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.
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.
As a SIG convenor you receive a number of benefits, support from the BERA office and are invited to attend convenor meetings in London, with all other SIG convenors.
SIG Convenors are volunteers whose main role is to co-ordinate, oversee and develop the mission and activities of each particular SIG. The SIG is there to represent the views of their members, not of individual convenors.
SIG Convenors should expect to work within all the guidelines and advice provided by the BERA Office. These are in place to ensure good practice and that all legal, financial and insurance matters are taken care of and that any risks to individuals or organisations are minimised. In particular with regard to planning events, activities or any expenditure, SIGs should all follow BERA’s appropriate guidelines and procedures.
By agreeing to assume a position of SIG convenor, individuals are committing to fulfilling the responsibilities and obligations that go with that role. SIG Convenors are expected to exercise their own judgment to meet the requirements listed in BERA guidance and to seek further advice from the BERA Office if in any doubt on any of these matters. If any procedures are not followed then BERA reserves the right to take whatever action may be necessary to protect BERA’s legal, financial and reputational position.