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Centre for Policy Pedagogy and Practice – Bath Spa University

The Centre for Policy, Pedagogy and Practice (PPP) provides a creative space for pedagogic and action research by academics in the School of Education and other Bath Spa schools of study.

The Policy, Pedagogy and Practice (PPP) research centre provides new disciplinary and interdisciplinary spaces within which innovative research ideas emerge, develop and flourish in the context of education. We draw on the philosophy, sociology and psychology of education to underpin our research.

Situated in our teaching-led School of Education and aimed at greater inter-disciplinary collaboration, PPP gives excellent opportunities to share skills and develop our internal and external reputation for pedagogy.

Through support and collaboration we enable such work to happen and subsequently be disseminated, to achieve powerful impacts.

Research strands

Our research focuses on questioning knowledge and practice across four strands:

Creative pedagogy and practice

Pedagogy is broadly defined to include a wide range of educational relationships and interactions in various settings, both formal and informal. This strand focuses on creative and effective pedagogy at all phases of education and draws on the expertise of members who are interested in researching and developing new pedagogical approaches. We reconceptualise methodologies of teaching and learning through innovative approaches to pedagogy and practice.

Contact: Penny Hay

Global and UK education policy

Our research interests focus on how we view education discourse and practice, nationally and internationally. We see it as a development tool; how cultural, political and economic globalisation influences national education policy and educational practices among nation states. We explore the epistemic challenges of conducting research on education policies in the UK and global contexts.

Particular attention is paid to the role of education in national and international development by looking at 'norms', 'alternatives', as well as the ways through which education can be decolonised. We define education broadly to include all levels of education and training, formal, informal and incidental learning as well as capacity building, community organising and knowledge creation and translation.

Our broad scope encompasses researchers interested in understanding how education, when done well, can contribute to social justice, conceived as recognition, representation and redistribution.

Contact: Jenny Hatley

HE pedagogy and practice

Higher Education is our sector and our profession, across the disciplines of the University. The Higher Education strand aims to develop the evidence base for our work, supporting and informing an evidence-based approach. We're creating a university-level central home for, primarily, pedagogic and practice-based research and support, across all the disciplines and Schools. Our interests are driven by our own work as educators and the context of our institution, with both an external and internal focus.

Contact: Giles Martin

Teacher education and practice

We encourage and facilitate collaboration between teacher-practitioners, training mentors, academics and all members of the educational arena who are keen to undertake innovative and ethical research. We are particularly focused on establishing a supportive research network for those who are interested in working towards social justice, with improved outcomes for all learners seen as an ideal vehicle to achieve this end.

Contact: Paul Richardson and Caroline Whiting

Research projects

  • Hordern (P-I). The Society for Education Studies. Characterisation of the ‘region’ of early years professional knowledge (2013-15)
  • Hordern and Bishop (Co-PIs). Gatsby Charitable Foundation. Degree apprenticeships: higher technical or technical higher education (2016 -2017)
  • Bianchi (Co-I). European Commission, Arts Together (2017-19) 
  • Garside (P-I). Philosophy of Education Society. Towards a transitionalist critique of education (2014)
  • Diversity in Teacher Education
  • Duggan (PI). High quality PE teaching in primary schools: a collaboration with the Football Association to improve the FA-delivered FA Primary Teachers Award (2017-2018)
  • Kuhn (P-I). HDI EPSRC Network Plus: Learning, Skills and Social Justice Project- Understanding data: practices and politics (2020)
  • Thomas (Co-I). UKLA Teaching of Literature at Key Stage 3
  • Teacher Education in Lifelong Learning

Doctoral study opportunities

Expressions of interest in PhD projects are always welcome by our members. We offer a range of methodological approaches and research expertise in our four main areas of interest.

Our cross-disciplinary and collaborative ethos ensures that we can draw on Bath Spa expertise beyond the PPP Research Centre and School of Education and through our own networks to research communities worldwide. Whatever your interest in education, even if it's the first twinkling of a new idea, we're looking forward to hear from you.

Please contact the relevant strand to start a potentially life-changing conversation.

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