Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies

Student library books 1920x689

About the Network

Since the turn of the millennium, and in response to global educational discourses, many education systems across the world have developed new forms of national curriculum, with an increasing focus on the centrality of the learner, the development of core competencies and the importance of teachers as school-based curriculum developers.

These developments come at a time when the field of curriculum studies has been in decline, in both educational institutions such as schools and colleges (subject to formerly more prescriptive, teacher-proof curricula), and as an academic field of study within universities. This means that new approaches to developing curricular policy and practice are occurring when there is a decline in the system capacity needed to fully maximise new policy intentions.

The Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies aims to bring together curriculum scholars from across the world, practitioners and policymakers and developers, to develop curriculum thinking and foster the development of meaningful curriculum practices.

The Network aims to build understanding and to influence curriculum making across multiple sites of activity within education systems:

  • Supra: to enhance understandings of the often contradictory and competing global discourses (e.g. OECD, European Union) that drive and shape curricular policy within and between nation states.
  • Macro: to feed into, influence and shape the processes whereby curricular policy is developed within nation states and other educational jurisdictions.
  • Meso: to develop fuller understanding of system dynamics in educational jurisdictions, and to help build capacity for system-wide curriculum making that reflects educational purposes.
  • Micro: to increase understanding of the processes through which curriculum is translated, operationalised and enacted in schools and other educational institutions and contexts, and to build capacity at this level for curriculum revisioning and development.
  • Nano: to understand curriculum as experienced by children, young people and adult learners, and to promote pedagogical practices that take the needs of learners and communities into account.

‌If you are interested in being more involved with the Curriculum Network 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 register.

The team

Our Curriculum Network complements the work of the research groups in the Faculty of Social Sciences, and also involves members from other universities as well as policy makers, policy developers, practitioners and other interested stakeholders. 

Stirling team

Professor Mark Priestley
Director of the Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies and Professor of Education

Professor Fiona Copland
Professor of TESOL and Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Walter Humes
Honorary Professor

Dr Greg Mannion
Senior Lecturer

Dr Marina Shapira
Senior Lecturer

Dr Joe Smith

Dr Dalene Swanson
Senior Lecturer

Dr Valerie Drew
Honorary Associate Professor

Dr Kylie Bradfield

Dr Alison Hennessy

Dr Andrea Priestley

Dr Constantinos Xenofontos

Sinem Hizli Alkan

The International Advisory Group

The Network will be advised by an international advisory group comprising senior policymakers and policy developers, and international curriculum scholars from other universities.

Alan Armstrong
Strategic Director at Education Scotland

Professor Gert Biesta
Professor of Education and Director of Research in the Department of Education (Brunel University, London)

Dr Kathy Hibbert
Associate Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in Curriculum as a Social Practice in the Faculty of Education (Western University, Canada)

Kenneth Muir
Chief Executive of the General Teaching Council for Scotland

Nienke Nieveen
Senior curriculum researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development

Professor Anne Phelan
Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy (University of British Columbia) ‌

Professor Stavroula Philippou
Assistant Professor in Curriculum and Teaching at the Department of Education (University of Cyprus)

Professor Ninni Wahlström
Professor of Education (Linnaeus University, Sweden)

Professor Dominic Wyse
Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education (University College London)

Professor Lyn Yates
Foundation Professor of Curriculum (University of Melbourne)

Recent and Upcoming events

Since its inception in 2016, the Network has hosted events and undertaken knowledge exchange activities, including the following:

Table of year and events
Column 1 is year and column 2 is event and activity
DateEvent / activity

The biennial European Conference on Curriculum Studies (hosted at Stirling)

2017 Knowledge and Curriculum seminar (in partnership with Linnaeus University, Sweden)
2017 Language Education conference (with keynote by Prof Claire Kramsch, Berkeley, University)
2018 Seminar - Participation in Decision Making in Educational Settings: beyond learner voice and pupil councils (with keynote by Prof Laura Lundy, Queen’s University)
2016-2019 A series of events, Curriculum Development through Critical Collaborative Professional Enquiry, Educational Achievement Service, South East Wales
2017-2020 Annual series of seminars on behalf of Education Scotland’s Excellence in Headship programme on curriculum development.
2018-2021 Linked programmes, Curriculum Development through Critical Collaborative Professional Enquiry, Clackmannanshire Council
2019-2020 Workshops on curriculum development for head teachers, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Councils
2020 One day conference on curriculum development for the Professional Development Service for Teachers, Ireland

Additionally, Network members have provided consultancy services for a range of national regional and local education agencies, including the Scottish and Welsh Governments, Ireland’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Education Scotland, the Educational Achievement Service, The Forth Valley and West Lothian Regional Improvement Collaborative, South East Wales and the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

If you are interested in being more involved with the Curriculum Network 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 do so via the link below.