The following list has been generated in response to the forthcoming OECD review of CfE. It illustrates that while some areas have been characterised by a large volume of research and publication (e.g PE, teachers and curriculum development), other areas have been subject to neglect. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only comprehensive list of CfE related research (although it would be nice to be corrected on this). If anyone wishes to add additional work to the list, or if you think I have miscategorised your work, please contact me.

Research articles – Curriculum for Excellence

1. General
The following publication has plenty of chapters relating to CfE. Earlier editions have different chapters, but some are out of date now.

Bryce, T.G.K., Humes, W.M., Gillies, D. and Kennedy, A. (2013). Scottish Education. Fourth Edition: Referendum. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Additionally, the following has a CfE theme, but draws more widely on curriculum policy and theory from around the world. The book contains chapters on the origins of CfE, each of the Four Capacities, worldwide trends, teacher development, teacher agency and a comparative case (Queensland). Where electronic links are available, the individual chapters are listed below.

Priestley, M. & Biesta,. G.J.J. (Eds.) (2013) Reinventing the Curriculum: New Trends in Curriculum Policy and Practice. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Available from

2. Conceptual/critique
Biesta, G.J.J. & Priestley, M. (2013). Capacities and the curriculum. In M. Priestley & G.J.J. Biesta (Eds.), Reinventing the curriculum: new trends in curriculum policy and practice, London: Bloomsbury.
Biesta, G. (2008). What kind of citizen? What kind of democracy? Citizenship education and the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence, Scottish Educational Review, 40[2].
Carr, D., Allison, P. & Meldrum, G., (2006). In search of excellence: Towards a philosophically coherent twenty-first century Scottish curriculum. Scottish Educational Review, 38(1), 13-24.
Day, S. & Bryce, T. (2013). Curriculum for Excellence Science: Vision or Confusion? Scottish Educational Review, 45[1],
Gillies, D. (2006) A Curriculum for Excellence: a question of values, Scottish Educational Review, 40[2].
Humes, W. (2013) Curriculum for Excellence and Interdisciplinary Learning. Scottish Educational Review, 45[1],
MacAllister, J., Macleod, G. & Pirrie, A. (2013). Searching for excellence in education: knowledge, virtue and presence? Ethics and Education, 8[2], 153-165 DOI: 10.1080/17449642.2013.843964
MacKinnon. N. (2011). The urgent need for new approaches in school evaluation to enable Scotland’s curriculum for excellence, Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 23[1], 89-106.
MacLellan, E. & Soden, R. (2008). Successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors: exploring the nature of learning and its implications in Curriculum for Excellence, Scottish Educational Review, 40[2].
Priestley, M. (2011). Whatever happened to curriculum theory? Critical realism and curriculum change. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 19[2], 221-238.
Priestley, M. (2013). The 3-18 Curriculum in Scottish Education. In T.G.K. Bryce, W.M. Humes, D. Gillies & A. Kennedy (eds.), Scottish Education, 4th edition, Referendum, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Priestley, M. & Humes, W. (2010). The Development of Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence: amnesia and déjà vu. Oxford Review of Education, 36[3], 345-361. or
Raffe, D. (2009). The Action Plan, Scotland and the making of the modern educational world: the first quarter century. Scottish Educational Review, 41, 1, 22-35.

3. Pedagogy/provision
Allison, P., Carr, D. & Meldrum, G. (2012). Potential for excellence: Interdisciplinary learning outdoors as a moral enterprise. The Curriculum Journal, 23(1), 43-58. Doi .org/10.1080/09585176.2012.650469
Atencio, M., Jess, M. & Dewar, K. (2012), ‘It is a case of changing your thought processes, the way you actually teach’: implementing a complex professional learning agenda in Scottish physical education, Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy, 17/2, 127-144.
Beames, S., Atencio, M. & Ross, H. (2009). Taking Excellence Outdoors, Scottish Educational Review, 41 (2), 32-45.
Christie, B. & Higgins, P. (2012). Residential outdoor learning experiences and Scotland’s school curriculum: an empirical and philosophical consideration of progress, connection and relevance. Scottish Educational Review, 44 (2), 45-59.
Drew, V.M.D. & Mackie, L. (2011) Extending the constructs of active learning: implications for teachers’ pedagogy and practice, Curriculum Journal, 22[4], 451-467.
Elliot, D., Atencio, M., Campbell, T., & Jess, M. (2011), From PE experiences to PE teaching practices? Insights from Scottish primary teachers’ experiences of PE, teacher education, school entry and professional development, Sport, Education and Society
Fenwick, A, Minty, S & Priestley, M (2013) Swimming against the tide: a case study of integrated social studies, The Curriculum Journal, 24[3], 454-474.
Gray, S., MacLean, J. & Mulholland, R. (2012). Physical education within the Scottish context: A matter of policy. European Physical Education Review. 18, 258-272.
Gray, S., Mulholland, R. & MacLean, J. (2012) The ebb and flow of curriculum construction in physical education: a Scottish narrative. The Curriculum Journal. 23(1), 59-78.
Gray, S., Horrell, A. & Lennox, T. (2012) Professional learning and curriculum development in health and wellbeing. Scottish Educational Research Association at the University of the West of Scotland’s from 21st – 23rd November 2012.
Henderson, S. (2012). Why the journey to mathematical excellence may be long in Scotland’s primary schools, Scottish Educational Review, 44[1].
Horrell, A., Sproule, J. & Gray, S. (2012). Health and wellbeing: a policy context for physical education in Scotland. Sport, Education and Society 17[2], 163-180.
Horrell, A., Gray, S. & Lennox, T. (2012) Leading curriculum development in the Scottish physical education context. Scottish Educational Research Association at the University of the West of Scotland’s from 21st – 23rd November 2012.
Horrell, A., Thorburn, M. & Jess, M. (2013) A ‘grand design’ mapping and modelling physical education within a curricular framework. British Educational Research Association at the University of Sussex from 3th – 5th September 2013
Horrell, A. (2011) Policy borrowing or policy learning? The case of ‘health and wellbeing’ in Scotland British Educational Research Association 6th to 8th September 2011
Horrell, A. (2011) Teachers designing a curriculum for the future: a case study of study of physical education teachers’ experiences. British Educational Research Association 6th to 8th September 2011
Horrell, A., Sproule, J. & Gray, S., (2010) Health and wellbeing: a policy context for physical education in Scotland. The Scottish Educational Research Association Conference 25th November – 26th November 2010
Jess, M., Keay, J., & Carse, N., (2014): Primary physical education: a complex learning journey for children and teachers, Sport, Education and Society, DOI: 10.1080/13573322.2014.979142
Jess, M., & McEvilly, N., (2013): Traditional and contemporary approaches to career-long professional learning: a primary physical education journey in Scotland, Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education,
Jess, M, Carse, N., MacMillan, P. & Atencio, M., (2011), Sport Education in Scottish Primary school: Emergence of an Authentic Application, in Hastie, P. (Ed), Sport Education: International Perspectives; London, Routledge
Jess, M., Carse, N., & Atencio, M., (2012), Introducing Conditions of Complexity in the Context of Scottish Physical Education in Ovens, A., Hopper, T., & Butler, J., Complexity Thinking in Physical Education: Reframing Curriculum, Pedagogy and Research, London, Routledge
Jess, M., (2012 ), The Future of Primary PE: It’s Complex, in Griggs, G (Ed), An Introduction to Primary Physical Education, London, Routledge.
Jess, M., Atencio, M. & Thorburn, M. (2011), Complexity Theory: Supporting Curriculum and Pedagogy Developments in Scottish Physical Education, Sport, Education & Society
MacLean, J., Mulholland, R., Gray, S. & Horrell, A. (2013) Enabling Curriculum Change in Scotland – PE Teacher and Policy Constructors’ Perceptions compared. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy.
MacLean, J., Mulholland, R., Gray, S. & Horrell, A (2013) The WEI Conference USA –Physical Education Teachers Perceptions of the factors that influence Curriculum Change, Orlando, March 20-22
MacLean, J., Mulholland, R., Gray, S. & Horrell, A (2012). Physical Education Teachers Perceptions of Curriculum Change: Part 1. ICERI Conference (2011) Madrid. MacLellan, E. (2014). Articulating ‘understanding’: Deploying mathematical cognition, Scottish Education Review, 46[2]. 73-89.
MacLellan, E. (2013). Mathematics (pp.482-486) in T. Bryce, W. Humes, D. Gillies and A. Kennedy (Eds.) Scottish Education (Fourth Edition: Referendum) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-4582-4
Mannion, G., Fenwick, A., Nugent, C., and I’Anson, J. (2011). Teaching in nature. Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 476.
Mannion, G., Fenwick, A. & Lynch, J (2012). Place-responsive pedagogy: learning from teachers’ experiences of excursions in nature, Environmental Education Research, 19[6], 792-809.

McKechan, S. & Ellis, J. (2014). Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education. Education 3-13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 42, 475-487.
Mulholland, R., MacLean, J., Horrell, A., & Gray, S., (2014) ‘Healthy Expectations Part II’! – Physical Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Curriculum Change within Scotland’, SERA , Edinburgh, 19-21 November
Mulholland, R., MacLean, J., Horrell, A., & Gray, S., (2013) ‘Healthy Expectations! – Physical Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Curriculum Change within Scotland’, ECER, Istanbul, 10-13 September.
Mulholland, R., MacLean, J., Gray, S. & Horrell, A., (2012). Physical Education Teachers’ Perceptions of Curriculum Change: Part II. ICERI Conference (2011) Madrid.
MacLean, J., Mulholland, R., Gray, S., Horrell, A (2012). A Fine Balancing Act Part (I): Physical Education in Contemporary Times. Paper presented at the conference of the Scottish Education Research Association.
Nicol, R., Higgins, P., Ross, H. & Mannion, G. (2007). Outdoor education in Scotland: A Summary of Recent Research. Scottish Natural Heritage, Perth.
Priestley, M. (2009). Social Studies in Scotland’s school curriculum: a case for a more integrated approach. Education in the North, 17.
Ross, H. and Munn, P. (2008) ‘Representing self-in-society: education for citizenship and the social subjects curriculum in Scotland’, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40, 2, 251-275.
Thorburn, M. (2014). Educating for well-being in Scotland: policy and philosophy; pitfalls and possibilities, Oxford Review of Education, 40[2], 206-222.
Thorburn, M. & Allison, P. (2013). Analysing attempts to support outdoor learning in Scottish schools, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45[3], 418-440.
Thorburn, M. & Horrell, A. (2012). Grand Designs! Analysing the conceptual tensions associated with new physical education and health and wellbeing curriculum, Sport, Education and Society, 17[2], 163-180.
Thorburn, M. & Horrell, A. (2011). Power, control and professional influence: the curious case of Physical Education in Scotland, Scottish Educational Review, 43 (2) 73-85.
Thorburn, M., Carse, N., Jess, M. & Atencio, M., (2011). Translating change into improved practice: analysis of teachers’ attempts to generate a new emerging pedagogy in Scotland, European Physical Education Review, 17[3], 313-324.
Thorburn, M., Jess, M. and Atencio, M., (2011). Thinking differently about curriculum: Analysing the potential contribution of physical education as part of ‘health and wellbeing’ during a time of revised curriculum ambitions in Scotland, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 16[4], 383-398.
Thorburn, M. & Allison, P., (2010). Are we ready to go outdoors now? The prospects for outdoor education during a period of curriculum renewal in Scotland. The Curriculum Journal, 21(1), 97-108.

4. Teachers/implementation
Baumfield, V., Hulme, M., Livingston, K. & Menter, I. (2010) .Consultation and engagement? The reshaping of teacher professionalism through curriculum reform in 21st Century Scotland, Scottish Educational Review, 42[2], 57-73.
Biesta, G., Priestley, M. & Robinson, S. (2015, in press). The Role of Beliefs in Teacher Agency. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice.
Donaldson, G. (2014). Teacher Education and Curriculum Change in Scotland. European Journal of Education, 49: 178–191. doi: 10.1111/ejed.12077
Leat, D., Livingston, K. & Priestley, M. (2013). Curriculum deregulation in England and Scotland – Different directions of travel? In W.Kuiper & J. Berkvens (eds.), Balancing Curriculum Regulation and Freedom across Europe, CIDREE Yearbook 2013. Enschede, the Netherlands: SLO.
Minty, S. & Priestley, M. (2012) Developing Curriculum for Excellence in Highland Schools: A report on the qualitative findings for the Highland Council and the Scottish Government. Stirling: University of Stirling. (available by email)
Priestley, M. (2008) The social practices of curriculum development in Highland schools: summary report for the Scottish Government, 2007-8. (available by email)
Priestley, M. (2010) Curriculum Development in Highland Schools: an approach to managing change, Highland Council / University of Stirling.
Priestley, M. (2010). Curriculum for Excellence: transformational change or business as usual? Scottish Educational Review, 42[1], 22-35.
Priestley, M. (2014). Curriculum regulation in Scotland: A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf. European Journal of Curriculum Studies, 1[1], 61-68.
Priestley, M., Biesta, G.J.J. & Robinson, S. (2012). Understanding teacher agency: The importance of relationships. A paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada, 13-17 April 2012.
Priestley, M., Biesta, G.J.J. & Robinson, S. (2013). Teachers as agents of change: teacher agency and emerging models of curriculum. In M. Priestley & G.J.J. Biesta (Eds.), Reinventing the curriculum: new trends in curriculum policy and practice, London: Bloomsbury.
Priestley, M. & Miller, K. (2012). Educational change in Scotland: Policy, context and biography, The Curriculum Journal, 29[1], 99-116.
Priestley, M., Miller, K., Barrett, L. & Wallace, C. (2011). Teacher learning communities and educational change in Scotland: the Highland experience. British Educational Research Journal, 37[2], 265-284.
Priestley, M. & Minty, S. (2012). Developing Curriculum for Excellence: Summary of findings from research undertaken in a Scottish local authority. Stirling: University of Stirling.
Priestley, M. & Minty, S. (2013). Curriculum for Excellence: ‘A brilliant idea, but..’, Scottish Educational Review, 45[1], 39-52.
Priestley, M., Minty, S. & Eager, M. (2014). School-based curriculum development in Scotland: Curriculum policy and enactment. Pedagogy, Culture and Society. 22[2], 189-211.
Priestley, M., Robinson, S. & Biesta, G.J.J. (2012). Teacher Agency, Performativity and Curriculum Change: Reinventing the Teacher in the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence? In B. Jeffrey & G. Troman (Eds.), Performativity across UK education: ethnographic cases of its effects, agency and reconstructions. Painswick: E&E Publishing.
Reeves, J. (2008) Between a rock and a hard place? Curriculum for Excellence and the Quality Initiative in Scottish schools, Scottish Educational Review, 40[2].
Reeves J (2013) The Successful Learner: A Progressive or an Oppressive Concept?. In: Priestley M, Biesta GJJ (eds.). Reinventing the curriculum: new trends in curriculum policy and practice, London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, pp. 51-74.
Wallace, C. & Priestley M. (2011). Teacher beliefs and the mediation of curriculum innovation in Scotland: A socio-cultural perspective on professional development and change, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43[3], 357-381.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s