Learning, Leadership and Policy
Researching with impact:
We research learning, teaching and the leadership and management of schools and further and higher education institutions both in the UK and internationally. Our research covers educational policy, curriculum, leadership, teacher professionalism, the learning lives of young people and those who teach both inside and outside formal educational institutions. It is underpinned by social justice concerns.
We have strong research partnerships with colleagues worldwide and take a leading role in a wide range of national and international networks and groups. Around 30 doctoral students belong to our group as co-researchers and we are keen to receive proposals from prospective research degree students who wish to work with us in the areas outlined below. We also have a range of postgraduate courses in these areas and many of our Masters students are professionals who investigate policy, practice and pedagogy.
We have received funding for our research from sources such as the UK research councils and governmental and non-governmental organisations concerned with education and training. This research is published in high impact journals with global reach such as the Oxford Review of Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, The Curriculum Journal, International Studies in Educational Administration, British Educational Research Journal, and the British Journal of Educational Technology.
Our work falls within three related areas:
We research professional learning and ‘learning in the professions’: the ways in which education professionals are trained and practise lifelong learning. This spans primary and secondary schooling, further and higher education and interprofessional clinical education. We examine a range of topics which include: values and ethics in professional learning; the professional lives of teachers and academics; models of leadership, professionalism and professional development; influences of ethos and institutional culture; professional identity and the development of research cultures and research capacity.
Leadership and Management:
At the heart of this area is our study of leadership and management of both schools and higher education institutions in the UK and overseas. A key feature of our research is that it includes the much-neglected perspective of ‘the led’. Its focus includes: organisational culture; the implementation of curriculum policy and the management of change at the organisational level; leadership for professional learning and staff development; impacts of institutional mergers on work-related attitudes; the management of ICT to enhance workplace learning; role definition and perceptions of those in leadership positions; the beliefs and values of school and academy leaders; leadership ethics and social justice.
Policy and Curriculum:
Curriculum and educational policy critically structure teaching and learning experiences in formal and informal education as well as professional training. This has an impact in schools, further and higher education and work-place learning in education and healthcare. Our study cuts across a range of issues which include: vocational education; student identity; educational progression; social justice; educational uses of information technology; governance and accountability; the mediation of curriculum policy; institutional collaboration; curriculum design; transitions between types of education and training, and between formal education and the workplace. Our research includes: evaluations of curriculum; longitudinal and historical studies of curriculum change; international comparative studies of educational progression, participation and those not in education employment or training; case studies of learning environments, including training providers, academies and free schools. Much of this work focuses on education and training for young people aged 14-19.