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Development Education Research Centre

One of the world's leading centres for development education, global learning, education for sustainable development and global citizenship.

Director: Professor Douglas Bourn

The Development Education Research Centre (DERC) acts as the hub for knowledge generation, new thinking, quality output and teaching on development education, global learning, education for sustainable development and global citizenship.

About us

Background

DERC was launched in November 2006 with funding and support from the UK Department for International Development. We draw funding from a number of different sources including the European Commission, UK government and a range of non-governmental organisations.

The centre acts as the hub of knowledge development on development education and related themes for policy-makers and practitioners internationally.

What is development education?

Development education is an approach to learning about global and development issues through recognising the importance of linking people's lives throughout the world. It is also based on an understanding of the importance of critical thinking, the need to challenge stereotypes and to give people the skills and confidence to support change towards a more just and sustainable world.

Social justice underpins its pedagogical approaches. Development education is often used alongside terms such as global learning, global citizenship education and global education. It also intersects with education for sustainable development, climate change and climate justice education, peace education, human rights education, anti-racist education and related approaches.

Objectives

  • Promote the value of development education, global learning, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development as part of the essential learning in the twenty-first century.
  • Promote and encourage critical reflective engagement with the meaning and effectiveness of development education and related areas by the educational community in the UK and internationally.
  • Develop an international community of researchers engaged in development education, global learning, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development.
  • Develop a body of evidence through a series of published monographs, academic articles and seminars on the contribution that development education practice can make in building understanding of international development and global issues.
  • Develop and embed development education, global learning, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development principles and practices across teacher training and other educational courses/initiatives within the UCL Institute of Education, and in turn to other similar institutions.
Our staff

Director

Associate Directors

Senior Research Officer

DERC Administrator

Study with us

Programmes

Graduate taught

Our centre has developed the first Master’s programme in the UK examining current research and practice of development education, global learning and global citizenship:

Graduate research

Doctoral students in the centre have undertaken research on global issues and approaches covering a range of countries such as India, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Jamaica, South Korea, UAE, Greece, China and Japan as well as the UK. 

DERC is always interested in hearing from prospective doctoral students particularly in the following areas:

  • Impact of global learning within formal education
  • Contribution and role of policy-makers and practitioners to building awareness and understanding of international development and global issues in UK and elsewhere in the world 
  • How universities and colleges are interpreting global perspectives and internationalisation within their policies and practices
  • Pedagogical approaches to delivering global learning, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development around the world.

Online short courses/continuing professional development

The centre has also recently developed a three week online short course called ‘Global Education for Teachers’. The course is hosted by FutureLearn and is free to teachers around the world who are interested in integrating global education and global citizenship education into their practice. It runs twice a year, with start dates in October and January.

For details about the course and instructions on how to enrol see: Global Education for Teachers (FutureLearn website).

Our activities

Research

We are engaged in a range of research projects and programmes related to development education, global learning, education for sustainable development and global citizenship education in primary, secondary, further and higher education, as well as in informal education programmes.

Key areas of research

  • Policy and practice in development education and global learning
  • The theory and pedagogy of global learning
  • Global perspectives and global citizenship within higher education
  • Young people as global citizens
  • Education for sustainable development and climate justice education
  • Global learning for teachers and trainee teachers
  • Global learning practices within schools
  • Policy and practice of global learning in Europe
  • Monitoring and evaluation of global learning and development education implementation projects
  • Volunteering and global citizenship

DERC research projects and programmes

Consultancy

We have been commissioned by a range of organisations including NGOs, schools, government bodies and international institutions, to carry out consultancy inputs. These include activities such as monitoring and evaluation, training and train-the-trainer workshops, literature reviews and report writing.

Current and recent consultancy projects

Members of the centre's team also regularly contribute via keynote addresses, seminar presentations or running of workshops for projects and activities. These have included:

  • British Council
  • JICA in Japan
  • Suas-Educational Development in Ireland
  • Global Schools Project in Sweden
  • Global Education Network Europe
  • Finland Education Research Association  
  • European Education Research Association 
  • British Education Research Association.
International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning

An internationally refereed journal that showcases research and current debates on development education, as well as related concepts such as global learning, global education, and global citizenship.

The journal was founded by DERC and is edited by our Associate Director, Dr Clare Bentall. It is now fully open access, including all back issues.

Seminar series

DERC runs an ongoing seminar series as part of its mission to provide learning and networking opportunities for professionals and students of development education, global learning, global citizenship and education for sustainable development.

Events are held either online or around the Bloomsbury campus, and are free and open to staff, students, alumni and the public. All are welcome to attend. Many of the events are filmed and made available on the event pages.

Previous topics

Conferences

The centre aims to run regular events to provide learning and networking opportunities for professionals and students of development education, global learning and global citizenship. This includes an annual conference, regular topical seminars and workshops. We can also help facilitate and promote events run by partner organisations.

What's on

See our forthcoming events

Conferences

Our popular annual conferences offer great opportunities to find out about recent developments, projects and publications in the field, as well as presenting a valuable opportunity for attendees to meet like-minded researchers and generally connect with their peers in an inspirational way.

Panel at the ANGEL 2019 conference

Our conferences have included:

  • Research, evidence and policy learning for global education (May 2017) - downloadable resources and presentations, as well as videos of plenary sessions
  • ANGEL Conference (May 2019) - an academic conference for those working in, or with an interest in, Global Education research. Also functioning as a gathering for members of the Academic Network on Global Education & Learning (ANGEL).
Publications

For research papers, journal articles and presentations from the centre:

See also:

Visit UCL Research Portal, IRIS to read full reports of our research and find more about our researchers, publications, activities, groups and themes.

Network groups 

Academic Network on Global Education & Learning (ANGEL)

ANGEL is a partnership project between DERC and Global Education Network of Europe that aims to create ties among global education researchers.

ANGEL and Global Education Digest

In recent years, the debate on global education and learning has gained momentum in the international and European educational and political spheres, becoming prominent in government, civil society, academic and educational discourses. In this context ANGEL aims at forging a European community of researchers and scholars in the field of global education, who, despite the existing important cooperation and personal links, do not benefit from a structural framework of support across Europe. 

This network, launched in late 2017, also aims to form a pool of experts which can become a resource for policymakers in search of strong research grounding for policy development, and to establish a network among early stage researchers, Doctoral students and Post-Doctoral researchers, who are currently engaged in research in fields related to global education.

ANGEL produce publications, run events, and distribute news to their membership through the project website.

As of 2021, the network has more than 600 members in more than 75 countries. 

Global Education Digest 

A key output is the Global Education Digest, a reasoned bibliography of academic and research materials relevant to the field of global education.  

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Forthcoming events

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