Our group’s aim is to develop understanding of the processes of professional learning so that we can provide effective guidance for teacher educators and policy-makers who are seeking to strengthen the quality and agency of teachers at all career stages.

Building on the international reputation of the Oxford Internship Scheme, the Department’s pioneering university-school partnership, we have extended this collaboration (though the Oxford Education Deanery), to support teachers’ continued professional development through research engagement. The integration of theory/research and practice at all stages of teachers’ professional learning thus constitute a core focus of our work, but other important contributions relate to:

  • The content and structure of the teacher education curriculum, with emphasis on issues of social justice and the capacity of teachers to adapt to changing school contexts, curricula and policy demands.
  • International and historical comparisons of policy development, along with socio-cultural analysis of the ways in which policies are enacted and experienced.
  • The evaluation of outcomes – ways of assuring quality in initial teacher education.

Much of the group’s work related to continued professional development has a strong subject-specific dimension, of particular importance in helping teachers respond effectively to extensive curriculum change.

Selected Publications

Staff and research students are strongly encouraged to disseminate their research findings. Below is a selection of publications which have arisen from recent DPhils and/or research projects.

  • Mutton, T., Burn, K., Hagger, H. & Thirlwall, K. (2018) Teacher Education Partnerships: Policy and Practice, Northwich: Critical Publishing.
  • Tatto, M.T., Burn, K., Menter, I., Mutton, T. & Thompson, I. (2018) Learning to Teach in England and the United States: The Evolution of Policy and Practice, Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
  • Mutton, T., Burn, K. & Thompson, I. (2018) Preparation for family-school partnerships within initial teacher education programmes in England, Journal of Education for Teaching.
    DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2018.1465624
  • Thompson, I., Willemse, M., Mutton, T., Burn, K. & De Bruïne, E. (2018) Teacher education and family–school partnerships in different contexts: A cross country analysis of national teacher education frameworks across a range of European countries, Journal of Education for Teaching. Online publication DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2018.1465621
  • Childs, A. & Menter, I. (2017) Mobilising Teacher Researchers: challenging educational inequality, London: Routledge.
  • Thompson, I. (2017) Tackling Social Disadvantage through Teacher Education, Northwich: Critical Publishing.
  • Fancourt, N (2017) Creating a system of distributed expertise: the Oxford Education Deanery narrative, in A. Edwards (ed.): Working Relationally in and across Practices: A Cultural-Historical Approach to Collaboration, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/9781316275184.010
  • Burn, K. & Childs, A. (2016) Responding to poverty through education and teacher education initiatives: a critical evaluation of key trends in government policy in England 1997-2015, Journal of Education for Teaching, 42 (4) 387-403. DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2016.1215547
  • Burn, K., Mutton, T., Thompson, I., Ingram, J., McNicholl, J. & Firth, R., (2016) The impact of adopting a research orientation towards use of the Pupil Premium Grant in preparing beginning teachers in England to understand and work effectively with young people living in poverty, Journal of Education for Teaching, 42 (4) 434-450.  DOI: 10.1080/02607476.2016.1215551
  • Mutton, T., Burn, K. & Menter, I. (2016) Deconstructing the Carter Review: competing conceptions of quality in England’s ‘school-led’ system of initial teacher education, Journal of Education Policy, 32(1), 14-33. DOI: 10.1080/02680939.2016.1214751

Study with us

Examples of current DPhil projects
  • Dealing with Task Uncertainty: complex demands in schools and teachers’ responses – Kasper Munk
  • How do school climate and practices impact on social networks of students and other school actors? – Mark Sarazin
  • How can the Orientations to Learning from Experience Framework (Hagger et al., 2008) be used by mentors and teachers to explore learning to teach in school-based initial teacher education routes? – Tessa Blair
  • MFL Teachers’ Professional Learning: in Search of Impact –  Laura Molway
  • Goals pursued by stakeholders within the Oxford Internship Scheme and their interaction with national standards and provisions – Yoon Young Lee
  • Teachers’ perspectives on tensions between policy, practice and research in disadvantaged schools – Amanda Nuttall
Examples of past DPhil projects
  • Student teachers learning to use Assessment for Learning in schools – Desmond Tan (2018)
  • Beginning teachers’ identity and agency: A case study of L2 English teachers in South Korea –  Minjeong Song (2017)
  • Networks for school support and improvement – a mixed methods study – Ariel Lindorff (2017)
  • A study of English language teachers’ professional learning at a time of curriculum reform in Hong Kong (MLitt) – Jenny Linn (2016)
  • Teachers’ understanding of the purposes of group work and their relationship with practice – Jessica Chan (2015)


A number of books written by members of the group specifically present their research to teachers, including those working as mentors (school-based teacher educators):

  • Thompson, I (2017) Tackling Social Disadvantage Through Teacher Education. Critical Publishing
  • Burn, Mutton and Hagger (2015) Beginning Teachers’ Learning: Making Experience Count, Northwich: Critical Publishing.
  • Macaro, E., Graham, S. and Woore, R. (2015) Improving Foreign Language Teaching: Towards a research-based curriculum and pedagogy. Abingdon: Routledge

The following article was published in Impact, the journal of the Chartered College of Teaching in September 2018:

  • Burn and Mutton (2018) Constructing the curriculum of (initial) teacher education: when should new teachers be encouraged to ask critical questions?

The following report was produced for the Oxfordshire Strategic Schools Partnership Board (which includes the local authority, the Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance and the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education). It is available on the SSPB website and on the Oxford Education Deanery website

Burn, Wild, Klose and Martin-Millward (2016) ‘Recruitment and Retention of Newly Qualified Teachers in Oxfordshire Schools’