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Research priority area

Learning and Professional Contexts

​​​​​​​​​​​​Education in a broad sense can transform individual lives as well as wider society. As the name of our research priority area suggests, our focus is on professional practice, which we see as a means to bridge this wide range of potential impact.

By conducting a variety of research projects in real-world settings, our professional learning community seeks to reinvent practice while sharing collective learning.

In this way we aim to contribute to the creation of a more just and sustainable society.

The four main themes currently explored by our research priority area comprise:

Students on school trip

Education for sustainable development

There is no shortage of evidence to show the array of interconnected social and environmental challenges facing society, from biodiversity loss to gross inequality to climate change. 

Given that education tends to reflect the society it serves, there is an urgent need to change education itself in order to help us achieve a more sustainable world. What such a change might look like is the focus of this thematic area.

Engaging marginalised groups in the education process

This strand of the research priority area focuses includes the education of marginalised young people who may be in the youth justice system. We explore the ways in which these young people can be re-engaged with education and learning.

The emphasis is on understanding the challenges for them and how these may be addressed or overcome in and through education.

Two students talking to figure in hoodie
Primary Education student - Freya Hancock

Pedagogic and curricular research

In line with the University strategy our purpose in learning and teaching is to nurture in students and staff, the pursuit of community and personal transformation. 

We believe engendering a passion for learning and subject expertise will enable our students to develop as critical thinkers, who are engaged, enquiring, empowered, empathetic and ethical citizens. 

Pedagogic and curricular research emerges as a key strand of our purpose, values and mission in relation to our students.​

Young people and families

This research strand employs multi-disciplinary research in order to engage in principle encounters with young people and their families. 

This work necessitates a multi-professional approach through which the interaction between families, young people and services can be explored. 

Mobile families, post-separation families, shared time parenting, nurture groups and an understanding of the factors that reduce exclusion in schools, comprise this research strand.

Two students talking to figure in hoodie



Contact Dr. Adeela ahmed Shafi and Dr. Paul Vare, research and priority area convenors for Learning and Professional Contexts.

Dr Adeela ahmed Shafi

Dr. Paul Vare

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