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This cluster aims to encourage and support research into
education policy. A broad view of policy is taken. It is seen as a
dynamic process involving principles and actions as they relate to
education designed to bring about desired goals (Trowler,
The study of education policy is thus concerned with what
changes are occurring in a particular area of interest, who are
involved in these developments, what are the key drivers and their
Members take a critical, analytical and resistant approach to
the study of education, grappling with contested ideologies and
concepts. The focus may be international, national, regional, local
or within particular educational establishments. A range of areas
of education are explored and as such we draw from and feed into
the other research clusters. The cluster offers intellectually
rigorous analysis of educational processes, discourses, systems and
approaches and their philosophical, cultural, social, political and
Some of the many areas currently studied by colleagues
Cluster Coordinator: Dr Michael
Core members: Rachel Baig; Dr Jas
Dhillon; Angela Gault; Ron Sargeant; Paul Wiseman.
Associate members (whose main cluster is not
Mentoring and Professional in Education Development): Matt
O'Leary; Dr Rob Smith; Julie Wilde.
Research interests: Supporting learning: Tutors'
and participants' experience on a postgraduate blended learning
Research interests: How the concepts and processes of the PGCE
influence and shape the professional identities of trainee and
newly qualified teachers.
Research interests: Collaborative school
improvement and collaborative leadership.
Research interests: The role of classroom
observation in shaping the professional identity, learning and
development of teachers in Further Education.
Research interests: Education Management, in
particular occupational motivation and staff morale in
secondary schools; the wider socio-political context of secondary
education with particular focus on Design and Technology.
Dr Rob Smith
Research interests: The use of quasi-market
mechanisms to organise and regulate the PCE sector; the politics
and policy of education.
Research interests: Early years, in particular early
intervention programmes such as SureStart, inter-organisation partnership working within
the context of Children’s services.
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