Research with Plymouth Institute of Education

Research in Plymouth Institute of Education (PIOE) is both excellent and highly distinctive, with its lifelong and life-wide approach; foregrounding the vital role learning plays in society and culture. Our researchers explore how and why people learn at every stage of life, from babies to the very old. They conduct research in nurseries, schools, colleges and universities, but also in multiple informal contexts: in the home, at work, in nature, in the community, in arts and leisure and in volunteering and activism.

We have strong research links and networks across the world and a wide range of externally funded national and international research projects. Through our four nodes of research excellence: Children and Families, Learning outside Formal Education, Inclusion and Education Policy world-leading academics work with colleagues, doctoral students, international fellows and practitioners, promoting a vibrant and participative research culture. Our wide range of specialist interests include: philosophy for children, outdoor learning, comparative education policy, autism, rural education, posthumanism and maths education. Theoretical innovation and participative methodologies combine with promoting social justice: impacting positively on practices and policies, both locally and globally, for example in University practice settings. 

Dr Cath Gristy invited to Mexico as an expert mentor

Cath Gristy has been invited to be part of a British Council funded project in Mexico as an expert mentor. Whilst in Mexico, Cath has been involved with a series of workshops with national education leaders and policy makers. 

The project (‘Enhancing reflective learning and school collaboration in rural Mexico. Capitalising Mexican and international experiences for the benefit of tutors and students in social disadvantage’) was part of a wider British Council funded initiative ‘Higher Education Links’, which is working to support collaborations with government institutions, the private sector, and the third sector. 

The initiative aims to support the integration of Mexican Higher Education Institutions into a regional development agenda within a global context. The local project co-ordinators included Drs Diego Juarez Bolanos from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and Marta Cristina Azaola currently based at Southampton University. 

Cath, together with Drs Paul Armstrong from Manchester University, Helen Coker from the University of Highlands and Islands and local colleagues from Mexico, taught and led workshops, supported staff and postgraduate students with projects and took part in research planning. Workshops were held at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and at a primary school in the very rural Hidalgo province.

<p>Workshop with education leaders and policy makers at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City<br></p>
Workshop with education leaders and policy makers at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City
<p>Workshop with teachers and education leaders at a primary school in the rural Hidalgo province.<br></p>
Workshop with teachers and education leaders at a primary school in the rural Hidalgo province.

Recent publications

Dr Ken Gale

Wyatt, J., Gale, K., Gannon, S. and Davies, B. (2017) Creating a space in between: collaborative inquiries Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 5th Edition, Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.

Gale, K (2016) Animating Creativity as Becoming: A Posthuman Engagement with Pedagogic Practice in Contemporary Higher Education Settings, in Posthuman Research Practices in Education, Taylor, C. and Hughes, C. (Eds.) London: Palgrave MacMillan, pp.242-257.

Gale, K (2016) Writing minor literature: working with flows, intensities and the welcome of the unknownQualitative Inquiry, Vol. 22(5) 301– 308. DOI:10.1177/1077800415615615


The Pedagogic Research Institute and Observatory represents a new venture, continuing our success in higher education (HE) pedagogy research.

The Institute is home to researchers whose breadth of knowledge and expertise range across all aspects of HE pedagogy.

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