Skip to content

Research in Education is undertaken by staff from the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services at the University of Chester.  Research into education and pedagogy has developed around three central themes: 

  • Marginalisation – this theme explores individuals, groups, and communities that have been forced to live on the periphery of society
  • Creativity – this theme explores creativity, learning, and the arts in professional, educational contexts.
  • Early Years – this theme explores the practices, concerns, and issues, not only of young children, but also of their families, carers and other professionals who have meaningful contact with them.

The University’s targeted research funding has been bolstered by external funders including: the British Academy, the Higher Education Academy, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and the Alex Timpson Trust.

9 staff were identified as having significant responsibility for research in REF2021, leading to a requirement for 19 outputs to be submitted.

Research outputs submitted to REF2021 are included in the Education and Children’s Services Collection of ChesterRep, the University of Chester’s online research repository. 

The impact of research in this unit was exemplified through the following case studies:

Creating change by raising the awareness and understanding of the emotional needs of children in school as explained by attachment theory: Research undertaken within this unit gave rise to the insight that school staff members were unaware of the principle that children’s early relationships (attachments) impacted upon their ability to learn, or make the most of their educational opportunities. This insight was taken up by a charity whose main aim is to help schools better respond to the emotional needs of looked after children.  The charity invested in: raising awareness amongst school personnel; changing practices in schools; and campaigning to change teacher training. Across England and Scotland, this funding created: an academic consultancy post; training materials and accessible books; informative events and artefacts; support for associated charities and third sector organisations; and an action research project. Government departments have been impacted, as have professionals, children and families, as schools have introduced change as a result of becoming ‘attachment aware’.

Pretext Drama: Creating ‘Third Spaces’ for Understanding: This work focused on the use of Pretext Drama in formal and non-formal educational settings. It has informed curriculum content, teaching delivery, and educational practices in Catalonia, Finland, Palestine, and Japan. Some has been in extremely challenging contexts, such as with returning evacuated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and Tsunami survivors in Japan; and in a refugee camp in Palestine, on the concept of non-violent resistance to the ongoing military occupation.  Through Pretext Drama, educators, artists, and students have been equipped with drama-enriched skills to create ‘third spaces’ for understanding that has led to new democratic and culturally-shared perspectives on homeland, inclusion, sustainable development, urban environments and business practices.

return to main page