Woodhill Park Retreat


This page provides public domain access to a pot pouri of articles, notes, ideas and even musings which colleagues, students and lurkers may freely download.  The list will keep on growing as materials are added and while some broad categories have been devised to enable batches of information to be more easily assembled, there is no strict hierarchical order.

Please note that many of the items listed blow can also be found within the blue coloured Categories box that appears immediately to the right of what you are now reading.  To access the materials available from this page, all you have to do is scroll down to the item of your choice from the list below and then click the hyperlink.  Alternatively, click in the Categories box to the right and click whatever items or articles you want to download.

Items have mainly been converted into PDF  documents and this page provides hyperlinks to those PDFs.  From time-to-time annotations have been added to provide clarification about what's on offer.  All resources listed may be freely used by academics and by representatives from Not-For-Profit organisations.  That means there is no charge for accessing these resources but we do ask that you follow traditional academic courtesies by acknowledging us as a source for any items you use. 

Regrettably, some folk are not as generous as we seek to be and they download intellectual valuables and either claim them as their own and/or on-sell them for a profit.  Can we please ask you to tell us if you learn of anyone levying charges for items we have made available for free and please tell us if you encounter intellectual property theft of our materials.

So here we go then with a clutch of resources - just click on the hyperlink and then happy reading and fruitful learning...


  • On Developing an Understanding of Approaches to Research.  This paper was developed for workshops presented to staff at the Cesar Chavez Institute, San Francisco State University.
  • A PDF Version of the accompanying power-point.  This is a PDF version of the power-point show that accompanies the paper above.  Readers should download the paper and read it in conjunction with viewing this PDF of the power-point show.  
  • What data shall we gather?  This brief presentation is one I've often used during introductory sessions where the traditions of research and research paradigms have to be gently shown to neophyte investigators. 
  • Validity and Reliability.  Again, this resource is the essence of brevity but it is very much to the point and is, therefore, likely to be quite useful for beginning researchers. (See also below under the section About Handling, Managing and Processing Data.)


  • Hansen's Heuristic Hexagon as a PDF.  Developing a research proposal is seldom easy because, frankly, research is rarely a straight forward matter.  But you have to begin somewhere and this three page PDF provides, in the form of a matrix, six dimensions with which you most likely will have to engage.  The extent and detail associated with each dimension is likely to be extensive but here is a simple explanation of the six dimensions.  Do have a look at the accompanying slide show.



  • What do you do with your data?  This short slide show begins to explain how but it's by no means comprehensive.
  • Making sure your data are robust. This very brief PowerPoint presentation is about the importance of ensuring validity and reliability.
  • TriangulationTriangulation, or making sure that data are robust, is a crucial consideration for researchers.  These are the notes which accomapany the slide show introduced immediately above.     


  • Critiquing Reviewed Literature.  This set of notes about how to construct a critical literature review was initially penned by Jens and then became added to by Richard.  It is entwined with a power-point presentation.  The material was originally prepared  for postgraduate candidates who, at some stage or another, have to deal with masses of literature.   In between doing all sorts of other things, those writing a literature review have to find relevant materials, read them, review them and finally critique them.  They must then create an exciting saga that pursuades examiners that they are au fait with their subject whilst also demonstrating that they are on top of their game as scholars. More than 23,000 people have accessed this resource.
  • Beginner's Guide to Writing an Abstract.  This short 'how to' guide was developed after various folk had asked about the secret to successfully preparing an abstract.  One day whilst walking through the corridor of a University School of Education, and popping in to see a number of academics, I found that to my very pleasant surprise, three out of the four folk I visited either were using this template or had recently done so.  (All were preparing for a conference where the deadline for abstract submissions was nigh.)  Now, some years after the original document was prepared, I've expanded that document and I've also discovered that more than 50,000 people have accessed it and that it has even been used at Yale.  To access an expanded set of guidelines which traverse additional forms of abstracts such as presentations, journal articles, book chapters, posters and even continuing professional development workshops, please click here.
  • Writing your thesis Prepared for Doctor of Business Administration candidates, this power point has been converted into a PDF and it introduces some points about thesis preparation.  Importantly, a selected number of URLs are shown and these are a must to follow (see the final slide for the compendium).
  • Cloud-based referencing  This PDF reviews a cloud-based application that can be used for managing references and importantly, can be used to facilitate access to a range of academic information resources.


  • On ethical determinism. This PDF was the trigger that launched what has proven to be an ongoing project that delves into the wooly terrain of ethics and ethics committees.  When a doctoral candidate had to revisit an ethics commitee, not once, not twice, but three times because of what seems to have been a set of shifting goal-posts, and when that same ethics committee dismissed the inclusion of a covenantal approach to research as being irrelevant to an ethics application, my fingers did some talking.  We are still working in this field so watch this space.  Specifically, this paper considers five ways in which researchers 'work-around' ethical regimes and it's suggested that not all of those strategies are commendable.  It's also reasoned that factors which encouraged researchers to seek 'work-a-rounds' need to be addressed.
  • Letter to a parent  This letter was developed by Jo Perry after she'd found that her students were having difficulties in situating themselves in the role of the 'other', the person being researched or the parent of a child being researched in some way.  It's a very useful and simple way of getting to the nub of what a researcher needs to think about if they are about to involve children in research. Put another way, its usefulness is bound up with its simplicity and it really is a very useful but simple resource.


  • "Ways of seeing revisited": introducing a way forward in visual analysis   Jens Hansen and Anna Jo Perry have now been writing and teaching about ways of approaching and conducting visual analysis for a number of years.  Our strategy for doing this was devised by Jens because Jo needed to have a method for ensuring consistency in her analysis of photos given to her by the parents of newly arrived refugee toddlers.  Since then, our thinking has become far more sophisticated as we've come to understand that much of the theory about ways of thinking about visual analysis may warrant extension.  This paper (2007) was presented at the Early Childhood Convention of New Zealand and shows how our  early thinking about visual analysis was beginning to form.
  • Ways of seeing Power-point presentation    This is a power point slide show of the above paper.  One way of maximising your learning with this is to play the presentation whilst having the paper available for reference.  Alternatively, read the paper and have the slide show at the ready!
  • Communities of learning in early childhood education: supporting reciprocal relationships with refugee parents at the Centre for Refugee Education  Even though this paper has a very long title and seems to have little to do with visual analysis, it actually comprises an exposition, a case study of how visual analysis can proceed.  We penned this refereed paper for a (2008) conference  on teaching English as a second language.    
  • Every Picture Tells a Story.  Using Photo Elicitation and Visual Analysis for Data Collection in Early Childhood Education Research  This has been up-loaded as a power-point presentation/slide-show.  Please note that some of the slides, especially at the beginning, play automatically and often quite rapidly.  When we presented this, the introduction was framed and timed to arouse viewer curiosity which is why those initial slides were intentionally rapid.  Why not click away and enjoy.  Our presentation was one of a small series of deliveries which were showcased at an early childhood symposium in 2011.