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Centre for Education Research, Innovation and Equity


Building on our heritage as an educational and teacher training institution

Teacher at the front of a primary school class

Educational research is critical for ensuring that learners, including those who teach others, gain as much as possible at school, college, university and beyond.

The Centre for Education Research, Innovation and Equity supports a wide-ranging cohort of educational researchers, focused on learners of all kinds, and building on the Ƶ’s 180-year heritage as an educational and teacher training institution.

Equity is an ever-present theme in our work. In a fast-changing and market-driven world, the way we learn, and the questions we ask about how we learn, need to be grounded in informed debate about fairness, power and representation.

We have worked in close collaboration with many local, national and international organisations, including:

  • Education Futures Collaboration
  • Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO)
  • The Evaluation and Innovation in Education Research Group (University of Cordoba)
  • Children on the Edge.

Contact us

For more information, or if you wish to work or study with the Centre, please contact us at education@chi.ac.uk.


Dr Barbara Thompson
Chris Shelton
Dr Chris Shelton
Debbie Hickman
Dr Debbie Hickman
Debs Wilkinson
Dr Deborah Wilkinson
Professor Duncan Reavey
Francisco Melara-Gutierrrez
Dr Francisco Melara Gutierrez
Glenn Stone
Dr Glenn Stone
Josie Maitland
Dr Josie Maitland
Linda Cooper
Dr Linda Cooper
Sue Bentham
Dr Sue Bentham
Susannah Smith
Dr Susannah Smith
TIm Brinded
Dr Timothy Brinded
Starlene George
Lorna Earle
Lorna Earle
Lianna Wilding
Lianna Wilding
Elaine Minett
Elaine Minett
Gary Parkes
Sam Parkes
Sam Parkes
Jo Beer
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
James Martin
James Martin
Sian Howie
Sian Howie
Kirstie Hewett
Kirstie Hewett


Current projects

Student-led Interventions as An Approximation of Practice

This project explores the ways in which student teachers develop as professionals through student-led interventions as part of their teaching practice.

The study, led by Dr Glenn Stone and Dr Susannah Smith, is discovering that such interventions could be viewed as an approximation of practice that develops specific knowledge and skills for student teachers, who subsequently apply newly-developed knowledge and skills to whole-class teaching.

Social Prescribing to Improve Health, Wellbeing and Resilience in Education Studies Students

This research project, led by Dr Linda Cooper and Dr Susannah Smith, explores the effectiveness of a ‘social prescribing approach’ in enhancing mental health, wellbeing and resilience for Education students.

Combining the themes of resilience, agency and empowerment, it responds to the changing mental health needs within the university community itself.

Previous projects


Members of the Centre have produced a wide range of academic and professional publications, reports and resources that have been used in many different contexts.

An indicative list of these, and other outputs, can be found on our .


How we're helping create change

Map showing the Global Reach Of Early Childhood Care And Education In Emergencies
Global Reach Of Early Childhood Care And Education In Emergencies MESH Guide

Our research has had significant impacts on communities of learners at an international level.

Through a sustained process of communication, training and dissemination, our research with the international MESH initiative (Mapping Educational Specialist KnowHow) helped to promote quality early years practice to international, national and community volunteers, raising the quality of early education provision for more than 1,500 refugee children in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – the world’s largest refugee settlement.

These impacts were captured in a range of testimonial statements, and underpinned an impact case study in REF 2021. The testimonials bear out the changes the project made to safety standards, the provision of safe spaces in which to play and learn, and the emotional transformation these changes brought about in the children who benefitted.

Our work on bilingual competencies in the European Union has had a significant impact on teachers’ professional practice, preparing them for their home teaching context. It has also led to the creation of international collaboration networks for Bilingual Education teachers.

Events and News

Monthly Research Cafés in Education, Innovation and Equity

The research café is a friendly and supportive space to share research, regardless of whether you are at the beginning of your research journey or a seasoned traveller. This year, we are running our research cafés in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence for Childhood, Inclusion and Society (CECIS).

The café is open once a month (Monday from 4pm to 5pm) and is accessible both face-to-face on the University’s Bishop Otter Campus and online.

If you would like more information about the research cafes please contact Susannah Smith via education@chi.ac.uk


For more information, or if you wish to work or study with the Centre, please contact us at education@chi.ac.uk.

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