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Building a Research Infrastructure for School Teachers

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Project Description

Every day, teachers around the world make decisions about how to help learners and need easy to access and up to date evidence to inform those decisions, because as Barber and Mourshed pointedly state, “the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers” (2007, 19). However, access to evidence informed knowledge is not readily available and where it is, busy teachers who are time poor, find it hard to translate this into practice. In recent years however, there have been some initial explorations into the notion of ‘translational research’. According to Wethington and Dunifon (2012), translational research can be described as a systematic approach to turn research knowledge into practical applications. However to date, such research has most widely been associated with the field of science, particularly medicine and has yet to be made a reality in education. To create, develop and make use of translational research and systematic reviews a flexible e-infrastructure connecting people and communities is needed.

The pockets of good practice in systematic reviews, translational research, online communities and networks in the field of education have often been disjointed and unconnected and are by and large, static in that they present findings at a point in time and do not provide opportunities to scaffold relationships for collaboration or provide feedback loops between stakeholders, such as teachers, researchers and policy makers.

Therefore the key objective of this project is to develop teachers into teacher researcher-practitioners through a supported infrastructure and resources which themselves are evidenced based, thereby giving back agency to the very people who will need to make use of and should be driving forward research.

To achieve this, we will develop and build an online research infrastructure for teachers, which supports teachers’ lifelong learning through evidence-informed research throughout their professional careers. The primary target audience are school teachers, however for this project to realize it’s objectives, it will necessarily have secondary target audiences which include Strategic Leaders, Teacher Educators and Policy Makers.

Project Acronym BRIST
Status Project Live
Funder(s) European Commission
Value £69,589.00
Project Dates Sep 1, 2019 - Aug 31, 2022

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