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Pedagogy and Curriculum

At the heart of the work of the Pedagogy and Curriculum thematic cluster is how to encourage best practice in a range of educational contexts with the aim to enhance and maximise learning outcomes.

Our research is largely targeted at understanding teachers’ decisions about the ways they approach and design the curricula they offer and deliver for effective learning. This results in an exploration of what to study, who is taught, how to teach and the interrelationships between subject matter domains. This means thinking about instructional practices, learning experiences, and students’ responses to those experiences against target learning outcomes.
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Cluster Members

Our Themes

At Durham University’s School of Education research topics currently addressed in the thematic cluster Padagogy and Curriculum include but are not limited to:

  • Teachers’ CPD and networking (Christina Chinas, Chris Brown, Cath Reading, Linda Wang, Lucy Davies, Cath Reading, Taha Rajab, Jo Smith (3), Michaela Oliver, Nashwa Ismail) 
  • Promoting reasoning and problem solving in primary school (Linda Wang, David Bolden, Lynn Newton, Michaela Oliver)
  • Pupil engagement (Dimitra Kokotsaki, Laura Mazzoli Smith, David Bolden, Lynn Newton, Sophie Ward, Doug Newton, Lucy Davies, Heidi Kirkland, Paivi Eerola, Michaela Oliver)
  • Creativity and creative thinking (Dimitra Kokotsaki, David Bolden, Lynn Newton, Sophie Ward, Doug Newton, Lucy Davies, Heidi Kirkland, Paivi Eerola, Helen Cramman, Michaela Oliver, Jo Smith)
  • Health and well-being in schools (Louise Gascoine, Laura Mazzoli-Smith, Paivi Eerola, Emma Dobson) 
  • Teaching practices with an inclusive approach (Christina Chinas, Cath Reading, Linda Wang, Lucy Davies, Xiaofei Qi, Lynn Newton, David Bolden, Helen Cramman, Laura Mazzoli-Smith, Jo Smith, Michaela Oliver, Nashwa Ismail, Mark Childs) 
  • Education technologies (Nashwa Ismail, Mark Childs)

Cluster Projects

  • 2021-2024 Arts Council England and Durham University: Evaluation of the national pilot Creativity Collaboratives programme. Durham University. (Helen Cramman, Vic Menzies, Helen Gray, Dimitra Kokotsaki)

This study is evaluating Arts Council England’s £2.7M national pilot Creativity Collaboratives programme. The aim of the Creativity Collaboratives is to build networks of schools that will test a range of innovative practices in teaching for creativity. Learning will be shared to facilitate system-wide change. Researchers from the School of Education at Durham University are leading an overarching evaluation of the pilot Creativity Collaboratives, investigating both the impact and implementation of the overall programme, along with supporting each Collaborative to conduct its own evaluation. The aim is for the findings from the evaluation to support future development and implementation of Creativity Collaborative style programmes and to inform national policy in relation to teaching for creativity. The creation of the Creativity Collaboratives responds to one of the recommendations of the Durham Commission on Creativity and Education, which sought to investigate the role of creativity in the education system, and find ways to make creativity a bigger part of young people’s lives in education and beyond.

Study with us

The Pedagogy and Curriculum thematic cluster is involved in the provision of a number of taught courses as well as research degrees to which we warmly welcome applications from students interested in our thematic areas.

Taught Courses

BA (Education Studies)

BA (Primary Teaching)

PGCE ITE programmes at primary and secondary levels

MA in Education

MA Leadership and Change



Get in touch

For further information contact the cluster leads