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January 20, 2021

A report on the 7th Annual Conference on Research in Action – Kymberley

Annually since 2014, the Research in Action conference has been running to bring together educational researchers from across the midlands to help motivate, encourage and inspire teacher trainees. With a range of presenters, from the knowledgeable staff from Warwick, teachers of local schools, academics from other universities and professional researchers from external organisations, a vast number of a topics were covered so that all trainees were given the opportunity to understand what educational research could mean to them. How could they approach it throughout their careers? How could it enhance their professional development? With such a full, action-packed programme, each trainee was able to customise their own timetable throughout the day, and select specific topics of interest. The day was an enjoyable, educational experience, and there was something for everybody.

As teachers, we are all researchers in the classroom

Dr Nicola Crossley motivated the virtual room with her awe-inducing career journey. From teacher trainee to Director of Inclusion, Council Representative and Chair of the Women Leaders’ Network, Nicola really did show us that it is possible to achieve all our goals. Sharing her experience of balancing doctoral research with a full-time senior leadership role in school, the talk highlighted research opportunities available and also suggested ways in which teachers can engage in manageable, effective educational research. The main idea of Nicola’s speech was to encourage teachers to pursue research at any point within their careers. To be curious, inquisitive and to take risks. We should embrace any research opportunity that comes our way, after all, we are all life-long learners!

Engaging teachers and leaders in ongoing critical research, through the new Frameworks in ITT/E Core Content; Early Career; Ofsted; and beyond

In this session Dr Deb Outhwaite, FCCT investigated how to undertake research and work in a system that is ever-shifting. We looked at the changing landscape, and were provided with some helpful, practical tips as to how it is possible to continue engaging in critical research, while employed in a full-time teaching post.

Feedback not marking!

Dr Liz Pyne focussed on a teachers approach to feedback, Liz offered a revolutionary way to assess pupils work within the classroom. By using the ‘Meaningful, Manageable and Motivating’ approach, we explored how to plan our feedback for classes to improve teacher workload and effectively implement strategies such as self and peer assessment to increase impact. Liz placed a huge emphasis on the importance of changing our viewpoint into ‘providing beneficial feedback’ to pupils, and not just ‘marking’ work.

Re-imagining the school; where pedagogy and physical learning space align

This thought-provoking talk by Jake Lever openly invited attendees to critically reflect upon the design of learning spaces through the use of case studies in Early Years and secondary education. When giving a consideration to how pedagogy informs the design of learning spaces, we explored the implications this could have upon learning. It contained insightful ideas for those who are seeking to create stimulating learning environments within the classroom.

This event is one that is not to be missed! Approaching topics such teacher wellbeing, behaviour management, diversity and inclusion, all attendees will have learned something new to implement within their own practice. With the variety of extraordinary research on offer, the stimulating information from knowledgeable educators, and the wide range of ideas created through discussion, you can only seek to benefit from the Research in Action Conference. Learning from each other and sharing in each other passions, is what research education is all about, and I would not hesitate to recommend this conference to all future trainee teachers. The theme of this conference is to see how research is effectively used within practice to improve all aspects of education, and that research comes from educators and from us. Teachers are the revolution!


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