Education Studies is a trans-disciplinary department for the management of academic research and teaching in Education at Warwick. We operate under a ‘hub and spoke’ model, built around strong cross-departmental collaboration and the development of joint interdisciplinary teaching and research initiatives. As a department, our ethos is that Education is perhaps best understood not as a single discipline but as a field that draws upon knowledge from a range of different disciplines, such as sociology, history and psychology. In short, Education Studies is inherently interdisciplinary.
One of the messages we hope to get across as a department is that our research explores education in the broadest sense. Schools and classrooms are an important part of what we do but our work is also concerned with higher education, work-based learning, leadership and professional education, informal learning, intersections between education and other areas of social provision, religions and performing arts. Recently, our work has taken us into settings as diverse as youth theatre, food systems education, European church initiatives and women’s education in India.
Teaching & Learning
Education Studies offers taught programmes at undergraduate, Master’s and doctoral levels. The content of our programmes reflects the department’s interdisciplinary ethos, our range of expertise, diverse staff research interests and our focus on intersections between education and other fields.
Our Master’s programmes are designed specifically to enable postgraduate taught students to approach education from diverse, interdisciplinary perspectives. They include:
- MA Drama and Theatre Education
- MA Drama and English Language Teaching
- MA Educational Leadership and Management
- MA Global Education and International Development
- MA Psychology and Education
- MA Religions and Education
- MA Islamic Education: theory and practice
Our BA Education Studies explores the purposes of education and examines current trends in educational policy and practice. The course offers both practical and theoretical opportunities to explore what education looks like in the 21st century. It prepares students for a variety of careers. As such, it is embedded in a view of education as an interdisciplinary field. Our undergraduate modules cover areas such as:
- Culture Creativity and Education
- Globalisation and Education
- Philosophy in Education
- Children’s Literature in Childhood
- Social Theory and Education
- The Public and Social Significance of Religion
- Education for Sustainability
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Academic Support Librarian: Chris Bradford
Research & Expertise
Staff in Education Studies have extensive experience of in schools, further education and higher education. However, as well as being firmly rooted in the education sector, we also bring to our research and teaching, a diverse range of interdisciplinary knowledge, theory and expertise. Here are some examples of Education Studies’ interdisciplinary expertise and approaches:
- Education Studies academics with expertise in drama and theatre education have worked on educational initiatives with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Associated Schools programme, as well as working on local community initiatives, such as Canley Youth Theatre’s oral history project.
- Education Studies’ Warwick Religious Education Research Unit (WRERU) undertakes research on religious education within and through schools, colleges and universities, as well as education charities and wider faith communities.
- Our Leadership Group regularly collaborates with national, regional and local bodies on school improvement. Since 2014 its researchers have carried out commissioned research and evaluation projects for Birmingham City Council, Peterborough City Council and Warwickshire County Council to identify the most effective strategies to raise attainment levels and close gaps in the attainment of disadvantaged pupils.
- Education Studies also has a global policy focus, which is demonstrated by the current collaborative project with the School of Law: “A Fair Chance for Education: Gendered Pathways to Educational Success in Haryana”. This study aims to directly contribute to the educational success of learners in the Northern Indian state of Haryana.
Our learning and teaching programmes also reflect Education Studies’ diverse range of expertise. Our Master’s programmes encompass Drama and Education, Educational Leadership, Psychology and Education, Global Education and Islamic Education. At undergraduate and postgraduate level we offer modules on, for example, the philosophy of education, social theory and education, international education, religions, gender and creativity.
One of our latest projects
This project stems from a transformative educational vision and collaboration between Education Studies, Muslim Communities and the University. The University is one of the first in the UK to recognise Islamic Education as an interdisciplinary academic field of research, teaching and professional development. Our distinctive taught, research and networking programmes facilitate educational competence building within communities and contributes towards achieving social justice, cohesion and meaningful coexistence. In October 2018, we launched the UK’s first PGA in Islamic Education which bridges the gap between traditional Islamic seminaries and modern higher education. We also run an annual Islamic Education Summer School, based on the Muslim educational tradition of ‘taaruf’ (or openness to learning from one another) the Summer School offers an academic space to encourage critical inquiry and reflective practice in Islamic Education.
Research and scholarship within Education Studies includes exploration of knowledge and practice at the intersection of arts, cultures, religious education and related fields. Our interdisciplinarity entails analysing educational cultures (ranging from those of the major faith traditions to creative and eco-pedagogies) by exploring the distinctive features of their pedagogies and curriculums. In particular, we seek to pinpoint the specific features of ‘cultures of learning’ and ‘cultures of teaching’ in the context of global and intercultural influences that shape education in all its forms. Our interdisciplinary approach is predicated upon a commitment to inclusion and access in the spirit of the dignity of differences and interdependence among culturally diverse groups. The Warwick Islamic Education Project aims to nurture collaborations that draw together educational cultures of traditional Islamic seminaries and contemporary higher education.
Studying on an IATL module gives you the opportunity to work with students and lecturers from right across the university, developing connections between ideas, experiences and practice. These skills, of working with people from different backgrounds and developing complex understandings of concepts, are increasingly valued by both students and employers alike and offer you ways of engaging with some of the big questions facing us today. In an IATL module you are not merely learning about the world, you are working with others to develop new ways of understanding it.
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