is an insightful piece, based on David’s experience of designing schools in Hertfordshire.

In her thought-piece, Mala Arunasalam reflects on the quiet learner, a topic introduced to LINK readers through Adenike Akinbode’s thought-piece in Vol.1, issue 2 of LINK The quiet learner and the quiet teacher. Mala reflects on the reasons for silence in a Malaysian, transnational classroom and raise important issues around the impact of cultural and language differences on pedagogic expectations and learning experiences.

The concept of global perspectives is taken up in our third thought-piece. Colleagues in the School of Creative Arts Critical and Cultural Studies group met to reflect on global perspectives across its curriculum. The slide show used with colleagues in the School, which is included in this thought-piece, provides a provocation for debate on this issue and offered colleagues the opportunity to gain insight into each other’s practices across quite distinct discipline areas.

Carol Timson’s thought-piece reflects on teacher-learning. It explores the term ‘Feedback in Action’, focusing on ‘in-class’ training and considering ways in which the development of teachers’ attitudes, musical understanding and practices are supported through inter-active mentoring.

In our final thought-piece of this issue, Julia Petty outlines the background and development of a fascinating storytelling resource about neonatal nursing, developed from the narratives of student nurses who had spent time in this area for a practice placement during their nursing undergraduate programme.

Authors' Reflections

In this issue we introduce a new section, 'Authors' Reflections'.  The four reflections in this section are written by authors or editors of recently published books.  We asked them to respond to these questions:

  • Why did you write this book?
  • Why write a book, rather than a different form of publication?
  • What are the book’s key messages?

Their answers give an intriguing insight into both personal beliefs and values and the types of thought-process which inform publication decisions.

Get involved

We hope that you enjoy reading this issue of LINK.  If you are an academic or practitioner who is linked to the School of Education in some way, please consider developing an article, thought-piece or an author's reflection for a future issue.

Amanda Roberts and Philip Woods

Read 'Going out on a roll...' ⇢