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Karen Appleby

Principal Lecturer in Centre for Children & Families

Institute of Education

Contact Details


tel: 01905 855074

Since joining the Institute of Education in 1995 as an experienced primary school teacher, learning and teaching in higher education has been a significant area of professional interest for Karen. Her work in this area was rewarded in 2003 with a University of Worcester Learning and Teaching Fellowship and in 2015 she achieved the status of Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

As Principal Lecturer she has a leadership role as the Institute of Education’s Co-Lead for Learning and Teaching which involves collaborative working with colleagues within the institute and across the university. Over the years she has had a range of roles within the Centre for Early Childhood including teaching, course leadership, Partnership Co-ordinator for the Foundation Degree in Early Years (delivered in collaboration with 8 partner colleges) and a leadership role as Principal Lecturer. Karen has worked independently and collaboratively with colleagues on a range of publications related to reflective practice.

Karen’s teaching interests focus on children’s learning and development, communication, language and literacy. Her professional interest in reflective practice continues to inform her teaching, research and publications.

For many years she has been actively involved as a primary school governor with specific responsibility for Early Years and literacy.


Masters in Education (Distinction) University of Worcester
B Ed (Hons) QTS (Primary Education and English) University of London Goldsmiths College
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
University of Worcester Learning and Teaching Fellow

Teaching & Research

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests

Child development
Children as learners
Communication, Language and Literacy
Reflective Practice

Research Interests

Karen’s current research interests focus on practitioner perspectives on reflective practice.

Professional Bodies

Professional Bodies





Appleby, K. & Hanson, K. (2017) Becoming a critically reflective thinker and learner. In Musgrave, J., Savin-Baden, M., Stobbs N. (Eds) Studying for Your Early Years Degree: Skills and knowledge for becoming an effective practitioner.  Northwich, Critical Publishing

Hanson, K. & Appleby, K (2017) Becoming a reflective practitioner. In Musgrave, J., Savin-Baden, M., Stobbs N. (Eds) Studying for Your Early Years Degree: Skills and knowledge for becoming an effective practitioner. Northwich, Critical Publishing

Kubiak, C., Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Appleby, K., Kempster, M., Reed, M., Solvason, C.& Thorpe M. Brokering boundary encounters.  In Wenger-Trayner, E., Fenton-O’Creevy, M., Hutchinson, S., Kubiak, C.& Wenger-Trayner, B. (Eds) (2015) Learning in Landscapes of Practice. Abingdon, Routledge

Hanson K. & Appleby, K. (2015) Reflective Practice. In Trodd, L. (Ed) (2015) The Early Years Handbook for students and practitioners. Abingdon, Routledge

Appleby, K. & Hanson K. (2014). Reflective Practice. In Reed, M. & Walker, R. (2014). Early Childhood Studies: A Critical Reader. London, Sage Publications

Appleby, K. & Andrews, M. (2011) Reflective Practice is the Key to Quality Improvement. In Reed, M. & Canning, N. (2011) (Eds.) Implementing Quality Improvement and Change in the Early Years. London, Sage Publications

Appleby, K. (2010) Voices of Reflection. In Canning, N. & Reed, M. (2010). (Eds.) Reflection in the Early Years London: Sage Publications

Appleby, K. (2010) Playing and learning: ways of being in action. In Canning, N. (2010). (Ed.) Play and Practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage. London, Sage Publications

External Responsibilities

External Responsibilities