Development Education Research Centre (DERC)

Dr Douglas Bourn

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.

The Research Centre was launched in November 2006 with funding and support from the UK Department for International Development. It is recognised as one of the world's leading research centres for development education, global learning and global citizenship.

A key part of the Centre's work has been to establish a Development Education MA programme, which is the first of its kind in the UK, and to create a new academic journal for the field, the International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, published by IOE Press. Having the MA based in the Research Centre also means that our students have access to the wide range of materials it produces and opportunities to participate in its events, including seminars and conferences.


The Research Centre acts as the hub for knowledge generation, new thinking and quality output on development education, global learning and global citizenship.


  • To promote the value of development education as part of essential learning in the twenty-first century;
  • To 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;
  • To develop an international community of researchers engaged in development education, global learning and global citizenship;
  • To 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;
  • To develop and embed development education principles and practices across teacher training and other educational courses and initiatives within the Institute of Education, and in turn to other similar institutions.

Below are videos from some of our previous seminars:

Is Global Learning for everyone? Dr Clare Bentall, IOE

Transformative Learning through Development Education NGOs. A Comparative Study of Britain and Spain Dr Eleanor Brown, Researcher at York University

Arts Educators and Global Learning - who's answering whose question? Will Essilfie, Researcher at IOE and freelance Educator

Global Learning - The Future of Education?
On 25 June 2013 the DERC, in partnership with the Institute of Ideas Education Forum, hosted a debate entitled 'Global Learning - The Future of Education?'. Dr Douglas Bourn, Director of the DERC, and Dr Alex Standish, lecturer in Geography Education at the IOE and author of 'The False Promise of Global Learning: Why Education Needs Boundaries', contributed to the debate which was chaired by Professor David Lambert. View the debate.