Welcome to our first Face to Face (F2F1) for ISF, COHORT 1 of the Leading Edge Learning Research Programme

The remarkable feature of the evidence is that the biggest effects on student learning occur when teachers become learners of their own teaching, and when students become their own teachers.

Hattie, J. (2009), Visible Learning, Routledge, London

The purpose of F2F1 is to kick start your research project –

  • presenting a practitioner/researcher mindset – your thinking and actions as a researcher;
  • establishing baselines as a pre-requisite for impact evaluation (when complete, what difference has your project made to learning?);
  • identifying sources of data and evidence;
  • reviewing ethics;
  • project planning;
  • providing a reflective space for deeper thinking;
  • and time to work individually and collaboratively.

PROGRAMME of 1:1 meeting times with each group for the first F2F visit: (to follow)

Here are the programme headlines:

Please note – whilst this is my plan based on previous programmes, visiting ISF 4 times last term, and meetings with you, things can change and will change in response to your needs. My job is to guide you through a research process in both ‘transformational and instructional’ modes of learning (Robinson, Lloyd and Rowe, 2008). Your job is to use me and this website as a resource to support self-learning and self-efficacy as a researcher.
I will do my best to evaluate what’s happening ‘in the room’ and shift activities and actions accordingly – you need to provide feedback to each other and to me so we can learn more effectively!

Thursday/Friday January 24/25: Phil meets with each group/researcher during the school day for around 30 minutes.

Friday Twilight Session: as soon after school as we can all gather together; I anticipate 4.30-6.30pm – room to be confirmed at the Upper School Campus; refreshments provided. Please bring a laptop and your field journal.

Saturday January 26th: 09.00 (coffee) for 09.30 start until 14.00 refreshments provided.
This session will provide plenty of time for you to work on planning your projects, review literature, share ideas with critical partners, and talk with Phil.

Programme and Activites

Thursday/Friday 1:1 meetings:

Please come to the meeting with your original proposal form, any notes you have made and refection on the following questions:

In our 1:1 meetings, I’ll ask you:

What do you want to change? What is the problem? What are you curious about..?
Why is this so important to you?
What has stopped you from doing/addressing this already?
What do you know already?
What will it look like when you’ve finished the project?
Who might you work with as a research partner (if you are currently working solo)?

You might find it useful to complete the following template – but only if it is a useful activity for you!
c2(i)inquiry plan

Friday Twilight Session 16.30-18.30 hours:

WELCOME RESEARCHERS! Introduction to the programme…starting with the end in mind…the conference in Autumn 2019 and the bits in-between.

ACTIVITIES for the session

1. Reflective Space Activity

As soon as you arrive, grab a drink and in your field journals write a paragraph explaining the story so far; narrative and ideas from your current thinking and our 1:1 discussions.
Draw diagrams or sketches if this helps; raise reflexive questions and any questions for the research group that you are curious about.
Pick out up to 5 KEY words or phrases from your description and write them underneath your narrative.
Date your entry – This is personal reflection but please feel free to share your thoughts with other researchers – reflection works best when dialogic.

If you have done this and have some time, go to Section 3. below and check out the websistes that I have linked.

2. Understanding our research paradigm – Reviewing your enquiry – the research process, envisioning a messy timeline…

BIG PAPER ACTIVITY – Phil will outline the process against our Face to Face timeline through 2019, culminating in the October Research Conference (Dissemination/Presentation).

How does this fit in with your project planning so far?

Activity: Map out your process and anticipated timeline on to your big paper version. Consider the school calendar, your commitment to school and personal activities, and note any potential blocks, barriers, concerns…Post it up on the wall.

research cycle

3. Understanding Research continued

Paradigms and polemics – an introduction to the meta-language and to your probable research paradigm – PAR: practitioner/participatory action research – see also CARN

and Research for Real

For a brief explanation of Action and Enquiry from the Research for Real website read this and explore this website and CARN a little more to gain a clearer understanding of the paradigm and to recognise that this approach is widely used and accepted in health care, social care and education systems.

ACTIVITY DOCUMENT FOR THIS SESSION: Understanding research meta-language

Depending on time – we will unpick some key words and understandings as a small group or whole group activity

Further reading – check out/re-read the Elegant Tasks, Singapore Teacher article for Saturday morning – don’t worry, there will be time to read on Saturday.
Check out other readings on the Resources page

Saturday Session, 09.30-14.00 hours

Coffee from 09.00; we will finish promptly at 14.00!
Lots of time today to work on your project in your team

4. Understanding Research continued

On arrival, please feel free to chat informally with colleagues (about your research of course), or if you are particularly task oriented, read some of the articles from the Resources page – see above)

Literature search and literature review – the role of literature in your project – link up with the JSTOR OPEN database, google scholar and any other useful open access sources you know about – bring laptops please.

Check out this link: Online journal access

You should check out the Sutton Trust on IMPACT Teaching and Learning Toolkit – what works?

USE YOUR KEY WORDS from the twilight activity TO SEARCH FOR ARTICLES

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY b) 3 short research reports to unpick from the New Scientist (go to the Resources page) – what can you say about the kinds of research undertaken and the way the data and findings are presented?

Please crack on with your own planning now – you should consider Data as per below and then by 13.15, please have completed a version of the BIG SATURDAY TASK as per 6. below – I have completed a version for the whole programme below and have plenty of other examples if you are a bit stuck.

At 13.15 we will gather together for a plenary discussion and think about NEXT STEPS.

5. Data collection

At this point you will have gathered some baseline data or are in the process of doing this. What do we mean by data…where can we find it in a school context…what can we do with it when we find it…what are the strengths/ weaknesses, advantages/ disadvantages of different kinds? As ever, what are the ethical considerations, data protection issues…?

There are 2 key resources here to support your self-learning:

Gerald Pine’s Chapter:

pine g conductingteacher action research

And the easy-read:

tool kit

The following resource might be useful – at least to dip into or use some of the tools?

Is this the best it can be? is a toolkit that can be used by anyone delivering arts and creative learning through collaborative or participatory projects and programmes.

This summary of data collection methods you will most likely use is something we will look at briefly:

data collect1

6. BIG SATURDAY TASK Reviewing your enquiry

Now, working in your research teams, you can either choose to do an individual BIG PAPER ACTIVITY or a team effort; be prepared to share at the end of today (from 13.15 hours).


programme so far




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