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Education Research (UoA23)

Education Research (UoA23)

Education research at Newcastle is based in the School of Education, Communication, and Language Sciences (ECLS). It includes:

  • Education and Education Psychology colleagues in ECLS in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS)
  • medical educators from the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS)

Education at Newcastle has been training teachers and doing research for more than 130 years. The Unit returns 21 colleagues to REF2021. Their work ranges from pedagogic innovation to professional learning and education.

Research themes

The Unit focusses its work in four Education research themes. These reflect a dynamic response to developing needs and interests in:

The Unit has an international reputation for its work across all of these themes. 

Interdisciplinary work

Our work is also highly interdisciplinary.

We lead the Newcastle Institute of Social Sciences (NISS). This involves all social scientists working across the three University faculties. They increase the visibility of social science research both within and beyond the University.

We also co-lead the Newcastle University Global Challenges Academy. This helps foster research and partnerships to realise the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It mentors and supports other staff to undertake research globally.

Centre for Learning and Teaching

The Unit has been host to the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT). This has a wide disciplinary membership. It includes research-active staff from:

  • medical education
  • educational psychology and speech and languages sciences
  • SOLE Central, a global hub for research into self-organised learning environments (SOLEs)

Funding awards

The Unit has been awarded significant external funding in the period 2014–2020. Funds have come from a wide portfolio of funders. Major funded projects include the:

Other notable Education research includes:

The latter brings together six European partners. They develop participatory approaches and tools for school communities. These approaches and tools are used to understand and improve their educational space.

Methodological innovation

Our Education research is also distinguished by its methodological innovation. Underpinning much of our work is our commitment to participatory and co-creative approaches. These look at planning, co-designing, co-producing, and researching educational innovation. Examples of this include the:

AHRC-funded Co-curate North East project

This brought together online collections, museums, universities, schools, and community groups. They made and re-made stories and images from North-East England and Cumbria.

Find out more about Co-curate North East

EU-funded ACCOMPLISSH project

This project explored Education research co-creation to enhance impact. It found research impact is best encouraged through authentic, reciprocal relationships with collaborators. Different kinds of research methods and tools were needed for effective co-produced research.

Find out more about ACCOMPLISSH

Poverty Proofing the School Day

'Poverty Proofing the School Day' is an inspiring example. It showed the transformational impact of co-production. Our co-production approach to theory of change was adopted in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament’s Education and Skills Committee used it for their new ‘the Cost of the School Day’ strategy.

Find out more about Poverty Proofing the School Day

Responding to policy and practice challenges

We are, through Education research themes, responding to current educational policy and practice challenges. These include regional challenges of having a workforce for growth sectors in the North East.

Our Project Based Learning (PBL) research, such as the PBL Goes to University project, involves partnerships with:

These have focused on the growth sectors. To address specific challenges for the region, we have collaborated with partners including:

Global reach

Our Education research has global reach. We are:

  • changing the face of teaching through thinking skills in Germany and the Netherlands
  • developing of SOLEs with ex-FARC combatants in Colombia
  • advancing teaching of reading of English in schools in high-density housing areas of Delhi, India

Our Education research focuses on benefitting the lives and education of people living in vulnerable circumstances, such as Roma pupils in Europe.

It also advances innovative pedagogies and education spaces, for instance, research into school buildings

Research impact

Our research is co-produced, engaged, creative, and world-leading. It advances pedagogies for equity and conceptual frameworks. We produce accessible resources emanating from our research for:

  • parents
  • teachers
  • schools
  • universities
  • charities
  • organisations

We are enabling impact which is powerful and transformational. We change attitudes, understandings, practices, and policies.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We ensure all colleagues get the opportunity to develop leadership in research. A commitment to equality and inclusion is integral to the unit.

The unit is a dynamic and vibrant working environment. Our PGR students have an important presence in our research community. They are integrated in our activities as fully as possible.

We lead the Education pathway within the ESRC NINE (Northern Ireland and the North East) Doctoral Training Partnership

The Education research and impact focus of the Unit is guided by our overarching strategy. That's to carry out high quality, internationally recognised research with significant impact. We contribute to the vitality of education and make a beneficial difference to society.

Research case studies

Find out more

To find out more about the Unit, see the ECLS and SME websites.