The Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education Research Group

This group brings together researchers who are interested in a range of issues all linked to the broad area of ‘Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education’. Specific areas of interest for group members include: education and social mobility; young people’s educational choices; special educational needs, inclusion and social justice; the role of parents, class, ethnicity and gender in educational engagement; outdoor play and provision; engagement, attainment and educational leadership and management to name just a few.

Group members are interested in researching issues across a range of levels and sectors including early years provision, schools, further education, higher education as well through particular subject areas and disciplines including science, mathematics, drama sociology, and psychology for example.

This research group aligns with the University’s Prosperity and Resilience theme which recognises that, ‘creating and sustaining prosperity while also enabling resilience is key to individual and social wellbeing. Both are complex challenges’ and this complexity is recognised in the research and interests of the IEIE group.



Staff members of the group and their research interests

Dr. Rebecca Berkley: Music Education, Musical Cognition, Choral Education, Musicianship and developing a skilled workforce in the music classroom.

Professor Helen Bilton: Early years education; outdoor play and provision for the early years and primary; the environment for learning and teaching; teaching assistants (nursery, primary and secondary) – roles and responsibilities; communicating with children; gender.

Dr. Fiona Curtis: Teaching and learning of Secondary Mathematics; Introducing algebra in primary schools; Social justice in secondary schools; Gender and mathematics; Alternative pedagogies.

Dr. Alan Floyd: career trajectories; distributed leadership; higher education leadership; leadership development; perception and experiences of being in a leadership role; professional identity

Dr. Catherine Foley: Primary mathematics education; mathematical identities; capturing children’s perspectives in education; gender and mathematics.

Professor Carol Fuller: Choices, attitudes, values and aspirations in education alongside the theory that helps explain these; the link between identity and educational outcomes; class and gender and sociology of education more broadly.

Dr. Richard Harris: History education; diversity; inclusive education; curriculum issues; teacher education and development; action research; transgender issues.

Dr. Karen Jones: Women’s leadership; the learning of leadership; evaluation of leadership development; learning transfer and impact; lived experience; gender.

Dr. Maria Kambouri-Danos: Early years education; parents and teachers/practitioners as partners in education; science in the early years; misconceptions; play in the early years; gender and gender stereotypes.

Nasreen Majid: Teaching and Learning of Primary Mathematics; Assessment for Learning; Impact of Mathematics Specialism Teachers in Primary Schools; Culture and mathematics pedagogy; Leadership and Management of mathematics in Primary schools including professional development.

Professor Elizabeth McCrum: All aspects of history education; teacher knowledge and beliefs; initial teacher education; mentorship; historiography; historical research in education postmodernism.

Professor Jill Porter: Understanding barriers and supports to participation for disabled children and young people; Collection and Responses to Disability Data in different cultures and contexts; Policy, Pedagogy and Curriculum for Children and Young People with Complex Learning Difficulties; Organisation of Inclusive and Special Schooling; Early Mathematical Development and Learning; Research Methodologies and Special Populations.

Professor Catherine Tissot: Special education theory and practice; autistic spectrum disorders; inclusive education; international perspectives on inclusion.

Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai: Primary mathematics teaching and learning; use of children’s literature to help enhance mathematics teaching and learning; international perspectives on mathematics teaching and learning; reading comprehension and mathematics achievements.

Teresa Wilson: All aspects of early years care and education; the development and maintenance of successful partnerships between parents and practitioners; professional development of early years practitioners.

Dr. Billy Wong: Educational and career aspirations from the lens of social identities and inequalities, such as gender, class and ‘race’/ethnicity. Current research in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and higher education.



Current and recent research projects

  • Gender and identity
  • Leadership development in a Small Island Developing State: the Jamaican context
  • SENCOs’ views on SEN provision
  • Student experiences of higher education
  • Leaders of Maths and Professional Identity
  • The Aims and Facilities of Early Years Outdoor Education in England: A Conceptual and Empirical Investigation.
  • The Early Years outdoor teaching and learning environment- teacher attitudes.
  • Girl and their identification as mathematicians
  • Literature and teaching maths
  • The History and Philosophy in Science Teaching European Project
  • Music ability in primary schools (MAPS)
  • Teachers’ perceptions of the value of ICT in teaching sciences and English in the UK and Malaysia


Postgraduate research proposals are welcomed in all the above areas. Detailed information about postgraduate research and how to make an application can be found in the Institute of Education’s Postgraduate Research webpage.