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Publication BERA Bites

BERA Bites, issue 5: Research used or produced in schools: Which informs practitioners most?

The BERA Bites series presents selected articles from the BERA Blog on key topics in education, presented in an easily printable and digestible format to serve as teaching and learning resources for students and professionals in education. Each collection features an introduction by editors with expertise in the field, and each article includes questions for discussion, composed by the authors, prompting readers to further explore the ideas and arguments put forward in the original articles.


The fifth issue in the BERA Bites series, edited and introduced by Ian Potter, is focussed on promoting research practice in schools. Through 11 articles drawn from the BERA Blog it explores the distinction between schools being research-active and research-informed as a consequence of research conducted within them, and asks how they should both use and generate research. Knowledge production in the school system is, Potter argues, a vital element of school improvement, so the collection offers a variety of opinions and models of what self-improving, ‘research alive’ schools might look like. 

Among the topics it covers are:

  • educational research as continuing professional development, and ‘self-improvement’, for teachers
  • the challenges of encouraging teachers and schools to become ‘research literate’
  • the importance of fostering a culture of research and research-use, particularly for school leaders
  • how schools can work with the university sector and other schools to create ‘collaborative spaces’ between research and practice
  • ethical issues and ‘risk-taking’ in research-active schools
  • professional doctorates and the power of insider research.