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  Learning outside the classroom, how museums, galleries and environmental education centres can foster culturally inclusive practices in schools.

   School of Education

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  Dr E Curtis, Dr Maria Gregoriou  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Learning for Sustainability, (LfS) lies at the heart of education in Scotland. It is embedded in the Standards for teachers in Scotland by the General Teaching Council for Scotland and in the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence. LfS brings together ideas relating to environmental sustainability and global citizenship education, (GCE) and highlights the importance of children learning through real life experiences in contexts beyond the classroom. 

Creativity has become a popular research topic in many parts of the world. There has been an increased interest in creativity in education and creative pedagogies with an accompanying growth internationally in educational research in this area. While research has been carried out within creativity in the education field, including, for example, creativity and leadership, creative learning environments and progression in creativity assessment, the field is still missing overarching synthesis on creative pedagogies, focusing further on the role of museum and school educators developing lifelong learning. 

This PhD invites candidates to explore the use of GCE and creative learning as a conceptual framework for understanding the role museums, gallery and environmental education settings play in supporting creative and inclusive pedagogies in schools. The aim of this PhD project is to examine how such places support schools and children to gain meaningful real-life experiences which foster inclusion and develop creative thinking and a sense of belonging in young people and their teachers. 

At this moment in time cultural and environmental institutions in the West along with schools are faced with the issue of examining practices and assumptions with regard to cultural inclusion brought to prominence by the Black Lives Matter Movement. We are looking for candidates who have an interest in the ways in which the practice of learning in museums, galleries and environmental education settings can support schools to recognise and redress the experiences of culturally marginalised learners. 

We welcome applications from candidates who are interested in exploring the role which museums, galleries and environmental education settings have in supporting children’s learning and which foster cultural inclusion in school. Applicants can have a background in either school or museum-based education and a proven research interest in any of the following areas:

• Cultural and educational inclusion

• Creativity and possibility learning

• Curriculum and pedagogy, specifically learning beyond the classroom

The geographic context could be negotiated depending on the experience of prospective candidates.


Qualitative Ethnographic fieldwork in Scotland or another geographic region in a range of educational contexts including field observations, interviews and questionnaires. 

Stakeholder policy research to identify how Education and Museum Policies intersect with respect to cultural and education inclusion and creativity. 

The successful candidate will be expected to research underpinning conceptual ideas, develop a suitable theoretical framework for their work and an appropriate research design. They will have flexibility to shape the focus of work, within the scope of the ideas presented above and in consultation with supervisors. An application for this PhD should therefore provide evidence of initial thinking about a suitable research question, theoretical framework and research approach as well as some familiarity with relevant related research and methodologies.

Anthropology (2) Education (11)

 About the Project