Teachers from Brooke Weston have taken part in conferences and written professional articles as part of the Research and Development strand of our Teaching School Alliance.
Mrs Angela Brown, who is Director of Research and Development, recently presented at a UCET (Universities’ Council for the Education of Teachers) conference where she spoke about the work of the R&D committee in drawing up teacher guidelines when conducting research.
She, along with Dr Alison Fox from the University of Leicester, co-wrote a report entitled ‘Thinking ethically to support practitioner research’ and information has already been disseminated through a day-long Lesson Study Conference that was attended by members of three local Teaching School Alliances.
Mrs Brown said: ‘We started with a document from BERA, the British Educational Research Association, which gives guidelines as to what teachers should be doing in terms of anonymity, giving permissions and knowledge sharing and how we need to plan that in so we are protecting participants. It was in academic speak so we adapted it to a policy document for the Teaching School Alliance and have given teachers a check list, a series of questions and forms and can offer support to teachers doing action research.
‘The majority of delegates at the most recent conference were from universities and teacher training programmes and Alison and I did a joint presentation on our work, plus held a question and answer session. We will soon have our article published in the education journal Professional Development. Alison wrote from an academic viewpoint while I focussed on the teaching aspect and we collaborated on the introduction and conclusion.’
Earlier this academic year about 80 delegates attended a lesson study conference that was jointly organised by the University of Leicester plus the Affinity, Brooke Weston and Leicester Teaching School Alliances. Delegate Jill Silverthorne from Bishop Stopford said afterwards: ‘The conference was very much a ‘keynote’ to our research year, and has spurred me on in organising the next phase of research in the classroom.’
Mrs Brown added: ‘During last year we set up lesson study, provided training, brought in expert support from Pete Dudley and did individualised training sessions. From that we ended up with four lesson study groups. It is a two-year project so the conference was an interim event. We had people from BWTSA presenting and also those from the other teaching school alliances so we got an overview. It was a really big event, one that attracted quite a lot of interest.
‘When I did my Masters a lot of people did projects on what is happening in their department or class, but I was much more interested in things at an institutional and strategic level. Working with the HEIs has been fantastic and I think the HEIs feel the same way. Research & Development tends to track what is going on in the classroom. Currently we have got projects underway entitled Closing the Gap so that is a popular issue at the moment as well as pupil premiums and working with students to provide interventions to improve literacy.’