Centre for Education and Research (CER)

The Centre for Education and Research (CER) develops and promotes social justice, equity and inclusion through a culture of high-quality research that is accessible to all in education and related disciplines.

About Centre for Education and Research (CER)

CER is a focal point for the research, development, consultancy, research degree supervision and teaching in formal, informal, and non-formal Education across diverse social contexts and throughout life. CER engages with and promotes interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and trandisciplinary research relating to Education and it’s related areas.

CER sits within the Faculty of Health, Education and Society (FHES) at the University of Northampton. The Centre operates in partnership with a wide range of local, national and international stakeholders, including children’s centres, NGOs, governments, further and higher education institutions, charities, nurseries and schools, and many CER members have previously worked on the ground in children’s services. Consequently, educational research at the University of Northampton has a long-standing and successful track record of promoting positive outcomes for children and young people, and adults working in all areas of educational provision.

CER is the base for Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in the field of Education. CER SIGs explore exciting approaches to researching in education, including critical research, participatory research and research with children. Each CER SIG has its own identity and focus:

  • Education in Schools
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Children and Young People
  • Families and Communities
  • Inclusion, Diversity and Special Education
  • Higher and Further Education

CER hosts a rich programme of events concerning research in the field of Education, including research training, workshops and a research seminar programme which attracts many visiting speakers and is open to all.

For more information about CER research, PhD study or SIGs, contact our Centre Leaders Associate Professor Cristina Devecchi and Professor Jane Murray, Professor of Education.

Research, Practice and Policy

At CER, our research is strongly interwoven with policy and practice. We build links with colleagues across multiple sectors within the field of Education and beyond so that research at CER is informed by education practice and policy which are, in turn, informed by CER research findings. Our commitment to impactful research guides our work with the wide range of organisations we work with locally, in the UK and internationally. CER is based in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society where our research informs – and is informed by – learning and teaching in the two Education subject teams at UON:

  • Education
  • Children, Young People and Families (CYF)

Almost all the research conducted by CER contributes towards the achievement of the United Nations global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 for Quality Education, and much of our research also makes contributions to other SDGs.

Key Themes

Inclusion and diversity in Education

CER features specialist expertise in inclusion, diversity and special educational needs. CER members conduct and promote research about special educational needs provision, autism, dyslexia, and behaviour.

Early Childhood Education and Care

CER has a strong reputation for research conducted in early childhood education and care. Our work features studies about young children as researchers, children living in poverty, young children’s language development, young children’s literacies and high-quality early years practice.

Education in Schools

Many of the studies that CER members undertake concern aspects of life in schools that affect teachers and students every day. Our research with schools includes focus on pedagogy, out-of-school learning, non-cognitive skills, learning outdoors, and curriculum areas including art, music, digital technologies and science.

Children’s and Young People’s Rights in Education

Much of the work CER does includes focus on children’s and young people’s rights. Examples of our research in this area include support for migrant children in their new countries, early school leaving and attitudes to children with disabilities.

View the Centre on PURE

  • CER members and associate members are educational researchers and education research users and include a large group of post-graduate research (PGR) students from around the world.

    CER Leadership

    CER Special Interest Groups (SIG)

    CER Special Interest Groups (SIGS) are groups of staff members who lead on specialist areas within the wider Centre for Educational Research. CER SIGs engage with their communities through a broad range of activities including hosting events, working on research, supporting enquiry and writing for publication.

    • CER Children and Young People (CYP) SIG

    SIG Lead: Prof Federico Farini, federico.farini@northampton.ac.uk

    The CER Children and Young People (CYP) SIG focuses on conducting and sharing research about experiences of children and young people concerning informal, non-formal and formal education. The CER CYP SIG is home to the CHILD-UP Horizon 2020 programme.

    • CER Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) SIG

    SIG Lead: Dr Tanya Richardson, tanya.richardson@northampton.ac.uk

    The CER Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) SIG develops research and expertise about a wide range of issues concerned with young children’s development, learning, and professional workforce. Our work includes focus on children’s language development and research by children.

    • CER Education in Schools (EiS) SIG

    SIG Lead: Korrin Smith-Whitehouse, Korrin.Smith-Whitehouse@northampton.ac.uk  

    CER Education in Schools (EiS) SIG members develop, discuss and share educational research and its impact in schools, including promoting practitioner research and Continuing Professional Development. Our work includes focus on school exclusion and links between curriculum subjects and well-being.

    • Families and Communities (F and C) SIG

    SIG Lead: Dr Emel Thomas, emel.thomas@northampton.ac.uk
    Co-Lead: Dr Eunice Lumsden, Eunice.lumsden@northampton.ac.uk

    The vision of the CER Families and Communities (F and C) SIG is to provide a transformative non-judgmental space for researching and showcasing diverse current issues relating to families and communities, ranging from human rights law to healthy diet.

    • Higher, Further and Adult Education (HFAE) SIG

    SIG Lead: Dr Cristina Devecchi, cristina.devecchi@northampton.ac.uk
    Co-Lead: Dr Hala Mansour, hala.mansour@northampton.ac.uk

    Based on the ideal of critical inquiry for advancing knowledge, understanding and development of practice, the CER HFEA SIG fosters research, study and work in higher, further and adult education sectors, for example the uses of digital technologies in HEIs.

    • Inclusion, Diversity and Special Education (IDSE) SIG

    SIG Lead: Tereza Aidonopolou, tereza.aidonopoulou@northampton.ac.uk
    Co-Lead: Patrice Seowou, patrice.seuwou@northampton.ac.uk

    The CER Inclusion, Diversity and Special Education (IDSE) SIG is a multi-disciplinary group fostering research and discussion about inclusion and diversity in formal and non-formal education settings, featuring, for example, curriculum decolonisation, restorative justice and special educational needs provision.

    View the centre’s researchers on PURE.

  • CHILD-UP: Children Hybrid Integration: Learning Dialogue as a way of Upgrading Policies of Participation

    Funded by Horizon 2020

    CHILD-UP researches how migrant children integrate through social participation, taking into account gender differences, legal status and age groups, with the final aim to propose an innovative approach to understand and transform their social condition. The research focuses on:

    • Policies and practices of integration in schools, reception centres, social services and communities;
    • Children’s and parents’ experiences, perceptions and expectations of integration;
    • Specific practices of language teaching, facilitation of dialogue, intercultural education and mediation. Second objective is providing support for migrant children’s exercise of agency in changing their own conditions of integration and constructing hybrid identities.

    These objectives will be achieved through the promotion of different dialogues in schools and in their relations with partners (social services, reception centres, education and mediation agencies) and families.

    Desenvolvendo Universidades Digitais para o século 21: as experiências da UON e da UCDB (Developing Digital Universities for the century 21: the experiences of UON and UCDB)

    Funded by the Brazilian State Funding Agencies (FAPs)

    The project aims to explore current conceptualizations and practical implications of developing digital universities for the 21st century and compare the role of technology as a pedagogical tool and as essential employability skill. It will share pedagogical and institutional practices to act as a starting point for collaboration and shared development setting out recommendations for the development and implementation of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

    Take One Picture (TOP) for NPAT Schools 1 and 2

    Funded by The National Gallery and Paul Hamlyn Foundation

    NG TOP for NPAT is an investigation of the views of NPAT Year 4 students and their teachers about their experiences of The National Gallery’s Take One Picture (TOP) NPAT Programme and its effects on the teachers’ professional development and the students’ outcomes in art, writing and non-cognitive skills acquisition. This project has an innovative participatory approach which features diverse research methods and teachers as co-researchers.

    Find out more about these and other Centre projects.

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