Research-engaged schools – a self-review tool

From NFER – Building your research skills

Whether you’re just starting using research in your school or looking for more advanced, specialist techniques, these materials will help you on your research journey. These are continuously updated, so check back often.

A FREE online tool to help you review how research-engaged your school or college is, using eight key statements.

You can use this tool to do a quick review yourself, or you can set up an account for your school or college to involve all your staff and get a whole-school picture. The tool provides you with:

  • A set of eight key statements defining a research-engaged school or college
  • A downloadable chart of your review results
  • A downloadable report of your results including suggested next steps
  • Links to resources (from NFER and elsewhere) to help with your action plan.

This tool is free to use – http://www.nfer.ac.uk/schools/research-in-schools/self-review-tool-for-research-engagement-in-schools.cfm

 

MESH guides – Supporting professional judgement with evidence from the science of learning

MESH is being built progressively through the collective effort of networks of educators based in schools, colleges, universities and other organisations, working in specialist groups using different tools. MESH operates in a similar way to that used for the production of edited books or academic journals. Funding to keep the MESHGuides available openly to all is provided by subscribing organisations, through projects and from donors.

Call for collective action: for scaling up promising small scale research

Much promising educational research is too small scale to warrant adoption across the education sector. MESH encourages educators to join together to scale up promising small scale research for example by replicating studies in different settings and by forming review groups to synthesise existing evidence (Tool 3).

Research, small scale or large scale, undertaken by teachers together under rigorous ethical and methodological conditions, can generate reliable and valid findings to add to a MESHGuide. An essential component in reporting research is that sufficient material is included to support comparisons with other studies and to allow others to build on and extend the work. The REPOSE Guidelines, were developed by experienced systematic reviewers of evidence to provide a writing framework which ensured key material is included in reports.

If you have good examples from your country please send these so we can share them with others. For example, Professor Greer Johnson and Professor Emeritus Neil Dempster at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia are  leading the synthesis of 1000 action research studies conducted by principals leading literacy in a number of contexts across Australian States and Territories. A MESHGuide summarising the outcomes should published by March 2016.

Research Aggregators such as the UK Education Evidence Portal and the Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe Search Portal provide useful tools for finding research which has been done before. Google Scholar and the USA What Works Clearing House are major resources providing access to existing research.

Training

In the UK, members of eedNET provide training and support in teacher researcher methodologies.