09 Nov 2018

Our Research School – what do we do?

Our Research School – what do we do?

One thing we hear quite frequently from colleagues is that they would like use research evidence to inform their teaching, but feel a bit overwhelmed when they think about it. They don’t know where, or how, to start. How do you know which research to read, which is the most recent or the most rigorous, and which will actually provide practical tips that you can use in the classroom? Isn’t reading research dry, tedious, and hard going? How do you find the time? And don’t you have to pay to read articles anyway?

Accessibility – in every form – is a very real barrier to engaging with research evidence, and one that we’re acutely aware of. As a Research School, we know that we’re in a privileged position with access to some of the best resources going. So we see our job as sharing those resources and removing as many barriers to research as possible – and we like to think that accessibility is something we can really help with.

Not every teacher is going to want to read educational research for fun, and that’s fine. Because we do! We also love reading the EEF guidance reports, and any and all articles we can get our hands on. So we have a pretty good idea of what evidence is out there and what it tells us about how children learn. And not just children – we also have a pretty good idea how teachers learn too.

We are lucky enough to have access to EEF resources and developers, who work with us to make sure that every training programme we offer is based on rigorous research and reliable evidence. Everything we do is quality assured by experts in the field.

We have access to research articles via the UEA library, so if there’s something you desperately need to see but don’t have the necessary subscription, we can probably help.

And finally – we’re teachers ourselves, with many years of classroom experience, so we know exactly how busy you are and the pressures you face. Our approach to the evidence is a simple one – how can we as a profession do less, but be more effective?

We don’t want to keep all this to ourselves! There’s no benefit in siloing expertise and our priority as teachers is always to ensure that as many students as possible have the very best education possible. So we share our knowledge and resources, via various channels. We offer three-day CPD training courses, run by teachers for teachers; we have the Norwich Research Leads Network #NorRel, a networking and peer challenge group; and we can offer free twilights to certain schools, delivered onsite. And everything we do is presented in the most accessible format we can manage.

Do you think you or your school could benefit from working with us? Or do you feel like there’s something missing in what we do and you know exactly what it is? Get in touch!