The paper aims to share reflections of students and staff on undertaking small-scale research in school. In doing so it will discuss the significance of research activity in the process of creating effective teachers and question the place of this activity in the changing context of initial teacher education.
The presentation will provide an overview of both undergraduate and postgraduate research study as part of their academic work in teacher education courses at Liverpool John Moores University. The differences in the ways that each of the programmes concerned approach the area of practitioner research, and support for students, will be highlighted.
Reference will be made to perspectives from recent literature in setting beginning teachers’ research in the wider context of their development of teachers. Consideration will also be given to the changing context of teacher education, both locally and nationally across England.
Reflections by students and staff involved on the purpose, preparation, benefits and drawbacks of such research activity are in the process of being recording through anecdotal comments, email and blog entries. After completion, questionnaires and interviews will be used to capture personal perspectives. This will be compared to the planned learning outcomes of the programmes concerned and models of reflective practice that students are exposed to.
Attention will be given to the impact of the results of the reflection, by students and staff, will have on the approach to be taken next academic year will be highlighted.
Academic work is a distinctive element of initial teacher education based in higher education institutions. Apart from essays on educational issues, undertaking a research study can be used to contextualise, and put into practice, educational theories and ideas. To conclude, the presentation will raise questions concerning the future place of such activity in the future context of more school-centred teacher education.
Link to conference title
Effective teachers reflect on their own practice in a structured and methodical way. In teacher education the undertaking of a small scale research study provides a focus for reflection on practice. Considering the effectiveness of such research is therefore important in designing programmes to create effective teachers in the future.
The relationship between the development of reflective teaching and the engagement of students in small-scale research study is important in any course of teacher education. Consequently the
presentation, whilst using experiences from an HEI based in England, will be of interest to teacher educators across the UK.