Research at the School of Education

The School of Education has an established record of developing educational research of national and international excellence.

Research and scholarly activity within the School is co-ordinated through Special Interest Groups. The Special Interest Groups are concentrations of research expertise and contribute to capacity-building by bringing together academic staff with different levels and kinds of expertise and experience, and postgraduate students, to discuss papers, plan research bids, and develop and critique plans for research projects. SIGs promote and share research through regular workshops and seminars involving staff, doctoral students and external speakers.

The work of Special Interest Groups is focused on the following research themes:

Members of Special Interest Groups are involved in a number of ongoing research projects.

For details of individual staff research interests and areas in which they would be able to supervise doctoral students see individual staff members’ pages.

We host regular research seminars and events on topics related to our  research interests.

Research aims

Through our research we aim to work closely with policy-makers and practitioners to:

  1. Explore and question educational theory and analysis,
  2. Build a strong well-theorised evidence base to inform and critically engage with educational policy and practice in regional, national and international contexts.

Collectively, our research challenges practitioners and policy makers in the fluid policy context that has characterised educational reform nationally and internationally.

Promoting impact through our research

We promote research that critically informs and engages with educational policy and practice in a wide range of educational and institutional contexts. The main non-academic user groups of our research are local, national and international government and non-governmental policy makers, school and college leaders, teachers and students, national and international examination boards and assessment agencies, community organisations, textbook publishers, and professional associations.

We aim at achieving three main types of impact:

  1. Changing or encouraging a critical questioning of policy and strategy in Government and non-Governmental organisations, assessment agencies and examination boards internationally, nationally and regionally.
  2. Changing or encouraging a critical questioning of policy and strategy in schools, colleges and HEIs internationally, nationally and locally.
  3. Influencing the conceptual frameworks and assumptions which influence the development of educational policy and decisions by policy makers (local, regional, national and international) and school and college leaders.

More specifically the types of impact we aim to achieve through our research include:

  1. Changes in policy, practice and approaches to key areas of the activities of our user groups.
  2. Changes in conceptual frameworks and assumptions that shape policy and practice, especially as these relate to the conditions, organisation, values and practices that influence the development and improvement of learning (including organisational and professional learning and development, teaching, curriculum and assessment).
  3. The development of research projects which help targeted user groups to understand and critically engage with the learning and social needs of pupils, teachers, parents, and other relevant members of school and college communities and their networks.
  4. Encouraging critical, research-informed approaches to educational problems as a way of encouraging a questioning of underlying assumptions behind the development of policy and practice among our user groups.
  5. The promotion of sustainable development and use of research-engaged and informed strategies and approaches to optimising the quality of teaching and learning in schools, colleges and HEIs, and the quality of teacher learning, teacher development and teacher preparation.

Research commitments

The focus of much of our research reflects the unique status of Leicester and its surroundings in terms of its diversity of cultures and faiths. We value the importance of building synergies between teaching and research geared towards influencing local, regional, national and international policy agendas and providing opportunities for disenfranchised voices to be heard and taken seriously. We are committed to building on existing partnerships and creating new partnerships with schools, colleges and other educational institutions. Our partnerships contribute to research-informed capacity building in initial teacher education, continued professional development, educational leadership and school/organisational improvement.

Next step: Find out more about our Research Projects

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