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Special Interest Group

Practitioner Research

This Practitioner Research SIG focuses upon issues arising from not only carrying out and, supporting others in carrying out practitioner research, but also offers spaces to theorise about this form of research. Practice is very broadly defined as any form of professional work or community activity or individual endeavour in which action is informed by values, beliefs and experience. Research in this context is defined as any form of systematic enquiry whose design, methods, analysis and interpretation are open to peer review.

  • It will bring together those with a special interest in all those (closely related) methodologies in which research is an integral part of practice: e.g. action research, teacher research, evidence-based practice, research into personal and professional change, and research in the developmental / critical paradigm.
  • It will have a role in promoting the publication and dissemination of practitioner research studies and studies about methodological approaches to practitioner research.

SIG Aims 

  • To contribute to the generation of theory, knowledge and expertise about practitioner research and the exploration of different purposes and conceptualisations of ‘practitioner research’.
  • To provide ‘critical friendship’ to BERA members and others engaged in practitioner research with the intention, inter alia, of establishing broadly agreed ‘fitness for purpose’ quality criteria for such research.
  • To promote the principle of a spectrum of educational research that will enable stronger links to be established and sustained between small-scale practitioner research, larger-scale academic research and local and national decision-making.
  • To play a role in the development of national policies for practitioner research through active engagement with policy makers and agencies leading this work in teaching and other professions. [For example in the UK. the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET)].
  • To establish links with the Collaborative Action Research Network, the National Teacher Research Panel, the Royal College of Nursing Research Society and other regional, national and international bodies that have a leadership role in practitioner research.
  • To give prominence to practitioner research within BERA’s activities, through contributing articles etc to Research Intelligence and BERJ, and leading symposia at the annual conference.

Useful links

Open access article – Ten Salient Practices for Mentoring Student Research in Schools: New Opportunities for Teacher Professional Development

SIG Convenors

Claire Tyson, Dr

Teacher Researcher at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre

Claire Tyson is a teacher researcher based at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre, where she combines teaching science with her research post.  Her PhD was obtained by studying part time with Queen Mary, University of London in Clinical...

Emma Taylor

Teacher of Geography and Research Fellow, PhD student (Sociology) at London School of Economics and Political Science

Emma Taylor has over 12 years of experience teaching Geography to secondary school students in London. Alongside teaching, she has recently undertaken the role of Research Lead at University College School, Hampstead. Her research role involves...

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