Learn more about our research themes and current projects.
Our research projects and consultancies fall under four themes:
- Diversity and migration
- Inclusion and exclusion
- Impact of COVID-19
- Sustainable development goals
Current and most recent projects
Increasing global migration brings considerable challenges for schools and teachers. Teaching that matters for migrant students aims to understand and help teachers meet the needs of migrant students. The project focuses on the work of teachers within different schools and different support systems that are available to students and teachers in Sweden, Finland and Scotland.
Funder: National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS)
This project works with Scottish secondary pupils, their families and school staff to explore what it is like to have a diagnosis for a neurodevelopmental disorder such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and behavioural disorders such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). The study also looks at what it is like for pupils who do not have a diagnosis of a behavioural disorder but who at times and for various reasons can need additional support to help them manage their behaviour in school. The study explores the reasons why some pupils are referred for diagnosis, and others are not.
If you would like to find out more about the study or to discuss your potential involvement, please e-mail the research team.
A team of researchers led by Dr Nataša Pantić employs new network approaches to study how teachers’ practices shape and are shaped by their social networks within and beyond schools. The aim is to understand how CoPs emerge from teachers’ day-to-day interactions with colleagues, families and other professionals as they seek to improve all students’ learning and schooling experiences.
This Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) large grant aims to advance a multi-disciplinary understanding as well as a home-international comparison of the political economies of exclusion, and how more equitable outcomes can be achieved for pupils, their families and professionals.
The research was organised into three strands running across the four years of the project:
- Strand A: Landscapes of Exclusion examined how legal frameworks, policies and practices of regulation shape systemic practice, and the patterns, characteristics and consequences of exclusion.
- Strand B: Experiences of Exclusion focused on families’, pupils’ and professionals’ experiences of the risks and consequences of exclusion.
- Strand C: Costs and integration examined the financial costs associated with exclusion. It also integrated findings within and across jurisdictions to ensure continuous learning as the research develops a coherent multidisciplinary understanding of the political economies of exclusion.
The aim of this project was to understand the experiences and outcomes of commuter students at the University of Edinburgh as the pandemic receded.
We analysed administrative data and conducted an online survey to understand the number of commuter students at the University as well as their social characteristics and academic trajectories. We also used in-depth interviews to understand commuter students’ experiences of academic and social support, interactions with their peers and their views of the positive and negative aspects of commuting from home to university.
In terms of impact, we hope the research will provide insight into the practical and cultural changes which the University might make to improve the experiences and outcomes of this group. It speaks to the University’s Strategy for 2030 by focusing on how best to create a positive and supportive learning and teaching environment for our students as well as by thinking about the contribution that commuter students make to both the University and their local communities.
The SaChA project uses the Agents of Change Toolkit (ACToolkit) to promote more inclusive and equitable education in schools in Scotland and around the world. ACToolkit guides school staff through planning, implementing and evaluating change projects. The Toolkit is an accessible and practical tool for schools to engage with change projects around the SDGs through minigames and playful activities that facilitate whole-school approaches. The ACToolkit is designed to help educators:
- build SDG-related improvements into their local plans
- identify relevant expertise and work with other players within and beyond schools to implement change projects
- evaluate the impact of change processes and outcomes
Working with at least 8-9 schools, we shared the Toolkit and supported practitioners to address issues specific to their schools that reflect global challenges, e.g. inequality, diversity, sustainability and COVID recovery. Learnings from this work will be shared with other schools to demonstrate how ACToolkit can be used to tackle similar or other challenges.
The project builds on four completed projects:
- Agents of Change Toolkit (ACT)
- Teaching that Matters for Migrant Students (TEAMS)
- Teacher Education for Changing Demographics of Schooling and Making Sense of Teacher Agency for Inclusion
- Impacts of COVID-19 on Teaching Practice Opportunities for Virtual Internships
This project developed a toolkit (including a range of serious games) that helps teachers and schools to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The ACT Toolkit received the RCE Award as ‘Outstanding Flagship Project’ in 2022. The Award recognises projects and programmes that bridge local and global perspectives on sustainable development, as well as those that engage with transformative learning and research. It also awards initiatives that contribute to community engagement, research and development and capacity development of stakeholders and partners.
Researchers investigated how the children's rights agenda is being implemented in practice in the field of SEN/ASN. Their work took into account the wider policy context of declining budgets, reduced local authority power, increasingly complex governance arrangements and policy divergence across England and Scotland.
This study investigated:
- How isolation, school closure and exam cancellation caused by Covid-19 affected the mental health of young people in Scotland
- Whether and to what extent there are additional impacts on the mental health of groups of young people typically identified as vulnerable
- What young people, as pupils, think would help address their concerns about mental health in the context of the pandemic
As an extension of the national Read, Write, Count (RWC) campaign to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of Scotland’s children, the Moray House RWC Collaborative has been running since 2016, taking forward projects and delivering new resources.
The Moray House RWC Group brings together different groups with a shared interest in closing the poverty-related attainment gap by encouraging parents to engage with children's learning through various resources and projects.
This project involved a mixture of academic and professional staff and students from four Scottish universities (University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, University of St Andrews, University of the West of Scotland). Our aim was to identify what resilience looks like in a PGT learning community. By considering resilience as it related to different groups, and the contextual factors likely to promote resilience in these groups, the project developed resources to facilitate discussions on resilience across the sector.
We produce briefings related to many of our research projects. They are available for download below.
Autonomy, rights, and children with special needs: a new paradigm?
Towards a Lifelong Learning Society in Europe
More projects and publications
Information about our projects and publications can be found on our staff members' profiles and on the University's Research Explorer. You can find staff profiles on our 'People' page.