Dusting Off The Reading List: Is it Fit for Purpose?


  • Lynn Valerie Boyle University of Dundee
  • Dianne Mitchell University of Dundee




Programme literature, reading list, creating, updating, writing


This on the horizon paper presents the early stages of a systematic review of the core reading list for an online undergraduate degree in Childhood Practice at the University of Dundee. The programme is distinct in that all students are working professionals in the field of childcare, drawn from a global community. The review is being carried out to ensure that the new core reading list is fit for this purpose and that its content not only reflects contemporary literature but also the range of students’ workplaces and interests.

The paper discusses the existing literature available on creating reading lists before presenting the methodology and stages to be undertaken in the process of reviewing the core programme reading list. A systematic literature search was completed to identify existing academic papers relating to the creating of reading lists. Pre-study stages already completed include a critique of the current reading lists both at programme and module levels, and the programme staff team having been asked to recommend and share existing books. A literature search has been started to identify existing Library stock of relevance, using the keyword ‘childhood’. A student questionnaire to elicit views on the current reading list was completed as part of programme quality enhancement.

The paper will also discuss the next steps to be taken in the ongoing process of creating the updated reading list. We would now welcome feedback from the academic community on our planned research and suggestions for the programme reading list via the accompanying blog at https://dustingoffthereadinglist.wordpress.com

Author Biographies

Lynn Valerie Boyle, University of Dundee

Lynn Boyle is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Dundee, following a career in Early Years teaching. She is interested in distance learning pedagogies and digital literacy. Lynn has nurtured her learning community through social media and conference attendance and enjoys being part of a very wide HE family. Twitter @boyledsweetie

Dianne Mitchell, University of Dundee

Dianne Mitchell is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Dundee. Her interests are in early childhood education and development; inclusion; autism and educational transitions. She teaches on a number of programmes including the BA Childhood Practice, Master of Education and Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education.

Dianne has recently begun to study for her Professional Doctorate.  Her main areas of research are educational transitions and children with additional support needs.


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On the Horizon