Research-Informed Pedagogies

Co-creating and evaluating theories of educational practice

This group brings together academic researchers, practitioner researchers (including EdD students), schools and the voluntary sector to promote inter-organisational collaboration, knowledge creation and exchange with a focus on social, environmental and inclusive practice. As a community of practice, we co-create and evaluate theories of educational practice through exploratory research, knowledge exchange events, action research and evaluative inquiry.

Current research themes include:

  • Partnerships: scholarship, knowledge exchange and research partnerships with local and regional schools (and other schooling/educational organisations)
  • Curriculum policy change and the impact on school improvement;
  • Critical lens on innovative, transformational pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning;
  • Impact of aspirational outreach programmes in schools on disadvantaged pupils;
  • Mental health, wellbeing and Character Education initiatives, including Relationships Education, Health Education, Peer Massage and Mindfulness in Schools;
  • Issues of gender and equality in education;
  • Education for sustainable development agendas and initiatives, including Global Learning, Philosophy for Children (P4C), Forest School and Outdoor Learning.

As a multidisciplinary group with university and wider affiliated members from a range of theoretical backgrounds, educational perspectives and methodological expertise, this CERES cluster operates as a forum for collaborative action research, the development of evaluation tools, case studies, participatory research, critical policy analysis and critical discourse studies. The breadth and depth of the membership’s methodological expertise, along with its collective passion for innovative and creative approaches to research, makes the cluster an ideal vehicle to partner with external stakeholders including both primary and secondary schools and the voluntary sector.


Meet the members of this group.

External affiliated members:

The Mersey Forest

Current work


Our current projects include:

  • Towards a Natural Curriculum: Preservice teachers’ perspectives of the tensions and contradictions in the use of outdoor learning pedagogies across the primary curriculum.
  • Trainee teachers’ perceptions of the use of Systematic Synthetic Phonics in Key Stage 1.
  • Wellbeing approaches in education, including school dogs.
  • Preservice teacher’s perceptions of gender in the primary school setting.
  • Reflecting at the speed of social? How can social media be used as a pedagogic tool for trainee teachers?
  • March of the robots? How is artificial intelligence being deployed to help improve wellbeing?
  • The use of outdoor learning to enhance learning through the Natural Curriculum Hub in the Post-COVID educational context.


Ankers de Salis, C., Rowley, A., Stokell, K. & Brundrett, M. (2019) Do we need more male primary teachers? Tensions and contradictions in the perspectives of male and female trainees, Education 3-13, 47:4, 475-489

Atherton P. (2019). Bridging the chasm –a study of the realities of edtech use among trainee teachers, Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 11 :80-95

Atherton P. (2018). More than just a quiz - how Kahoot! can help trainee teachers understand the learning process, Teacher Education Advancement Network Journal, 10 :29-39

Atherton P. (2018). 50 Ways to Use Technology Enhanced Learning in the Classroom Practical strategies for teaching, Learning Matters

Brennan VK, Mallaburn A, Seton L. (2018). Teachers’ perception of chemistry outreach work, especially in the context of children’s social demography TEAN, 10: 3-14 

Gallard D, Evans K, Millington J. 2018. Children and their education in secure accommodation: Interdisciplinary perspectives of education, health and youth justice :1-341 9781138694408

Kutuk G, Putwain DW, Kaye L, Garrett B. (2019). Development and Validation of a New Multidimensional Language Class Anxiety Scale, Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 073428291987588-073428291987588

McLeod NJ, Astbury E, Stokell K, McCann J. (2017) Nurturing young children’s sense of self through artwork as a provocation and philosophical enquiry: A Pilot Study, International Journal of Early Years Education

Peiser, G, Ambrose J, Burke B, Davenport J. (2018). The role of the mentor in professional knowledge development across four professions International, Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 7: 2-18

Peiser, G. (2015). The place of research in teacher education, in Beauchamp G, Clarke L, Hulme M, Jephcote M, Kennedy A, Magennis G, Menter I, Murray J, Mutton T, O'Doherty T, Peiser G. Teacher education in times of change, 161-178 Bristol: Policy Press.

Putwain DW, Symes W, McCaldin T. (2019). Teacher Use of Loss-Focused, Utility Value Messages, Prior to High-Stakes Examinations, and Their Appraisal by Students Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 37:169-180

Putwain DW, Loderer K, Gallard D, Beaumont J. (2019). School-related subjective well-being promotes subsequent adaptability, achievement, and positive behavioural conduct, British Journal of Educational Psychology

Putwain DW, Gallard D, Beaumont J. (2018). A multi-component wellbeing programme for upper secondary students: Effects on wellbeing, buoyancy, and adaptability, School Psychology International

Rowley, A. (2020) Muddy knees and climbing trees: how a summer playing outdoors can help children recharge, The Conversation,

External affiliated members

Information to follow.

PhD and Postgraduate Research Students