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Research Intelligence

Summer 2023

Research Intelligence issue 155: Practitioner research: Development, collaboration & dissemination

Practitioner research: Development, collaboration & dissemination

Research Intelligence issue 155

Guest edited by Kate Mawson, Emma Taylor and Claire Tyson, this issue of Research Intelligence focuses on the vital role played by practitioner researchers in education. Articles are presented from across the four home countries and from international colleagues to build on the pragmatic origins of practitioner research and provide a wider perspective on what closing the gap between theory and practice looks like.

Using the opportunity to move away from commonly cited obstacles and challenges, this issue instead speaks to the acceptance of practitioner researchers playing a vital role within varied settings and the development of their practitioner researcher identities. By highlighting the different ways in which practitioner research is done both on a local level and at scale, contributors reflect on how valuable practitioner research can be as both a journey and a destination.

Contributions to this issue:

  • Kate Mawson and Andrea Cameron discuss the role of practitioner researchers in higher education institutions, their perceived value and how they can be conduits for impactful co-constructed research.
  • Tazreen Kassim-Lowe and Rebekah Gear explore the challenges and experiences of the cyclical role of being both researcher and teacher, and the support provided by a research innovation work group.
  • Ruchi Kumar from the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education in Mumbai gives an insight into how practitioner research can be supported in low-resource contexts, emphasising the importance of within and cross-country collaboration.
  • Elizabeth Carruthers discusses the slow, organic, professional development opportunity that practitioner research can be for colleagues in early years settings.
  • Tomos ap Sion, Lisa Formby, Sue Horder and Karen Rhys Jones introduce an emerging collaborative framework within Welsh education.
  • Alison Twiner, Patrick Carmichael, Pete Dudley and Sara Hennessy, from the Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange, highlight the work being done to create a global collaboration platform and digital library to amplify the voice and value of practitioner research at scale.
  • Joyce Chen provides an overview of the many ways in which the further education and skills sector can provide a thriving culture of collaborative practitioner research.
  • Debbie Bogard, Neil Hart, Sam Hughes and Francis Gilbert discuss how engaging in practitioner research brought about an important shift in power dynamics from teachers as participants to co-creators.
  • Lisa-Maria Müller from the Chartered College of Teaching considers the idea that just providing access to research is not enough to bring about change.
  • Jon Eaton from Kingsbridge Research School highlights the importance of implementing evidence in context.
  • Based in Sweden, Marie Utterberg Modén, Martin Tallvid and Johan Lundin discuss a different approach which helped to combat the power dynamic often present in practitioner researcher relationships.
  • Elizabeth Hidson provides some perspectives from international initial teacher training.
  • Adriane Martini offers a detailed account of the commonly debated advantages and drawbacks of using Twitter as a tool for dissemination and discovery.
  • Holly Heshmati explains how her practitioner research was disseminated across and beyond her institution.

Elsewhere in this issue:

  • We share highlights from the first event in the 2023–24 Presidential Roundtable Series, focused on the place of professional learning in higher education.
  • Sharon Jones discusses the recent work of the British Curriculum Forum, including the projects funded by its Curriculum Investigation Grant, its events for learning, professional development and enrichment, as well as some landmark publications underway for BERA’s 50th anniversary.
  • President of the Ukrainian Educational Research Association, Oksana Zabolotna, writes about the challenges facing Ukrainian education as a result of the ongoing war and highlights its resilience in the face of adversity.
  • Mark Carver explores the factors that early career researchers need to consider when choosing a doctorate, such as professional aspirations and desired impact on learners or in academia.

Guest editors

Profile picture of Kate Mawson
Kate Mawson, Dr

Principal Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University

Dr Kate Mawson has significant teaching experience across a range of institutions and has worked in Secondary and Higher Education institutions since 2002. Kate is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Founding Fellow of the...

Profile picture of Emma Taylor
Emma Taylor, Dr

LSE Fellow at London School of Economics & 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 the school in which she currently works. Her research role...

Profile picture of Claire Tyson
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...