Members of the Department of Teacher Education undertake a wide range of research and scholarship activity and have particular experience in:

  • pedagogy across phases and specialist subjects within the school curriculum; and
  • andragogy, of working with adult learners, in developing skills, knowledge and understanding in the classroom context.

Members work within regional, national and international communities of researchers and teachers to create new knowledge and develop their expertise.

These activities focus upon important areas of learning and teaching, and so enhance the department’s teaching programmes; examples are given below: 

E-learning and information technology

There is expertise in using ipads in education, e-learning and teaching science outdoors and also in on-line learning tools.  Further work includes using technology to help visually impaired student access for chemical information.  One colleague is investigating the mathematical modelling of the popularity of web-based resources utilising webometric, informetric and statistical analysis methods.

English education

There is an interest in the department in informal learning through creative writing and also in poetry.  Further work is being undertaking into approaches to teaching grammar.

Humanities subjects based research

Areas interest include holocaust education; understanding of British identify; and developing Religious Education joint syllabus.  Some trainee teachers have undertaken work associated with the Birmingham Quran.  Further work is being undertaken to explore threshold concepts in geography education.

Leadership and Management

There is a growing body of work within the department around leadership and management and this includes: ethical leadership; female school leadership; leadership and emotional intelligence; school leadership preparation and the positioning and identity of school leaders in system-led context; and exploring what motivates teachers to undertake cpd.   A further strand of this work is related to quality assurance and notions of quality, particularly in Early Years education.  

Learning Study and Learning Theory in teacher education

Members within the department of Teacher Education have begun a project to explore Lesson Study, Learning Study and Variation Theory in initial teacher education, and continuing professional development.  A member of the team has visited Japan, the home of Lesson Study in Mathematics education.  Learning Study, a development of Lesson Study has been shown to be highly effective in improving teaching and learning in Hong Kong and Sweden and this is going explored in the English context, initially within Science and Modern Languages at Secondary level. Find out more....        

Routes into Teaching

The University of Birmingham is collaborating with Cardiff Metropolitan and the Universities of Bath Spa, Cardiff and Glasgow in a programme of research on teacher education.  A key goal of the project is to explore definitions of what constitutes a ‘good teacher’ and how this varies between different routes into teaching and different providers.  A theoretical model has been developed which includes beginning teachers’ experiences and the development of their thinking.  Empirical research undertaken so far includes interviews with colleagues in school exploring the criteria used to select individuals for initial teacher education and for their first post in teaching.  Contact Professor Peter Davies email: or Dr John Kirkman email:

A current research project builds on the School of Education's strength in Teacher education and SEND. Examination of current national policy relating to the development of new routes into teacher training for teachers of SEND is supported by empirical work undertaken relating to the department's innovative school based course.

Find out more at the Preparation for Teaching: Inequalities, partnerships and learning to be a teacher event on 29th June 2016

Using Video to improve teaching and learning

This evaluation of a pilot scheme is funded by the Education Endowment Fund.  The wider project will examine the potential of IRIS Connect video technology as a means of improving instructional strategies.  The evaluation will examine changes in teaching and teachers’ thinking which may be expected to affect students’ achievement. This is seen as a basis on which to judge readiness for the main project.  Contact Professor Peter Davies email: or Dr John Kirkman email: