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Academic research

In this section you can access:

  • Open-access research journal portals
  • Professional research
  • Research bodies
“Teachers and students thrive in the kind of settings that we describe as research-rich, and research-rich schools and colleges are those that are likely to have the greatest capacity for self-evaluation and self-improvement.” Professor John Furlong, of the University of Oxford (https://www.bera.ac.uk/project/research-and-teacher-education)


Published research can provide fresh insights into our practice, whether we are teachers, trainers or managers. It may be difficult to find research which exactly equates to our own setting. However, there will be research which could provide stimulation for discussion and considerations of aspects of our own settings. Such research can make us question our approaches and try something new. For example the work of John Hattie (Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia), Helen Timperley (Professor of Education University of Auckland, NZ)  and Frank Coffield (Professor of Education at the School of Lifelong Education and International Development at the Institute of Education). These high profile educational researchers publish much of their work online, blog and upload films and talks to camera. 

 

Open-access research journal portals

Open access journals are avilable to everyone without charge. They are scholarly journals made up of research papers which are usually peer-reviewed. The aim of peer review is to maintain standards and to provide credibility. This means that a community of experts has considered acceptable the paper, perhaps giving comments about possible revisions. Even so, as a reader of such scholarly/academic research we ourselves must always read crtically. Critical reading involves asking approriate questions - this may require that you read the paper a number of times.

Universities and other institutions publish thier research but this is not always publicaly available. If you are a SET member you have access to EBSCP which is an online reference system accessible via the internet.

Each academic paper will have an abstract which is a brief summary of the paper's purpose. An initial reading of the title and abstract will help you decide whether to read further. 

Reading research papers help us to develop academic writing skills. Open access makes research available to read. Here is a list of some open-access journals you may find helpful.

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Professional research

Professional bodies and government departments also publish research papers. For example, you may find useful research published by the Department for Education, Ofqual and the Education and Training Foundation.

Below are some examples of freely available research that you may find interesting and useful.  

SET members also have access to an interactive tool, designed to offer bite-sized summaries and access to in-depth research articles. This Professional Standards Research Tool aligns research resources to the twenty Professional Standards

Don’t forget university and college libraries - it’s not all online!  Your own institution may have a librarian - they are experts in finding relevant research.  The organisation you work for may have access to online journals.

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Research bodies

Research bodies are wide ranging in their remits.  Their focus may be gathering data, investigating specific areas of educational practice, or producing publications or other materials to support the work of researchers e.g. peer-reviewed journals.

They are useful for all researchers as they present data that would be expensive or time consuming to gather. Many run conferences, provide libraries of resources and provide ethical guidelines based on many years of experience.

You can see details of a range of research bodies in this document.

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