Research and Development Programme Day 2 – Thursday 19th September 2013

“If we want to change things then teachers need to learn how to do things differently.”

When leading a research and development project it can be useful to have a process framework to give the project rigour. Day 2 explored the first three stages of the following process framework and the practicalities of getting and R&D project up and running.

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The first stage of the process is to generate your enquiry question. There are two parts to this – first identifying what the challenge is that you face and what evidence you have about this challenge then asking what do you want to be different and what possible approaches might you take that might make the difference? These two things combine to make up your  research question.

When thinking about what you might do differently it’s important to think about a few things:

  • How do we find out about places that do this well? Is there someone who can help to make connections or signpost great practice?
  • What new approaches might we use that will help to develop teachers e.g. lesson study, collaborative enquiry?
  • High leverage – what activities that we could take part in that would give us the most gain? How do we avoid being busy doing the wrong things?
  • Evidence informed practice – what research is already out there? How helpful is it?

The third stage is organising for success – who needs to be involved? How do we ensure we have the right mix of people? How we will build advocay? Culture can be a critical element in ensuring the success or impact of research, development or enquiry work. How do we effect the culture of our school so that everyone is invited to join in or contribute or so that teachers feel comfortable enough to open up their classrooms to professional study and share their practice? Also consider the practical elements or organisation – how will you ensure your work is purposeful and not disruptive to practice? When will you meet? What will the model of activity be? What resources do you need to make it happen?

By the end of the day the following question had emerged as a focus for a project:

“What strategies are woven into practice that leads to children of all abilities making progress in writing? How do we adapt these strategies in order to accelerate learning in our school?’

Day three of the Reseach and Development Programme will be held at Darton College on Friday 15th November. If you would like more information on the programme please contact Julie Tallant, Barnsley Teaching School Manager.

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