Some interesting reads from the blogosphere

Easter holidays are on us, and after revision sessions, sunshine and recovery, you may want to read and reflect.

Caroline Creaby’s school have been reflecting with Carl Hendrick from Wellington School on how to use research to develop teaching and learning.

GHS has just heard the good news that we are a developer school for her Evidence for the Frontline Project, very exciting.

Phillippa Curee’s keynote from Researched Cambridge was a masterclass in how schools can develop leaders and teachers to engage with evidence.
 What is the most effective thing that school leaders can do?
Read over the options, then click to see the answer on slide 2.  This is what we are working towards at GHS. I know we have a way to go, but we will keep working at it.
Some interesting reads from the blogosphere

Research Lead: frog in a well?

How can we put policy into practice?

Research engagement, participation and impact benefits from fuzzy boundaries, and at #rEDCamb today there was a lot of fuzz. The genius Phillipa Cordingley began the day with inspiring examples from CUREE’s work with Wrexham and Kenton schools, and ending with a beautiful story of Merlin speaking to Arthur, conjuring up a vision of the Research Lead as wizard waving a wand to solve all the school’s problems.

My workshop asked the questions – “Educational Research: how? and why?” and started with some of the realities of the role of the Research Lead – less wizard, more Child Protection Officer, a person known to everyone in the school as the person to alert to research findings, and to ask if you want to discover more in-depth expertise. We explored the advantages of grassroots vs top down, summarised well in these tweets.
Screen Shot 2015-03-14 at 19.51.39

I shared how I had set out to engage all…

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Research Lead: frog in a well?

Practitioner Enquiry? Oh, you mean action research?

Our Lead Practitioner @joleavercole ‘s group of Researching Teachers was made up of teachers involved in her Excellent Teaching Programme, which uses action research and coaching to improve classroom practice.  I had suggested that the group should be called “Practitioner Enquiry”. but this was meaningless to teachers, whereas they valued and understood the concept of “action research”. Miss B had a clear plan for her action research. Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 16.30.00   Her methodology was well thought out and she shared her results with her group and used her findings to change practice across KS3 RE – her leadership role.

Dylan William would describe this as practitioner enquiry rather than action research.  What further information/investigation would qualify this work as research? Do we blur the lines too much when we research as part of our practice? However, if research is more pure and conducted across large populations by experts, as happened when the school was part of a randomised control trial with the EEF, are the findings as useful for our practice?

Practitioner Enquiry? Oh, you mean action research?

What did researching teachers learn this term through action research ?

Two groups of teachers, about twenty in total, opted for action research for their month of enlightenment mid Jan to mid Feb, this blog shares the work of the group led by @kateboshier .
In session one, Kate took the group through the process of action research.

Then in session two six weeks later colleagues shared their action research.

What I loved about this group’s work was that they had no additional input apart from the initial session with Kate. This both inspired them and also clarified how to carry out action research. I don’t this this would work if we had asked all staff to conduct action research.  Given the chance to choose, these teachers chose to conduct action research and so were highly motivated and come up with some interesting outcomes.

Where next?
Several of these teachers have now been encouraged to join the Excellent Teaching coaching programme so they will develop their action research further in this programme. All of their findings will inform future staff professional development and work with students. We will encourage at least one to write up their work for Greenford High School’s first ever learning journal for publication in September 2015.

Posts coming up will share the action research conducted by the other group, for many this is part of the Excellent Teaching programme.

What did researching teachers learn this term through action research ?

How do we involve teachers in action research?

This blog shares the work of @joleavercole ,a Lead Practitioner who is leading an action research group as part of the Researching Teachers programme.

Zoe Elder @fullonlearning worked with a small group of teachers at the school last year, including Jo, to develop their ability to lead others in action research.  The Process shared is adapted from a resource provided by Zoe.

Process3Action Research Personal Planning Sheet

How do we involve teachers in action research?

How do we get access to educational research?

At the Research Leads conference on 13th December (see teachers raised the issues of their limited access to research, unless they are enrolled on expensive Masters courses.  The other problem is that there is so much research, busy teachers do not have time to sift through it all to find what is useful for their needs.
Here are some links for accessing research for free, and finding topics of interest to you:
Institute of Effective Education, York  York University curates and shares interesting education research.

SUPER Network , Cambridge University, blogs regularly about interesting education research and this blog post points to how to find more.
DfE research DfE regularly publishes educational research, worth a read.
Research in Teacher Education from the University of East London
Access to Research Initiative Read a huge range of research for free at your local library.
Finally, if you are a member of GHS staff we can support you with access to the Institute of Education library.  If you want to read particular articles or books or want to pursue areas of interest, see Peter Mather or Judith Enright for details.
How do we get access to educational research?

Researching Teachers ?

Today saw the launch of the whole school Researching Teachers programme.  Staff entered to a marketplace where colleagues shared research they had done in school, and selected from the questions available, displayed and shared on handouts as they entered, two tables to join for 15 minutes each.
Then they endured the SLT presentation below, but they seemed to stay positive as they then signed up to a reflection, enquiry or research group for the month of January (mid Jan to mid Feb).  Researching Teachers

Researching Teachers ?