As an alliance we seek to prioritize research and are forging strong links with funding bodies for research, as well as with NCTL programmes in order to contribute to national, as well as local, research priorities.
Through our strategic partnership with the Teacher Development Trust we are actively involved in developing a hub of their National Teacher Enquiry Network (NTEN) so that all partner schools are engaged in action research projects and can link in with a national network of research-informed practice. This partnership will help us to gain access to shared resources, expert support for effective research practices and a peer audit process to ensure that the work done by individual schools conforms to best practice in this area.
For action research we prioritise ‘joint practice development’, ‘lesson study’ and ‘deliberate practice’ partnerships between teachers from different institutions. We use the cross-phase nature of our alliance to shape this provision, with a focus on projects relating to topics such as transition between different phases, literacy/phonics for post-primary colleagues and teaching of specialist subjects (e.g. Modern Foreign Languages) at primary level.
Our strategic partnerships with universities are rooted in their ability to contribute to the research and development capacity of schools within the alliance. In particular we are looking to build upon the significant number of our teachers with masters degrees to develop an alliance-led masters programme that meets the strategic priorities we have identified. We will be seeking to dovetail this approach with the NTEN programme, so that action research for the latter can be accredited as masters credits where it is appropriate.
We have already started to look to secure access to research journals for all members within our alliance.
CURRENT RESEARCH AND FUTURE RESEARCH
Canons Park TSA is working with the NCTL looking at Research and Development Typology
The purpose of this project is to develop a typology for potential R&D roles within teaching school alliances that describes the roles, the associated characteristics, and a set of scenarios that will inform R&D practice in the self-improving system.
Canons Park TSA also has a current bid in with the EEF looking at school - led CPD based on clinical practice.
Clinical Practice Driven Continuing Professional Development
Summary of Research Plan
We are seeking funding to help us develop an intervention for school-led CPD within six schools (the year one development phase) and to pilot it with thirty other schools (the year two pilot phase). In the development phase, our core focus will be in evaluating the impact upon teacher effectiveness. In the pilot phase, we will primarily be evaluating the impact of this CPD provision on student outcomes.
During 2015/16 the two lead schools will work with the CUREE Trust on the development phase, with a focus on improving access to the curriculum through enhanced reading and writing at KS2 and KS3. We will identify the key features of the signature pedagogies of law (case methods) and medicine (hospital rounds), evaluate how they can be used in teacher education, identify a ‘curriculum’ for these reworked pedagogies, develop high quality online materials, protocols and teaching approaches (including the effectiveness of links with lesson study) and trial them with colleagues within the schools and across the alliance. Evaluation of this development phase will take place in the summer term of 2015/16, focusing upon the impact on teacher effectiveness: changes in thinking, differences in teaching and gains in pedagogical content knowledge.