Grant type: Development (2000-08)
Round: October 2008
Amount awarded £5,000.00
Completed: September 2009
Leader(s): Ms Diane Thurston
Organisation: Newcastle College
Contact Email: diane.thurston@ncl-coll.ac.uk
Contact phone: 0191 200 4491
Helen Sunderland
LLU+ (Southbank University)
Jonathon Ryder
Rob Fiddy
Sheran Johnson
Executive Manager, Success North and Manager, Teaching Development Centre, Newcastle College
Start Date: 11 December 2008
End Date: 31 December 2009
Interim report received: 30 July 2009
Final report received: 16 September 2009
Objectives The project aims to build capacity through the creation of a research culture. It will utilise and value the skills and experiences of practitioners, moving away from the image of teaching staff as ‘trusted servants rather than empowered professionals’ (Anderson et al quoting Avis 2003:502). As long ago as 1975 Stenhouse was calling for an increase in teachers as their own researchers (Stenhouse, 1975). The nature of the sector means that those practioners who are conducting research, are frequently working in isolation. This project could provide a timely opportunity in which to develop this capacity, creating and providing support for: • a dynamic action research network (CETTnet) which harnesses the experiences and expertise of practitioners throughout the post-compulsory sector. • a research culture, increasing the capacity of practitioners to critically evaluate research completed elsewhere • a forum for the exploration of diversity of cultures within the sector by practitioners to lead to more informed practice. This will build upon the work exploring FE culture as part of TLRP. Outcomes This project is supported by Success North Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETT), and uses its existing Moodle site. The CETTs are a ‘critical component’ of Dfes reforms in teacher training in the learning and skills sector (DfES, 2004:2). The common aim of raising the standards of both initial teacher training and continuing professional development needs might be most effectively achieved through research-based strategies and materials derived from situated practice; and the provision of a vehicle such as CETTnet for the dissemination and exploration of practitioner research. Contact between CETT partners and practitioners within the LLS more widely will be facilitated via a dedicated area of the Moodle site. This medium will form the research hub, both as a repository for current research and as a dynamic forum for discussion and critical analysis. Training in research methodology and ethics will be given as part of the project.