Stirling Centre for Research into Curriculum Making

The Stirling Centre for Research into Curriculum Making (SCRCM) develops and undertakes original research into curriculum making, engages in knowledge exchange with policy makers and practitioners to develop the curriculum across education systems, and disseminates research through face-to-face events and webinars. 

About the centre

The Stirling Centre for Research into Curriculum Making, founded in October 2023, is led by Professor Mark Priestley and builds on the work of the previous Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies, established in 2016.

Curriculum making

The notion of curriculum making is based upon the premise that curricula are constructed – made – across multiple sites of activity within education systems, and that curriculum can be studied as social practice. As a foundation for the Centre, the following definition of curriculum is adopted:

The multi-layered social practices, including content selection, infrastructure, pedagogy and assessment, through which education is structured, enacted and evaluated, with at least three dimensions:

  • the notion of curriculum as social practice; something ‘made’ by practitioners and other actors, including young people, working with each other;
  • the idea that curriculum is made across multiple ‘sites of activity’ within education systems, and by interactions among educational settings, places beyond classrooms, and wider civic society;
  • the multitude of practices which comprise curriculum [1].

This approach entails analysis of the ecology of curriculum making – the development of systemic understanding of how the different components of curriculum work together across education systems to enable the development of coherent programmes. Thus, the Centre develops research across the full panoply of activities which comprise curriculum making, from discourse formation, to policy framing, to practical curriculum making in various educational settings (schools, colleges, early years settings, HE, community/non-formal).

[1] Priestley, M., Philippou, S., Alvunger, D. & Soini, T. (2021). Curriculum Making: A conceptual framing. In: M. Priestley, D. Alvunger, S. Philippou. & T. Soini, Curriculum making in Europe: policy and practice within and across diverse contexts. Bingley: Emerald.

Areas of expertise

SCRCM has considerable expertise in a range of areas related to curriculum making, as well as across qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. At the centre of our work is Curriculum Making: Theory, Policy, Practice, with related specialities including:

  • Children's Rights, Participation and Inclusion (leads: John I’Anson, Stella Mouroutsou)
  • Curriculum and Society (lead: Marina Shapira)
  • Environmental and Sustainability Education (leads: Greg Mannion, Lizzie Rushton)
  • Humanities Curriculum (lead: Joe Smith)
  • STEM Curriculum (lead: Andrea Priestley)

Contact us

If you are interested in being more involved with SCRCM and/or would like to be added to our mailing list to ensure you receive information and updates as soon as they are available, please contact us.

The team

The Centre is led by Professor Mark Priestley. Other members of the management team are:

Advisory Board

  • Billy Burke, Advisory Board Chair, Head of Development and Innovation at SAMH
  • Daniel Alvunger, Associate Professor and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences at Linnaeus University, Sweden
  • Kathy Hibbert, Professor and Associate Dean, Teacher Education at Western University, Ontario
  • Mary James, Professor Emerita and Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge
  • Sian Jones, Senior Lecturer at Queen Margaret University
  • Tracy Kirk, Lecturer in Child and Family Law at University of Stirling
  • Andrew Bailey, Secondary Teacher
  • Gillian MacCallum, Principal Primary Teacher at Falkirk Council
  • Cathy MacKenzie, Primary Headteacher at Orkney Islands Council
  • Stephen Kelly, Secondary Headteacher/Local Authority Officer at Edinburgh City Council
  • Lyndsay McRoberts, Director of Education at South Ayrshire Council
  • Pauline Stephen, Chief Executive and Registrar at GTC Scotland
  • Kathleen Johnston, RIC manager at Northern Alliance
  • Alan Sherry, Chair at CLD Standards Council
  • Melina Valdelievre, Senior Education Officer (Equalities) at Education Scotland
  • Ollie Bray, Strategic Director at Education Scotland

Forthcoming events

SCRCM organises various types of event, aimed at academics, practitioners and policy makers. These include a series of regular webinars, as well as larger scale face-to-face events held on the University campus.

Currently available events are as follows:


Topic Speaker Date and time Location Registration link
Curriculum Making and Teacher Agency Professor Mark Priestley, University of Stirling, drawing upon his recent work on curriculum making

Thursday 5 October 2023

16:00 - 17:30

Online This webinar has now passed.
Ensuring Curricular Justice for Students: Insights into Teaching Practices Associate Professor Stewart Riddle from the University of South Queensland Monday 6 November 2023 Online This webinar has now passed.
From learning outcomes to curriculum: An educational approach Professor Gert Biesta from the University of Edinburgh Monday 15 January 2024, 16:00 - 17:30 Online This webinar has now passed.
Educators' and children's meaning-making through shared play worlds

Kristin Ungerberg, Majvor Dahlgren Levin and Martin Eneling,  Department of Pedagogical Studies, Karlstad University

Tuesday 13 February 2024 16:00 - 17:30 Online This webinar has now passed.
STEAM on the rise: wild experiments in Scottish Teacher Education

Isobel Finnie, Dr Laura Colucci-Gray, Dr Ramsey Affifi and Steve McLeister, University of Edinburgh 

Tuesday 27 February 2024 16:00 - 17:30 Online This webinar has now passed.
Why are learners in Wales not choosing languages in secondary schools?

Claire Gorrara and Lucy Jenkins, Cardiff University

Tuesday 12 March 2024 16:00 - 17:30   This webinar has now passed.
History Teachers as Curriculum-makers in Policy and Practice: quantitative insights from England and Scotland

Joe Smith, University of Stirling, Richard Harris, University of Reading, and Katharine Burn, University of Oxford

Tuesday 7 May 2024

16:00 - 17:30

Online This webinar has now passed.
How to use art as a provocation for cross curricular engagement

Liz Conacher, National Galleries of Scotland, and Natasha McMillan, University of Stirling

Monday 10 June 2024

16:00 - 17:30

Online Register for How to use art as a provocation for cross curricular engagement webinar


Topic Speaker Date and time Location How to attend
Decolonising the Curriculum – reflections on challenges and opportunities from academia, policy and practice This face -to-face event will adopt a question panel format, and feature Professor Lizzie Rushton (chair, University of Stirling), Dr Haira Gandolfi (University of Cambridge), Professor Joao Paraskeva (University of Strathclyde), Nuzhat Uthmani (University of Stirling) and Melina Valdelievre (Education Scotland)

Monday 27 November

16:00 - 18:00

Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling This seminar has now passed.
Responding to the Nature & Climate Emergency: voices from educational policy, practice, school leaders, and young people Speaking at this event is Greg Mannion, Heena Dave, Sophia Georgescu,  Lizzie Rushton (University of Stirling) and Jennifer Hutton (Dunblane Primary School).

Tuesday 23 April 2024 

16:00 - 18:00

Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling This seminar has now passed.
Children’s Agency and Curriculum Making The speakers are Yana Manyukhina and Dominic Wyse, UCL.

Tuesday 28 May 2024

16:00 to 18:00

Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling Register for Children's Agency and Curriculum Making on Eventbrite.