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Education futures

Study the Doctorate in education with The Open University

The Education Futures Research Cluster is located in the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET). Cluster researchers investigate teaching and learning in order to understand and shape more equitable, innovative and futures-oriented learning opportunities in the 21st century. Our work, which explores the interplay between theory and practice, contributes to knowledge expansion and seeks to make an impact upon the unfolding educational agenda at a systemic level, locally, nationally and internationally. We take a broadly social approach to teaching and learning and use a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches including, for example: sociocultural theory, activity theory, ethnography, historical analysis, discourse analysis and multimodal analysis. These approaches are used to explore teaching and learning and learners’ identities in formal and informal contexts in homes, nurseries, primary and secondary schools, higher education and work-based settings.

Recent externally funded projects include:

  • the nature of storytelling and story acting in the early years
  • creativity in science and mathematics teaching and learning in the early years across Europe
  • an international review of provision for children with special educational needs
  • explorations of  teacher education in developing countries, with reference to pedagogy and the use of new technologies
  • English medium instruction in Ghana and India
  • the use and impact of mobile devices on pedagogic practices and learning
  • explorations of the nature of extra-curricular reading groups in school settings
  • an examination of immersive theatre in education and its contribution to KS3 students’ engagement and writing
  • teachers’ identities as literate individuals and the consequences for pedagogic practice
  • explorations of the nature of extra-curricular reading groups in school settings
  • co-creativity developed though innovative digital gaming environments.

Qualifications available:

PhD. See also our Doctorate in Education (EdD).

Fees:

For detailed information on current fees visit Fees and funding.

Entry requirements:

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent)

Potential research projects

We are interested in research topics related in some way to the themes noted below:

  • Pedagogy and practice
  • Creativity in education
  • Literacy teaching and learning
  • Inclusion and equity
  • Young learners’ and professionals’ identities, agency and voice
  • Early and primary phase learning in homes, schools and communities
  • Informal learning
  • International education and development
  • Teacher education and development, in the UK and internationally
  • School leadership and management
  • Education in the information age
  • Digital inclusion, assistive technologies and learning disabilities.

Current/recent research projects

Students’ projects explore a diverse range of issues including, for example:

  • Children’s writing practices at home and school
  • Arts partnerships and creativity in primary education
  • Children’s literature and the development of spirituality
  • An evaluation of the impact of primary nurture group provision
  • The nature of teacher and student talk in drama
  • Digital literacies in cross-curricula contexts in rural Ireland
  • Teachers’ literate identities and practices, including their literate identities
  • Secondary science teachers’ shifts in pedagogic practice in response to curriculum change
  • Effective process and structures in online learning through a social paradigm 
  • Contexts, voices and perspectives of female teachers in rural Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Home and school literacy practices of children in rural India
  • Leadership and school improvement and its influence on teacher efficacy in Ghana 
  • An analysis of ICT policy development and practice in teacher education in Kenya
  • Principles and practice of syllabus design and material production in secondary education in Bangladesh
  • Participatory approaches to developing accessible heritage resources for people with disabilities.

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

Name:
Mrs Anne Foward
Email:
WELS-student-enquiries@open.ac.uk
Phone:
+44 (0)1908 655364

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.