School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Research Groups

Research Groups

Professional

Partnerships with educators and other professionals will help changes in practice.

Our research into professional learning for all validates the use of:

  • practitioner enquiry
  • coaching and mentoring
  • video interaction guidance
  • collaborative and multi-agency practice

We recognise tensions between performance based on compliance and authentic professional learning. These allow for divergent outcomes.

We now have research evidence indicating that significant factors in practitioner development include:

  • dialogue
  • an enabling culture
  • theorised practice
  • attuned communication
  • effective frameworks and tools

Professional Learning for Change staff

Professional Learning for Change Staff

Dr Wilma Barrow
Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology


Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8717

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6591

Dr Simon Gibbs
Reader in Educational Psychology

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6575

René Koglbauer
Executive Director of North Leadership Centre, Senior Lecturer in Education (Educational Leadership)

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8453

Professor David Leat
Prof of Curriculum Innovation

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6578

Professor Sue Robson
Professor of Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6760

Lucy Tiplady
CfLaT Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7449

Professor Liz Todd
Prof of Educational Inclusion

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6572

Society

We look at the relationship children, young people and families have with universal and targeted services.

Our research includes the places children, young people and families inhabit, eg schools, young offender institutions, courts. This work looks at families’ role in the creation, implementation and impact of policy and practice.

It has a particular focus in making a contribution to children, parents/carers and practitioners. We aim to reduce social and educational inequalities through their:

  • inclusion
  • resilience
  • creative participation

Key themes include:

  • how creative ethical practice in social, educational and health services can be sustained
  • how children, young people and communities participate in the development of services (including schools)
  • how children and families find the support and opportunities they need at different times
  • what conceptual ideas support this policy and practice

We use several tools to achieve these aims, including:

  • theory of change framework
  • visual methods
  • participatory research
  • working in partnership
  • VIG
  • narrative approaches

Education, Society and Inequalities staff

Education, Society and Inequalities Staff

Dr Wilma Barrow
Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology


Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8717

Dr Jill Clark
Principal Research Associate and Executive Director of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5637

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6591

Dr Simon Gibbs
Reader in Educational Psychology

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6575

Karen Laing
Senior Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8735

Dr Laura Mazzoli Smith
Research Excellence Academy Fellow

Email:
Telephone: 0191 208 6380

Maria Mroz
Lecturer

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6585

Professor Sue Robson
Professor of Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6760

Dr Heather Smith
Senior Lecturer

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6820

Professor Liz Todd
Prof of Educational Inclusion

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6572

Innovative

Our researchers look at how and why education innovations succeed or fail.

Some of the headlines for our research projects include:

  • Thinking Skills
  • Learning 2 Learn
  • Metacognition
  • Enquiry-Based Learning
  • Self Organised Learning Environments (SOLES)

There are other pedagogies and projects, including:

  • Open Futures
  • Philosophy for Children
  • Mantle of the Expert
  • Creative Partnerships
  • Thinking for Learning
  • Building Learning Power

They all have their advocates. They intend to change or even transform educational outcomes or systems. But this is harder to do than most people imagine.

Our research cluster takes a pragmatic approach within a socio-cultural stance. We pursue questions about how and why innovative approaches prosper or fade.

We do not take a neutral stance. We believe that more ‘productive’ pedagogies have much to offer 21st century contexts.

Where possible, we work in partnership with students, teachers, schools and third parties.

Innovative Pedagogy and Curriculum staff

Innovative Pedagogy and Curriculum Staff

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6591

Dr Hanneke Jones
Lecturer in Primary Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5460

René Koglbauer
Executive Director of North Leadership Centre, Senior Lecturer in Education (Educational Leadership)

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8453

Professor David Leat
Prof of Curriculum Innovation

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6578

Email:
Telephone: 07966 865 860

Ulrike Thomas
CfLaT Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5654

Lucy Tiplady
CfLaT Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7449

Dr Pamela Woolner
Senior Lecturer in Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5470

Teach & Learn

Our group includes colleagues from the School and across the University. We share existing research and knowledge about teaching and learning.

We apply this to new research collaborations and practical applications to enhance student experience. Research themes include:

  • learning, teaching and assessment
  • classroom discourse
  • the internationalisation of higher education
  • intercultural learning and communication
  • the role of technology in supporting learning

We also look at the development of inclusive learning environments and innovative pedagogies.

If you're interested in joining the Teaching and Learning group, visit our website.

Teaching and Learning in HE staff

Teaching and Learning in HE Staff

Dr Jill Clark
Principal Research Associate and Executive Director of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5637

Professor Sue Robson
Professor of Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6760

Email:
Telephone: 07966 865 860

Professor Steve Walsh
Professor of Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5094

tRee

We understand the transformative power of education. We see its contribution towards a fairer and just society.

Our research challenges the assumed neutrality of education.

It reflects on its social purposes. It works to disrupt normalised discourses, which reinforce and reify existing inequities.

tRee (Research in Transformative Education for Equity) staff

tRee (Research in Transformative Education for Equity) Staff

Fred Clark
DPD Primary PGCE

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8452

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6591

Dr Hanneke Jones
Lecturer in Primary Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5460

Maria Mroz
Lecturer

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6585

Dr Heather Smith
Senior Lecturer

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6820

Learning Environments

This research cluster brings together some well-established strands of work. This has the intention of focusing our activities and developing new ideas and projects.

Our interests cover the following areas:

School buildings

We have an established reputation in researching the relationship of school premises to education.

This includes:

  • historical investigations
  • evaluations of the evidence base for the impact of the environment on quality of learning
  • interdisciplinary collaborations.

Visit our School Buildings website for more information.

Outdoor learning

We consider the impact of:

  • being outside
  • learning outdoors
  • participating in activities such as gardening and nature study.

We have looked at many school-based outdoor learning initiatives.

We investigated children's learning and relationships they build when taking part in outdoor activities.

We provided formative evaluation during the development of Open Futures (from 2006 to 2010). We then did a full evaluation of the programme's impact within school.

In 2011, we worked with schools on the Creative Partnerships report about outdoor learning.

The psychology of learning environments

We're working with teachers and children to gain understanding of issues such as:

  • how physical attributes of schools affect how teachers teach and children learn
  • how important is it for a teacher to be able to adapt the arrangement of displays and furniture
  • whether poor acoustic conditions make a difference
  • whether smaller corridors affect children’s behaviour

Participation in design and change

Evidence suggests value in students, teachers and other staff engaging with their learning environment. This can be a catalyst for other educational and organisational change.

Our conference in 2011, brought together practitioners and academics from education and architecture. It explored participatory approaches to school design.

We have developed a range of visually mediated activities to help school communities talk to each other and make decisions.

Our interests centre on how, in practice, a beneficial relationship between setting and activity can be set in motion.

Learning Environments staff

Learning Environments Research Group Staff

Dr Wilma Barrow
Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology


Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8717

Dr Simon Gibbs
Reader in Educational Psychology

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6575

Ulrike Thomas
CfLaT Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5654

Lucy Tiplady
CfLaT Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7449

Dr Pamela Woolner
Senior Lecturer in Education

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5470