Curriculum making research centre first of its kind in the UK

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Girl and boy at desk at school

A new research centre focusing on school curriculum making – the first of its kind in the UK - has opened at the University of Stirling.

The Stirling Centre for Research into Curriculum Making, which holds its first event this week, will play a vital role in curriculum development as Scotland and other UK nations look to reform curriculum policy, qualifications and pupil assessment.

The Centre will provide research, knowledge exchange and consultancy, as well mentoring support to early career researchers. There are plans to run summer schools and an annual conference, and to secure funding for doctoral studentships.

Mark Priestley, Professor of Education at the University of Stirling and Director of the Centre, hosts the Centre’s first webinar, on curriculum making and teacher agency, on Thursday, October 5. He said: “We felt strongly that the time was right for a centre that focuses on the processes and practices through which the curriculum is conceptualised, developed, designed and enacted. Given the University of Stirling’s research and influence in this field, it was an obvious next step for us to create a hub of knowledge and expertise that will help shape education policy both in the UK and internationally.

“We look forward to collaborating with other institutions, educational experts and government bodies as we address everything from curriculum discourse to policy to practical applications in schools, colleges, universities and other educational settings.”

The Centre’s establishment builds on the University of Stirling’s stellar reputation as an international hub for excellence and a leader in the field of curriculum studies in the UK and globally. Under the auspices of the Stirling Network for Curriculum Studies, University of Stirling academics have contributed to national and international dialogue on curriculum studies, as well as publishing influential research on the subject.

In March, a study from the University of Stirling found that curriculum narrowing and reduced choice of school subjects under the Curriculum for Excellence are affecting outcomes for Scotland’s young people, with those in areas of high deprivation adversely affected. The three-year study is considered the most comprehensive yet of Scottish secondary schools’ curriculum provision.

Derek McGhee, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “The University of Stirling has gained a worldwide reputation as a leader in curriculum studies and pedagogy, with stand-out research and teaching, and studies that have influenced policy both in the UK and abroad. We are proud that through the Stirling Centre for Research into Curriculum Making, the first centre of its kind in the UK, we will continue this important mission.”

For more information and events visit Stirling Centre for Research into Curriculum Making.