Higher Education Academy Social Sciences Conference 23 - 24 May 2013 Valuing workplace research as part of teacher education Mike Martin Liverpool John Moores University Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Introduction Of what value is workplace research as part of teacher education? Our (LJMU) rationale for research study What others say Finding out what students think about the purpose, preparation, benefits and drawbacks Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Rationale for research study What we say to students… The importance of reflecting on your teaching practice cannot be underestimated and many teachers find that investigating issues in a structured way helps to improve the quality of learning for pupils. Many of the successful teachers you see in school have achieved that level of expertise by reviewing their practice and exploring areas of concern through an academic research framework. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research What some of the literature says …forging links between research and practice in meaningful ways during pre-service teacher education is essential. (Kotsopoulos et al 2012:21) The transition from student to teacher can be eased and supported by doing action research. Through developing systematic reflective practice, beginning teachers can learn to integrate taught theory with actual practice, becoming professionals in every sense of the word. (Smith and Sela 2005:297) …pre-service teachers may tell their own stories of learning to teach rather than having those stories told by others doing research about them. (Phillips and Carr 2009:210) Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Students research study at LJMU Long history of research study built into programmes of teacher education (not optional) Integrated part of final-year BA undergraduate programme Integrated part of PGCE programme Data collected whilst on placement(s) Worth significant academic credit – high stakes Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Postgraduate research study PGCE academic module (20 credits at M Level) consisting of 2 components Literature review Literature review of an aspect of learning, teaching and assessment Report Critically evaluative account of a small-scale research study Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Postgraduate research study Research Theme The research theme for this module is personalised learning. You will investigate theories and strategies relevant to subject (or transferable) pedagogy (including aspects of Learning, Teaching and Assessment). Suggested areas that you might choose as a research focus, within personalised learning, are: • Inclusion • Diversity • Special Educational Needs (SEN) • Gifted and Talented (G&T) • English as an Additional Language (EAL) Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Postgraduate research study Approach Introductory lectures and subject seminars Focus very much on action research Development of literature review Feedback on literature review Development of proposed study Peer-review of proposed study prior to final placement Submission of report whilst still on final placement Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Undergraduate research study Undergraduate research module (24 credits at level 6) consisting of 2 components Proposal Section 1 - Provide a critique of the role of practitioner research in education. Section 2 – Proposal along with a rationale supported by reference to literature Appendix - Completed University Ethics Form Report Literature review, Methodology and methods Results and interpretation Discussion Conclusion & implications for practice Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Undergraduate research study Approach Introductory lectures and subject seminars Development of proposal and ethics form Feedback on proposal Amendments made prior to first placement Review of progress between placements Submission several weeks after completion of second placement Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Undergraduate research study Typical topics Does physical activity improve pupils’ concentration? Attainment and Attitude changes towards Mathematics from Year 6 to Year 7. The effects of using differentiated tasks within a class upon the feelings of the learners: a case study. To explore any anxieties experienced by pupils and parents during the KS2/3 transition, and to discover what programmes are in place to counteract these? Differences in children’s attitudes towards gender stereotypes in mathematics across transition. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Undergraduate research study Typical topics How does learning a modern foreign language at Key Stage Two affect attainment in this modern foreign language at Key Stage Three? Evaluating pupils’ and teachers’ views on different assessment strategies in Design and Technology. What pupils and parents know about and think about SATs. How do pupil and teacher attitudes to the use and purpose of practical work in science differ in primary and secondary education? Target language use within the secondary classroom Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Questions to students In what ways was the experience of being a researcher valuable? What have you learned from your research study? How has your study helped your development as a teacher? How prepared did you feel before starting your research? What changes would you suggest could be made to the Module? What drawbacks have there been? Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 In what ways was the experience of being a researcher valuable? It has given purpose to my placement, giving me targets to aim for, complete and achieve… It allowed us to explore areas of teaching that we may not have considered to be of importance. It has made me very critical of almost all published research, especially those highlighted in the media which suggest they have been commissioned with an agenda in mind! It really taught me to question the very nature of a curriculum...who decides it, on what basis and how do pupils' day-to-day views actually align with literature on good practice in curriculum and educational institution construction? It enabled me to (in a limited sense) step outside of education and look at its development neutrally and actively consider/question it, instead of being just caught up in the midst of what needs to be taught that day. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 What have you learned from your research study? I have learnt firstly, don't ever anticipate that you will get everything back that you hand out. Students may have the best intentions of helping out, but they often let you down at the last minute. I've learnt that I am naive and a novice at researching an aspect of my subject area, and so I would need to observe and study how other researchers operate in future to produce a quality research study My personal study considered a specific point of teaching in transition.. Current issues regarding performance related pay have put this into context and have tied in with my research as teaching being a shared responsibility ‘Every teacher a teacher of reading’. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 How has your study helped your development as a teacher? I have discovered gaps in teaching practice which need addressing and I feel that I am in a suitable position to help make that change in my first teaching post. It has given me more awareness of the effectiveness of my teaching, its helped me pinpoint the things that work and why the things that are not successful don't work. I understand the importance of influences outside of school and has made me ask questions that I would like to do in further research. I have realised the greater, holistic, needs and to be considerate of the wider abilities of children when planning and delivering lessons. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 How prepared did you feel before starting your research? Very unprepared as I have need seen or observed how a research study is practically undertaken I was worried at first about topic choice and finding something I had a bit of a passion to actually write effectively (hopefully!) about...once I sorted this though I thought it was a really interesting module and it gave me a good insight into what social science research is, and how it is carried out, not just from a teaching point of view. Quite well prepared, the proposition sessions and assignment focussed ‘what and why’ very well... Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 What changes would you suggest could be made to the Module? Study ways in which researchers have undertaken research. (i.e. their methods and their proposals and how they linked). The online power point that you did were probably more helpful than the actual lectures, because they could be revisited and were better than reading some poorly taken notes. Because the module is covered way before the actual project, more of these online lectures would be good to refer back to. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 What drawbacks have there been? I had issues with photocopying, one school refused to let me do it, so I had to pay for it myself (£20!!), and the students struggled to get the questionnaires back to me (especially in secondary school as I didn't see the students as often). Finding time to do interviews that suited the students was also difficult Finding time on placement even to administer a questionnaire, let alone carry out interviews. In my case, sample number was almost insignificant which has almost negated the actual research. However, I am now more aware of research practices and shall be in a better position to implement such research in the future. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2012 General observations An unexpected highlight of the course which empowers participants to become research savvy (not experts) and acquire a skill set they will cascade through their teaching career! Having that broader understanding (that included multiple perspectives) really added a context to what I was doing. It's funny but having done a real in-depth review into studies on praise, I now appreciate a) how complex the topic is b) how other people may not realise they are giving praise in potentially damaging ways. I know I'm not really, but I kind of feel like an expert in that area now and almost want to champion it. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Reflections – students 2013 Data still being collected – will be presented at the conference. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Comparison–2012 and 2013 Data still being collected – will be presented at the conference. Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Conclusions from reflections Beginning teachers can get a lot out planning and undertaking research Links are made between theory and practice Such study allows for depth and breadth – enabling some to question their / others thinking From their perspective it is valuable Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research The future… Constantly shifting landscape Shift from ITE to ITT Greater emphasis on school involvement Less time for students at university Likely removal of research study from teacher training? Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research Next steps Gather reflections from postgraduates Undertake cross-institutional research Further develop the case for research study Journal publication Your thoughts? Thanks for listening [email protected] Research updates at: www.mikemartinblog.wordpress.com/research References Kotsopoulos D, Mueller J & Buzza D (2012): Pre-service teacher research: an early acculturation into a research disposition, Journal of Education for Teaching: International research and pedagogy, 38:1, 21-36 Phillips, D and Carr, K (2009) Dilemmas of trustworthiness in preservice teacher action research. Action Research 2009 7: 207. Price, J.N. 2001. Action research, pedagogy and change: The transformative potential of action research in pre-service teacher education. Journal of Curriculum Studies 33: 43–74. Smith, K., and O. Sela. 2005. Action research as a bridge between preservice teacher education and in-service professional development for students and teacher educators. European Journal of Teacher Education 28: 293–310.