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Latest Release

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A memoir about how adolescence galvanised me for a single-breasted adulthood.

Breast cancer shocked me into asking how I would cope. What resources of body and mind had I inherited from my parents?

Here is a new kind of autobiography, multi-layered, combining history and biography with the urgency of first-person experience.

"At once a vivid slice of social history, a bittersweet evocation of parent-child relations in a different era, and an unflinching portrait of living with cancer, Patricia Tyerman’s powerful but subtle testimony will take a deservedly high place in this golden age of memoir writing."


David Kynaston

Previous Publications

Inclusion in the City- Selection 

Selection, Schooling and Community

Reducing the inequalities experienced by many youngsters in school has been inhibited by the lack of an explicit policy for their inclusion, making it harder to strengthen participation in community comprehensive education. I and a group of colleagues at the Open University led by Tony Booth explored policy and practice between 1997 and 2003 in one English city – Birmingham. Detailed case studies were specially undertaken for this book in relation to key issues: the effects of selection by attainment, faith schools and their communities, single-sex education and inclusive schools, participation in further education and social mobility. We detach processes of inclusion and exclusion from the language of special needs, connecting them instead to the language of educational reform, thus highlighting the links between education, poverty, gender and cultural background. Moving towards coherent policies for participation in education requires political and ethical commitment to a project of comprehensive reform.


Modernising Education in Britain and China

Comparative Perspectives on Excellence and Social Inclusion.


This book is based on my collaboration with colleagues in China between 1988 and 2000. Modernisation has been a central goal for China since the late 1970s and was a core project for the New Labour government. Despite the contrasts in cultural and political values, there are increasing similarities between the educational systems of the two countries, for example the promotion of selective schools as a resource for the wider community and the difficulty of reconciling aims of competitive excellence with projects for social inclusion. My growing understanding of the Chinese urban education system helped me develop a more critical perspective on the system in Britain than would have been possible if I had never left home. I was fortunate enough to be able to revisit a wide range of Chinese educational settings over the years, making possible comparative observations and discussions during a period of rapid change in kindergartens, elementary and middle schools, special schools, universities and teacher training colleges. A number of related themes emerged: the idea of childhood, the use of space and time in educational settings, the significance of language and communication for shaping positive identities, gender inequalities, the barriers to asking questions, revising teacher education and developing frameworks of support. Social inclusion will not be seen as ‘modern’ unless this is defined as participation.

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