Impact and engagement

Student learning archery

We are actively engaged in research at the frontiers of education, which has real impact on the lives and learning of children and young people, families and educational professionals, in the UK and globally.

Through our research, knowledge exchange and engagement activities we aim to:

  • share expertise in education practice and theory
  • train inspiring practitioners through our postgraduate research degrees
  • inform and shape public educational policy
  • improve educational practice on a global scale

Some examples of our research impact include:

Child poverty and well-being

Fair Shares and Families: Children’s perceptions of material resource distributions and decision-making within families, led by Dr Gill Main, explores the links between child poverty and children’s subjective well-being by looking at how children and families think and talk about sharing their resources. Building on this work, Dr Main and colleagues will set up panels of children, young people and families with personal experience of poverty, so their voices can be represented in media and policy-making.

Technology in the future of higher education

The Unbundled University: Researching Emerging Models in an Unequal Landscape, led by Professor Neil Morris and colleagues in collaboration with the University of Cape Town, examines the way technology, marketisation and disaggregation of the curriculum are impacting higher education. In particular, the project is helping us understand the effect of digital education on students, staff and employers.

Assessment in medical education

Dr Matt Homer works with the Leeds Institute of Medical Education (LIME) Quality and Innovation in Assessment research group on an ongoing and internationally-recognised programme of research centred on improving performance and knowledge assessments in medical education. The team’s work has helped medical schools in the UK and abroad improve their assessment practices to ensure high standards in the medical profession.

Narnian virtues

Narnian Virtues: How parents, teachers and their 11 to 13 year-olds learn to cultivate good character through engagement with the novels by C.S. Lewis, led by Professor Mark Pike in collaboration with the State University of New York at Cortland, explores how good character is cultivated by parents, teachers and students through engagement with C.S Lewis’ Narnia novels. The project will help to inform curriculum design as well as parenting and teaching practices to support children’s character development, empathy, self-reflection and positive behaviour.

Language and migration

Dr James Simpson, Professor Mike Baynham and Jessica Bradley worked in collaboration with colleagues from three other universities on Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities, which examined how people communicate across diverse languages and cultures. The project, as well as the team’s wider work on ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), is helping to inform policies and practices in areas including language education and support for migrants, integration and employment, cross-cultural communication and arts based practice.

Improving educational and social outcomes for deaf children of Roma families

Improving educational and social outcomes for deaf children of Roma families in the UK led by Professor Ruth Swanwick, examines and addresses the learning, development and social needs of deaf children of Roma families, who have been identified as a particularly vulnerable group of deaf learners. Bringing together a range of partners and stakeholders, the project is helping to develop interventions and follow-on research relating to deafness, disability and migration.

Supporting vulnerable children in South Africa

Dr Lou Harvey and Professor Paul Cooke (School of Languages, Cultures and Societies) have been awarded Global Challenges Research Funding for their project which looks at vulnerable children becoming youth leaders in South Africa.

Childhood and Youth in Latin America

Dr Anne Luke is interested in how childhood and youth has been constructed differently under differing political and social systems, and her recent work focuses on perspectives on childhood from the Global South, particularly Latin America.

Language assessment

Investigating the applicability of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for self-assessment in tertiary writing instruction in China: accessibility, effectiveness, feasibility and usefulness led by Dr Huahui Zhao will raise teachers’ awareness of the reciprocal relationships between summative and formative assessment. Dr Zhao’s research interests lie primarily in language assessment and collaborative learning in traditional and technology-enhanced classrooms. 

View our complete list of Research Projects