Becoming a Teacher
Researcher: Producing a
Tendring Technology College
Director of Leadership and,
Research & Development:
Tendring Teaching School Alliance
Aims of Session
Outline the processes involved in conducting a research project
Refine your research questions
Explain the educational research landscape
Provide a structure for your research
Demonstrate how you can use Digital Tools to help your
research, develop your practice and source relevant literature
Share some practical tips from my own research
Taking ownership of the evidence
A lot of advice and practice in education is not evidence based.
• Authority: "Professor Jones has shown...."; "It's in the
• Anecdote: "When I was at school we...."; "They do this in
Colchester and they get good results."
• Habit: "We've always done it this way”;
• Polls: "86% of the pupils said they had learnt more...”
The Research Process
How to do research
Project Outline/Proposal – Research/Enquiry Question
Read around/Review the subject – What do others know?
Specify/Design data capture Methodology
Evaluate and present findings - What have you learnt?
Share – Knowledge Transfer
Develop Enquiry Question
Identify the field of enquiry - research area
Reading around the subject - come up with a research question
(Usually two to three VERY specific questions)
Design the research project - who to work with and what data
Create a timetable to plan what you are going to do
NOTE: the title and the research questions are two
Focusing your question
Who would I be most interested in finding out about? – Hone it
down to an individual student/class/staff
Which people do I want to work with? Do you have a specific
group in mind?
Spend 5 mins refining your purpose/question(s) to be more
Feedback to the group
Methodology & Data Capture
How will you collect data: interviewing popular (don’t transcribe
everything); focus groups useful; classroom observation; survey and
questionnaire - refine q’s and think about how to collect the data.
Stimulated recall – identify who to work with and film 10 mins - bring them
back to recall what were you doing talk through it - record.
Ethics – A code of conduct. Bera Guidelines:
Research Methods in Education. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K.
Educational Research: Some basic concepts and terminology. Postlewaite, T. N.
Doing Your Research Project. Bell, J.
Re-Focusing question & methods
Does your question need further development.
What could you do to collect data?
Discuss in pairs/threes
Feedback to group – question and methods
What is the story/narrative that the quantitative or qualitative
data is telling you? - what are you being told and how does it fit
into your research (the literature and landscape). Are there
links or new areas to develop? Does it confirm or refute existing
What you actually discovered – this does not always fit in with
what you thought you would discover. That is not a failing – it’s
about developing knowledge.
Why is it important to share
What are the interesting issues and ideas which emerged? How did your
findings make you think about your teaching and learning – in ways
different from the start or confirming your beliefs?
How to present and Share. Presentation; Video; speech, or paper.
What would you say to your readers about how they might use this
Present at conferences – CPD/TTSA/CamSTAR/Leading
CamSTAR certificate - You can extend work to a 2000 word or equiv paper – this
could be a portfolio of student work, analysis or commentary.
Could take it further to CPD masters credits for Cambridge - MEd
Hattie, Meta Analysis
& Effect Sizes
Rather than sifting through research papers themselves (with
the problem of biased selection), teachers make use of
professional research reviews.
There are several hundred of these, but, when we select only
the methods which are the most effective, we find a handful of
practical, but highly effective, ways to improve the learning of
Is simply the technique of searching for all the existing research
reports on a particular issue, and combining them to get an
Hattie is probably the best known meta- analyst in education.
His work draws on ‘a total of about 800 meta-analysis, which
encompased 52,637 studies [.....] these studies are based on
millions of students’ (Hattie 2009:15)
The DIY Toolkit
Demonstration of Website and Toolkit
Where to Begin- A quick overview
Sources of Research
Google Scholar – site:www…. “???” filetype:pdf “???”
Academic Journals – Taylor and Francis, SAGE (not free)
Conference Papers (Often Free)
Academia (Free) academia.edu
Education Endowment Foundation
National College Gov.uk
NFER – National Foundation for Education Research nfer.ac.uk
CUREE – Centre for Use of Research & Evidence in Education
University Education and Social Science Faculties
Youtube – conferences; TEDx talks; presentations
Twitter & teacher blogs, http://www.workingoutwhatworks.com/
Enquiry Introduction/ Research Question
Context (why this research and why now?)
Methodology inc. ethics
Findings (data & analysis)
Discussion/Recommendations & Conclusion
Update the shared document with a refined and more focused
enquiry question. – familiarise yourself with the shared files
Add links to research that you have found – this maybe useful
for others - Provide a short summary of what it says – this can
be shared with staff via newsletter. Correctly reference using
Keep in contact with me and each other to discuss your
progress and ask any questions
Want to know more? Attend JPD twilight on Thursday 6th
Research Project Outline
Blogospheres and Tweetonomics
How do teachers use digital social media
tools (DSMT), including Twitter?
What impact do DSMT have on teacher
professional practice and student
Is there a correlation between online PLNs
and effective PLCs?
Blogospheres & Tweetonomics
What does the Literature say?
What are Professional Learning Communities – PLCs?
A network of professionals that promotes sustained learning for the
core purpose of improving pupil learning and outcomes.
Why are they important?
Two major shifts occurring in the world are having a significant effect
on how we work together, influence change and lead our
organisations. The first shift is from a world of fragmentation to one
of connectivity and integrated networks. The second shift is from an
industrial to a knowledge era.......All of us need to explore new ways
of working that keep pace with this networked knowledge era.
Allen & Cherrey (2000) in Jackson & Temperley (2006)
Professional Learning Communities
Effective PLCs contain the following key elements:
shared values and vision;
collective responsibility for pupils’ learning;
collaboration focused on learning;
individual and collective professional learning;
reflective professional enquiry;
openness, networks and partnerships;
inclusive membership; mutual trust, respect and support.
Bolam, et al. (2005)
Blogospheres & Tweetonomics
What does the Literature say?
Professional Learning Communities
What educators are looking for today in school reform initiatives
are those that result in not only improved teaching, but also in
overall school improvement and student learning...student
learning improved when teachers worked in PLCs.
Personal Learning Network
a PLN is a group of people with whom one connects,
communicates and collaborates in the sharing and exchanging of
information and ideas, and through whom one increases one's
knowledge and understanding of topics of interest.
Personal Learning Networks
How are teachers using DSMT to support their own professional
Elias’ (2012) identifies five themes:
research articles and lighter reading; reports and data:
headlines and ‘best bits’; conference tweets; blogs;
discussions, and resources
What I needed to find out
Are teachers aware of PLNs and PLCs?
Do teachers use digital social media tools?
Which digital social media tools are most popular?
How are teachers using digital social media tools?
How do teachers connect to each other?
What impact has the use of digital social media had on teacher
professional development and student achievement?
40% Share & Collaborate
Most Teachers are interested
Reasons to connect
53% Shared Vision & Values
60% Quality of posts
53% Similar Field
80% Impact on PD
73% Impact on Pupil Achievement
The unscientific Wordle.net
Teachers identified DSMT to impact:
strategy; leadership; classroom/teaching; collaboration, and
DSMT have the most impact on the individual practice of the
It has given me information earlier than my school..and loads of
online support.’ ‘I have read far more online blogs, research
papers and also books.’ ‘I have also had support from people on
Twitter when I was working in a SM school.’
I have met some fantastic and inspiring educators. I have found
out about research, ideas etc. I have implemented activities in my
classroom that have been shared via twitter and/or at teach
meets/conferences. I have begun to work collaboratively with
people. I have organised a teach meet at my school for local
‘[I] changed the type of information I share with my teams,
increased my personal wider perspective of education and tried to
use this wider vision to shape strategic planning.’
Lots of different ideas, teaching tweaks. Attended Teachmeets,
and notably the first ResearchEd conference. I have read and
discussed books with EduBookChatUK. Learned more about
pedagogy and cognitive psychology, which I try to implement.
Further Resources – Next Steps
#ukedchat #edchat #edtech #sltchat #cpchat + many others