Underpinning our education system is a focus on knowledge acquisition and the ‘need to know’ which, historically, have driven assessment practice and determined pedagogy and teaching. The central concerns of members of this group lie at the interface between theory and practice and reflect the inter-relationship between views of learning and of knowledge, and how they relate to policy, pedagogy, assessment and the specified curriculum. Within the umbrella concepts of knowledge. learning, policy, pedagogy, the curriculum and assessment the foci of recent and current research projects of researchers in the group, funded and unfunded in the UK and internationally, include: pedagogies and curriculum effective in responding to the needs of all students, including those who experience difficulties in learning, and those who support them; literacy learning in schools, most especially in relation to those students who experience barriers; approaches to understanding, assessing and addressing behavioural issues in schools; approaches to teacher professional development, in particular as it relates to the training and development of new teachers as well as in-school practitioner research work; learners’ views of what helps and hinders their learning and ways in which these views can support the development of effective pedagogy; policy and practice in special educational needs provision in schools. Fields of knowledge and areas of investigation continue to develop and intersect. Currently conceptual approaches used by research group members include, but are not limited to, socio-cultural understandings of learning and behaviour and the theoretical framework offered by the concept of communities of practice elaborated, most notably by Lave and Wenger.

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