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Blog Special Issues

Action research: Research into action

A number of BERA events between 2020 and 2022 enabled researchers to come together from a range of different education settings (primary, secondary, tertiary and higher education). These events created spaces for dialogue about what research means and how research is promoted and conducted in settings beyond higher education. This special issue of the BERA Blog deepens that dialogue with rich insights from diverse settings and contributions from both researchers and practitioners.

Blog posts in the special issue offer perspectives on the importance of researchers bringing their own personal values to educational research and how these can drive meaningful research; and the ethical considerations associated with the unifying core principles of action research.

The special issue includes a series of reflections by practitioner researchers in different educational settings about their experiences of action research. These reflections explore:

  • action research as a core element of teacher capacity building in a primary setting in Saudi Arabia
  • the work of a primary school in Scotland that is committed to practitioner enquiry as being embedded in not only teachers’ professional development but also a school’s development
  • how in order to introduce a curriculum initiative in practice into an inner-city secondary school in England, the whole learning community needed to come together to interpret it
  • the creation of teaching and learning communities in a sixth-form college as a vehicle for developing action research, and how this offered staff ‘the antithesis to the hyper-accountability deficit measures prevalent in so many institutions’
  • the contribution of action research to professional motivation and job satisfaction in a further education context in England
  • ways to embed research in practice and key takeaways for taking forward practitioner research.


Profile picture of Alison Fox
Alison Fox, Dr

Senior Lecturer at The Open University

Dr Alison Fox is a Senior Lecturer in Education at the Open University in the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport, an Associate Head of School (Research and Knowledge Exchange), chair of the University’s Human Research Ethics...

Profile picture of Carmel Capewell
Carmel Capewell, Dr

Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University

Carmel is a Lecturer in Early Years and Child Development at Oxford Brookes University. She has a strong interest in developing innovative research methods, particularly to encouraging the participation of young people in expressing and sharing...

Profile picture of Bukola Oyinloye
Bukola Oyinloye, Dr

Research Associate at University of York

Dr Oyinloye is a Research Associate at the University of York where she examines the doctoral applicant recruitment and selection landscape towards exploring opportunities to improve access for underrepresented groups. Alongside this, she...

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