Department of Education

Learning, Pedagogy and Diversity

The research of the LPD cluster is underpinned by the notion that society should be more equal and socially just. Education is important to achieving this aim and our research seeks to find ways in which learners from all backgrounds can be empowered by an education that will enable them to participate in, achieve within, and contribute to, the development of a fairer, more equal and prosperous world.
Cluster members are concerned with developing empirical and conceptual research that explores a holistic vision of education in the context of learning, skill formation, labour market transitions and citizenship in a massively diverse, unequal and increasingly globalized society. Our research focuses on diverse learners in formal and informal educational spaces globally and asks how education can equip people for the global challenges of the contemporary world.  
We specialise in the use of critical sociology, critical social psychological and philosophy to explore educational issues. However, cluster members also draw upon historical and political perspectives and theories and there is an interest in interdisciplinary approaches.
Current cluster members research explores the following issue empirically and theoretically:
  • the development of social justice, equality, diversity and psychological wellbeing in the contexts of educational policy and practice
  • supporting learning, pedagogy, curricula and knowledge development for the benefit of the global society and the planet
  • the role of informal and formal learning
  • the importance of students’ and educators’ biographies - their cultural, economic and social backgrounds – to understanding educational experiences and outcomes
  • the development of educational practices, spaces and relationships for the effective engagement and empowerment of diverse learners
  • the role and theorisation of historical, social and cultural processes in understanding how educational settings shape learning experiences and outcomes
  • dialogic pedagogy for inclusive education
  • the development of educators pedagogy and practice
  • the effective and fair assessment of diverse learners
  • technology to support diverse students and educators
  • the impact of neoliberal ideology on education governance; educators and students.
Research reflects the diverse cultures and contexts in which learning is situated.

Research topics

  • Involvement of fathers in children’s learning
  • Education for sustainability with a focus on childhood nature studies
  • Dialogue and Learning
  • Educational relationships and attachment theory
  • Higher education policy
  • Investigating and theorising socially just pedagogy and curriculum
  • Accessible resources for students\audiences with disabilities
  • Pedagogic relationships and learning
  • STEM education and public engagement with science and technology

Current research projects

Researching and Developing Training on Inclusive Education for Chinese Primary School Teachers
The Development of Socially and Economically Valuable Inclusive Postgraduate Taught Programmes in Universities (Postgraduate Experience Project: STEM)
A Bernsteinian Approach to Understanding and Developing Socially Just Pedagogies and Knowledge for Diverse Groups in Universities 
Early Career Academics in Social Sciences and Humanities in an Age of Austerity
Pedagogical frameworks and school readiness in different cultures and settings
Paternal involvement and child socialisation: Images from young learners in the home environment
Evidence of Impact of Sustainable Schools
Childhood nature: Monitoring the impact of the national 'food for life partnership' growing skills programme
Childhood nature: the national growing schools programme
The International Mindedness Journey: School Practices for Developing and Assessing International Mindedness Across the IB Continuum
Dialogic Pedagogy
The use of mobile technology and multimedia learning to develop critical voice
Assessment performance and the teaching and learning of mathematics
Changing patterns in vocational entry qualifications, student support and outcomes in undergraduate degree programmes
Post-separation families and the UK and Australian Primary Education Sectors: Managing shared parental responsibility for children’s education
Is group work working?: Teacher intentions, student experiences and effective learning strategies
Spirituality, biographical pain, and attachment states of mind in elderly people
Exploring the educational penalties of mobile lifestyles through a social relationships lens: A study of Traveller, military, and socially housed populations
Developing a critical appreciation of attachment theory in a neoliberal society
Interrogating motivational theory in the context of social structures and educational policy
Towards a cartography of impact: Assessing the role of impact evaluators in REF2014
The future of public engagement in higher education and scientific contexts
An academic manifesto and defending the public university in a global context


Research students