Bera09 TAR


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Presntation on the STNE Teacher Action research initiative at the British Educational Research Association conference in 2009.

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Bera09 TAR

  1. 1. Wheels in Motion: Learning about Learning through Action Research Jenny Spratt, Sharmistha Das, Dean Robson, Laura Colucci-Gray, Donald Gray BERA Conference, September 2009
  2. 2. <ul><li>Scottish Teachers for a New Era </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is STNE? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and Development initiative funded by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scottish Government, Hunter Foundation and the </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of Aberdeen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6 year pilot project : opportunity for change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing Teachers: Increasing Learner Gains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring how best to prepare teachers to support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learners and learning in the 21 st century </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. STNE <ul><li>Development and research </li></ul><ul><li>Build an evidence base – inform developments, add to knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Develop new collaborative model of teaching, learning and development from Initial Teacher Education through Induction and into the early years of a teacher’s career. </li></ul><ul><li>Design Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions driven by evidence </li></ul><ul><li>Engagement with Arts & Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching as an academically taught clinical practice </li></ul><ul><li>Social and Educational Inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective and Activist Teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Key Aims </li></ul><ul><li>To develop a : </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher for a New Era </li></ul><ul><li>New Learning Environment </li></ul><ul><li>New Framework for Continuous Learning </li></ul><ul><li>New Professional Culture </li></ul>
  4. 4. New Professional Identity <ul><li>Teachers who: </li></ul><ul><li>see themselves as partners in the continuum of a child’s learning </li></ul><ul><li>have a sense of community with the whole school </li></ul><ul><li>welcome and are open to dialogue about their development </li></ul><ul><li>are collegiate and open to collegiate support </li></ul><ul><li>flexible and able to adapt to change </li></ul><ul><li>take responsibility and share in leadership </li></ul><ul><li>(Minister for Education and Young People, SETT Conference, September 2006) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Scottish Educational Policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>McCrone : lifelong learning and CPD </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching Standards framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation, performance and evidence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum for Excellence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review of ITE Stage 2 : Ministerial Response (2005) </li></ul></ul>“ I want universities, local authorities and others to work together … in a way which allows them to develop theory and practice simultaneously …”
  6. 6. <ul><li>Theoretical Backdrop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community and participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional learning, development and growth </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>STNE Action Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AR Community of teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TAR Programme – Funding, Support, Academic credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overarching AR methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 Levels of Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>pupils’ learning through the changed practices of teachers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>teachers’ learning about their practice through AR </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>STNE researchers’ learning about the impact of AR on teacher professionalism . </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Research Questions & Methods </li></ul><ul><li>What can we learn from the TAR projects about pupil learning gains? </li></ul><ul><li>How does involvement with the TAR programme impact on teachers’ perceptions of their own professionalism and professional development? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meta-analysis – research reports and interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Triangulation and thematic coding via an iterative process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 1 : focus on TAR professional learning and development </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Findings (1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation and opportunities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring and develop theoretical and practical knowledge : permeable knowledge boundaries? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structured . and systematic investigation of problem/ topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Really the action research was there to really make me look at it much more analytically” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to on-going projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to policy developments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We’re on the cusp of change here, Curriculum for Excellence around the corner, this is a Curriculum for Excellence model as far as I could see it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic aspects </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Findings (2) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Learning and Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhancing (systematic) reflection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I think it (action research) helps because you look at your own practice and you question it and you change it ….but I think good teachers do that anyway” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AR embedded in routine practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deepening understanding of (holistic) childrens’ learning (pupil gains) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation / Involvement of children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ just by asking the kids what they want to learn and how they learn…it focuses your attention more on them and I think that that’s important” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deepening evaluation of practice (evidence) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Findings (3) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community and Participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classroom communities developing – dynamic process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wider school communities ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We have learned that we have very similar values and beliefs influencing our roles in the education process, and feel that this research has been beneficial to our developing practice” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I said ‘maybe you’d like to try this?’ so ….it’s being disseminated, it’s being passed out. If they want to use it fine, if they don’t want to use it then that’s fine as well but you know I am certainly passing things around” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Importance of school ‘culture’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic community – sustainability ? </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Findings (4) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Validation and Risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tension – wider learning v. performativity culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Involvement validates risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Rather than just going in and trying to change your practice, it sort of validated it, gave it authenticity and I think it allowed you to talk to your colleagues about it as well, with more sort of weight” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I don’t think it’s so much change as a realisation that I am that kind of teacher and that that’s what I should be. I’m happy in my skin now through the action research. It kind of defined who I was, rather than... it kind of labelled it I suppose” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Key points for Discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking theory and practice knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Considerable professional learning and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limits on community and participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional ‘identity’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policy tensions </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 2 Analysis – focus on pupil (learner) gains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cohort 2 meta-analysis </li></ul></ul>