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New Directions in Educational Research - EDU00014H

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sarah Olive
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

This module will relate the learning from core and optional modules that you have achieved during earlier stages of your degree programme to the latest, cutting-edge, methodologically- diverse educational research

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Summer Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module will relate the learning from core and optional modules that you have achieved during earlier stages of your degree programme to the latest, cutting-edge, methodologically- diverse educational research. Intersections between these are flagged in italics under each week’s/tutor’s topic. As such, it is an opportunity for you to revise and enhance the understanding and skills that are identified in the benchmark statement for education studies. It will expand and further concretise your existing knowledge within these areas at an advanced level by introducing you to individual research projects and programmes involving members of this department. It also builds your graduate communication, organisational and interpersonal skills through weekly small group chairing of the sessions, much in the way of professional and academic research seminars, and weekly communal brainstorming.

Module learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate:

  • a broad yet coherent understanding of cutting-edge educational research and foundational knowledge of education and related disciplines (e.g. sociology, linguistics, psychology and cultural studies) i.e. a synoptic understanding

  • an awareness of current education issues from across educational disciplines, contexts, the department’s four research centres

  • the ability to relate this awareness of specific, advanced and current issues to the knowledge and understanding that has been developed throughout the programme.

  • an understanding of key ideas concerning specialist knowledge for educational studies and English language and literature in education.

  • the ability to identify cross-cutting issues, ideas and themes across discrete research topics and projects – demonstrated in chairing, weekly communal brainstorming and exams.

  • skills for studying cutting-edge research in education and educational contexts, including reading, reflecting on and critiquing the latest research publications, policies and actions in writing and group discussion – in the latter, formulating and positing questions and feedback for researchers about their work.

  • high-level chairing and audience skills supported by dedicated sessions throughout the programme and emulating those demonstrated at academic and professional conferences


Module content

Classes will involve an introduction to the speaker (from the group chairing that week, no more than 10 minutes), 30-minute research papers from members of staff on one of their recent or on-going research projects, followed by 15 minutes’ small group discussion to develop questions or comments, leading to a 20 minute Q&A (chaired by the small group heading up that week’ session) on a range of educational issues. Each class requires students to do preparatory readings and to complete follow-up activities (e.g. brainstorming). The weekly required readings, usually from the experts presenting and/or their research collaborators, and the follow-up activities will be clearly outlined on the VLE. In preparation for class, students will be asked to read academic papers, newspaper articles and policy documents. Follow-up activities will include tasks to help students prepare for the final assessment.

Each student will be expected to undertake preparation for each session, in the form of reading and making notes. Students are expected to attend all sessions, and to be prepared to take full part in group discussion and the Q&A session (which they will take turns to lead in small groups – 2-3 students per group – towards their summative mark). The module will expand students’ knowledge of cutting-edge research in the fields of study and methodological approaches which they have engaged with over the course of their programmes. Tutors will introduce students to their own research in a range of contexts, from a range of disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches, using a variety of media. Students will be expected to keep a ‘learning log’ covering each session, which draws out recurrent themes, methods and other links. These logs will serve as a basis for revision and future preparation for the final assessment. Students will be allocated to small groups for in-class discussion and all students are required to take responsibility for contributing to a good outcome.

Students will be given two mock exams of one hour each, at the end of the first two terms, to help them prepare for their final assessment. Each mock exam will require students to answer one question from a list of topics that can be answered from that term’s sessions. The first mock will pose questions related to students’ shared knowledge of education (e.g. educational research on disciplines and contexts of education during the term). The second will pose questions related to educational research presented during the module on students’ specialism: education or English in education. Students will be permitted to take one A4 sheet of notes to refer to in the exam. The exams will serve as the basis for constructive formative feedback on the student’s understanding, academic writing skills and critical thinking about the research topics studied. The mock exams will take place in Week 10 of the Autumn and Spring terms and feedback will be returned.

Students will be expected to complete a summative, two-hour open note exam answering 2 questions chosen from lists of topics that have been covered during the synoptic module. The exam will require students to choose and answer one question that draws on two or more synoptic sessions related to their core modules (i.e. those shared by the BAE and BAEE programmes in stages 1 and/or 2) AND to choose and answer one programme-specific (BAE or BAEE) question that draws on two or more synoptic sessions related to their optional modules. They will also receive a mark for their participation in the chairing of sessions. It is essential that students engage with reading and activities for all weeks of the module in order to write a good end-of-module exam.




Exact speakers and their order may vary, for example, due to staff availability that term.

Autumn term

Week 2 Dr Emma Marsden - Educational research, right here, right now and Opening up Science: methodological transparency and replication (ERM, Skills)

Chaired by Sarah Olive & involving chairing and audience skills training

Week 3 Prof. Rob Klassen – Teacher selection and situated judgement tests

    (Concepts, Education and Society, T&LL)

Week 4 Dr Eleanor Brown - Education and development

(Contexts, Education and development)

Week 5 Dr Clementine Beauvais - Literary and cultural representations of child giftedness

(Concepts, ILL, Children and literature, T&LL, Philosophy, education and childhood, Models)

Week 6 Dr Kathryn Asbury – Genetics and education

(Concepts, Science, Education and Society, Genetics and Education)

Week 7 Dr Lynda Dunlop – Teaching and learning science in schools

(Concepts, Disciplines, Science, Education and Society)

Week 8 Dr Sally Hancock – Social and cultural contexts of Higher Education

(Contexts, Concepts, Education Policy, Education and social change)

Week 9 Professor Leah Roberts – The benefits and challenges of bilingualism in the classroom

(ILL, TLUL, Perspectives)

Week 10 Dr Sarah Olive - Mock exam (formative). Chairing and audience skills training

Spring term

Week 2 Dr Sarah Olive - Shakespeare in education globally

(ILL, Education Policy, T&LL, Drama in Education, Transcultural communication)

Week 3 Dr Kerry Knox – Findings from research on learning

(Contexts, Concepts)

Week 4 TBC 

Week 5 Professor Vanita Sundaram – Addressing lad culture in Higher Education

(Contexts, Concepts, Learning Gender)

Week 6 Dr Khaled El Ebyary - The impact of testing on learning and teaching

(Concepts, Education Policy, Assessment in Education)

Week 7 Professor Paul Wakeling – Higher Education and Social Mobility

(Contexts, Concepts, Education Policy, Education and social change)

Week 8 Dr Claudine Bowyer-Crane – Intervention for children with reading & language difficulties

(Concepts, ILL, TLUL, Perspectives, Disorders)

Week 9 Dr Jeremy Airey – Professional Development and science classrooms

(Concepts, Science, Education and Society)

Week 10 Dr Sarah Olive - Mock exam II (form.) Further chairing & audience skills training

Summer term

Week 1 Dr Ursula Lanvers – Motivation among language learners

(Concepts, ILL, TLUL, Language & Psychology, Perspectives)

Week 2 Professor Ian Davies – Citizenship education

(Concepts, Citizenship education)

Week 3 Dr John Issitt – Philosophy & education

(Disciplines, Philosophy, education and childhood)

Week 4 Dr Zoe Handley – Information technology and education

(ILL, Education Policy, Perspectives, Models, Transcultural Communication)



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
New Directions in Educational Research
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
New Directions in Educational Research
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Exams: Marks available within 4 - 6 weeks of examination.

Formative assessments

Group chairing: students work in groups of 2-3 to introduce the speaker and to chair the Q&A session once during the module. They will receive verbal feedback from the module leader directly after the session.

Microblogging: students will each post one familiar and one new idea encountered (about the subject of the research or methodology involved) during each session throughout the module. The module leader will post feedback once a week in response to these posts.

Indicative reading

Journal articles, book chapters, textbooks, policy documents as provided/stipulated on the VLE for each session –usually from presenting tutors, their research collaborators or inspirations.


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

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