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Education Futures

Education Studies

Contemporary childhoods in a digital age pose considerable challenges for the conceptualisation of education futures. Our work is at the forefront of research providing creative solutions to these challenges, realised through partnerships that acknowledge, among other concerns, 21st century literacy identities, habits and cultures. Our visions are inclusive ­− engaging with the competencies and diverse needs of all learners, within both national and international contexts. Our work is framed by a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches and explores: teaching and learning and learners’ identities in homes, nurseries, primary and secondary schools, and higher education and work-based settings. These investigations of teaching and learning enable us to actively shape more equitable and innovative learning opportunities in the twenty-first century and to impact the unfolding educational agenda locally, nationally and internationally. 

Pedagogy and the curriculum

Our signature expertise concerns: creative pedagogies (in science, the arts and literacies); pedagogies of participation/inclusive pedagogies and pedagogies of mutuality. We investigate pedagogy, learning, curriculum and assessment in the early years, in primary and secondary schooling, in higher education and in initial teacher education. 

Teacher Education, professional development and Leadership

Our education futures expertise orients to the issue of professional identities and to the challenges of ensuring access and quality in both pre-service teacher education and continuing professional development. In national, European and wider international systems, including Sub Saharan Africa and Bangladesh, we explore different pathways to professionalism. Our work investigates the development of education professionals engaged in lifelong learning and learning in the workplace. Our research also critically examines, and contributes to, educational policy-making and implementation, and leadership in formal and informal educational settings.

International development in teacher education across societies and cultures

Within CREET’s research and development portfolio, substantial programmes of work have been designed explicitly to provide innovative solutions to the challenges the global community faces in promoting, expanding and improving teacher education − in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, China and, most recently, in Bangladesh and India. CREET works extensively, and often in partnership, with international organisations such as The Commonwealth of Learning, DFID, the European Union, OECD, The World Bank and UNESCO who value our distinctive expertise, and established track record, in the applications of new forms of ICTs to teacher education.

Qualitative methodology and ethnography

Our expertise and interest centres around both researching and utilising a variety of qualitative methods, including ethnography, discourse analysis and historical investigation. Our methodological work focuses on philosophical and practical issues, including: the functions of methodology; the role of research ethics and research communities and the relationship between research, policy-making and practice.

If you would like more information about what we do, please use the links to the right to explore our cluster's research activity in greater depth, or contact us for further information.

Key Funders: ESRC; AHRC; DFID; Esmée Fairbairn Foundation; The European Commission; Ferguson Foundation; Hewlett Foundation; Leverhulme.

Find out more about The Open University Education and Educational Technology research degree topics.