Dr Ian Shirley

Name: Dr Ian Shirley
Department: Children, Education and Communities
Current position: Senior Lecturer in Primary Education
Subject Leader Primary Foundation Subjects
Specialist Lecturer Primary Education (Music)
Email: shirleyd@edgehill.ac.uk
Location: Ormskirk Main Campus, Faculty of Education


2008 – present    Edge Hill University
2003 – 2008         Canterbury Christ Church University


  • Primary Music Education – generalist/specialist
  • Creative Arts Specialisms
  • Research in Education


Bachelors in Education (Hons)
MA (Psychology for Musicians)
Doctorate of Education (Sheffield)


Research interests

  • Music Education
  • Education policy
  • Education and communities


Chapters in books

  • Shaw, S. and Shirley, I. (2017) A History of Education in Cooper, H. and Elton-Chalcraft, S. Professional Studies in Primary Education. London: Sage.
  • Webster, M. and Misra, S. (2015) (eds) Teaching the Primary Foundation Subjects. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Adams, J. Ashley, M. & Shirley, I. (2011) The Arts outside the classroom in Waite, S. (ed) Children Learning outside the Classroom. London: Sage.
  • (2009) Teaching Creatively In Evans, J. & Philpott, C. (eds), A Practical Guide to Teaching in the Secondary School, London, Routledge, 45-53 pages, ISBN=978-0-415-482 (book chapter)
  •  (2007) Exploring the Great Outdoors In Austin, R. (eds), Letting the Outside IN, Stoke on Trent, Trentham Books, 1-12 pages, ISBN=978-1-85856-3 (book chapter)

Journal articles
Refereed journals

  • Barnes, J. & Shirley, I. (2007) Strangely Familiar:: cross-curricular and creative thinking in teacher education, Improving Schools, 10 (2), 162-179
  • Albin-Clark, J., Shirley, I., Webster, M. and Woolhouse C. (in press) Relationships in early childhood education, beyond the professional into the personal within the teacher-child dyad; Relationships that ripple in the pond’. Early Child Development and Care, . http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03004430.2016.1220374

Other works

  • Shirley, I. (2011)Music ICT Study Guide, Trinity Guildhall & Open University KS2 CPD Materials, Materials available to registered users at http://www.ks2music.org.uk/default.asp?home=1, Trinity Guildhall / Open University, Spring 2009
  • Shirley. I, Teaching Singing in the Primary School, MUSIC-ITE.org.uk, 2007
  • Professional Lecture Series – What kind of teacher will you be?, Teachers TV, available at http://www.teachers.tv/video/30711, Teachers TV, Spring 2009
  • Shirley, I., Composing in the Primary School, MUSIC-ITE.org.uk, 2009

Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise

Conference presentations

  • Shirley, I. (2018) ISME (Munich) – Music Education Policy pre-conference seminar series
  • Shirley, I. (2016) BERA (Leeds) – Symposium:  Music education and social justice
  • Shirley, I. and Webster, M. (2015) Identities in transformation: life history investigations of teachers at different stages in their careers
  • Shirley, I. (2015) BERA (Belfast) A Policy Archaeology of Music Education in England
  • Shirley, I. (2011) RIME (Exeter) (international Music Education) – Sustainable Singing Communities
  • Shirley, I (2007) The Canterbury HEARTS Project, NAME Annual Conference, National Association of Music Educators, NAME
  • Barnes, J. & Shirley, I. (2005) Promoting Creativity in Initial Teacher Education: a study by tutors and students at Canterbury Christ Church University involved in the ‘HEARTS project’. Presented at the British Education Research Association (BERA) annual conference, September, Cardiff.

External collaborations/partnership activity

RiF funded research – Education and Communities ‘Beyond the School gates.’ (Dr. Carol Derbyshire; Dr Bethan Garrett)


External Examiner Positions

  • External Examiner – Plymouth University BA Primary Education with QTE (Music Specialism and Broad Curriculum) (2015 – Current)
  • External Examiner – UCL IoE – PGCE Primary (2011 – 2016)
  • External Examiner – Exeter University PGCE Music Specialism (2008 – 2011)


  • Director of the not for profit organisation – The Orff Society (Orff UK)