Face to face October 2021

Welcome to our second full research programme meeting, F2F2

Education is messy. It defies attempts to contain it, label it, predict its moves or understand it…It makes working out what works – or what ‘works’ even means – very difficult. And yet academics across the world spend their careers trying to ‘tidy’ it up…There is clearly a desire among the profession to bring some order to the mess, and though research can never clear it up completely, it can hack teachers a route through the chaos.

(Jon Severs, Commissioning editor TES Research March 2019)

Gordian Knot

The main focus for this meeting is to look more closely at DATA COLLECTION and highlight the idea of an ongoing analysis of what’s coming in, and what it’s telling you so far;
We’ll talk about how your questions and planned interventions are going during our 1:1 meetings.

ETHICS will feature as a regular.

We will review another aspect of ‘doing’ research (or being research active/engaged in research) – the notion of EMPIRICAL study, and using a simple formula to report on findings – the “IMRaD” format – see link here to the website Resources Page for this and other useful stuff.

And finally, yes, there will be plenty of time on Saturday to work on your projects independently!


Thursday October 21-Friday 22nd 1:1 (or teams) with Helen and Phil

We will arrange meetings with each group/researcher during the school day or after for around 30-45 minutes.
A meet form to confirm timings will follow shortly (writing at September 21)

Parents if you are meeting us on campus (after school only) please don’t forget your Green Pass!

Some questions to help with our 1:1 conversation:
  1. What if anything has changed since our September 4 meeting?
  2. What have you read since then that has been interesting or influential to your thinking?
  3. Who have you spoken with about your project – colleagues…students…other parents…external people…?
  4. What baseline data have you collected and how did you do this (examples might be – interviews, analysis of student work, questionnaire, review of school policy or other documents…)? What is it telling you?
  5. What obstacles have you faced… and overcome so far?
  6. Have you discussed or considered any ethical issues related to your project or the research generally?
  7. What is exciting you about your project right now?
  8. What does your timeline look like now?
  9. What are you planning to do next/this weekend/between now and the November 19/20th meeting?
  10. What more do you need to do now to get your action plan or intervention ready to launch/progress it, in the next few months?
  11. What questions do you have for us or the wider research group (critical friend conversations)?

Friday Twilight Session:

All sessions at the Upper School, Room 22 and its surroundings.

Parents please don’t forget your Green Pass!

We will gather at 4.30pm for refreshments and aim to start at 5.00pm.
The twilight session will then run from 5.00-6.30pm (it’s usually round 7.00pm before we finally pack up but please feel free from 6.30 if you have other arrangements).

Please bring a laptop, your project notes and anything of interest from your work so far.

After the session there is a tradition of going for supper – pizza or similar – we will check with you during the 1:1s if you are able to join for supper.

Session Headlines:

  • The story so far and welcome any new researchers –
    • with the end in mind…
    • and aspirations by Saturday at 1.00pm
      • One thing we hope you can complete as a very first draft by Saturday afternoon or soon after is an ‘ABSTRACT’. Normally this would come right at the end but we have found drafting this early on and regularly returning to helps the thinking. See the examples from the Conference 2021 Page
  • Speed dating – circulate for 15 minutes and discover what someone else is doing (don’t worry you don’t need to do any feedback, jigsawing or ambassador activities although they are great – [ask?!]
  • Matters arising from the 1:1 meetings
  • The main thing – DATA & WHAT TO DO WITH IT
    • collection
    • analysis
    • ethics, data protection & storage
    • Gerald Pine’s Chapter on Data Analysis is a very useful reference here. The attached ppt summarises the key points and see SLIDE 4 for triangulation.


  • ‘bits and pieces of information found in the environment’
    (Merriam, 1998, p70)
  • ‘…collected in systematic ways to provide an evidential base from which to make interpretations and statements intended to advance knowledge and understanding concerning a research question or problem
    (Teacher Research, Lankshear and Knobel, 2004, p.172)
  • You are gathering data to turn into evidence to provide you with a clear statement that enables you to present your findings:
  • Data  > Evidence > Statements  > Findings

A useful document on Collecting Data

Here are a couple of posters we made earlier (and posted after the last session):

DATA: Q and Q & the I Paradigm
DATA: When to collect/What to do with it
Saturday October 23:

09.15 onwards light breakfast for 09.45 start until 13.00 .
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 Helen & Phil.

All participants, please don’t forget your Green Pass!

(See Pine ppt above and REMEMBER TRIANGULATION.)

The most comprehensive book we’ve come across for looking at research in education generally is:
Research Methods in Education, Cohen, Manion & Morrison (8th Edition, 2018) Routledge, Abingdon.
(We have a hard copy in the US Library)

  • Go to the Research Methods in Education/Cohen website for far too much information but check out the RESOURCES section of the site and the ppt downloads as follows:
    • Chapter 24 Questionnaires
    • Chapter 25 Interviews
    • Chapter 26 Observations
    • You might also want to check out Chapter 27 Tests; Ch. 28 Using Secondary data; Ch. 31 Visual Media
  • We may focus a little on questionnaire construction either on Friday or as a Saturday opener – your understandings, experiences, examples…as this is a tool you will probably be using/devising.
    The Cohen resource is a bit heavy in places and has 40+ slides but we will have a brief look as it is comprehensive and sensible (and aimed at Masters’ Level).
  • Critical Partners opportunity/Independent working on projects – make sure you use the opportunity afforded through your colleagues to trial/pilot questionnaires, interviews, surveys…you wish to use.
  • Take a break when you need one.
  • Plenary at 12.45 to review progress
  • Lunch at 1.15 will be provided – we strongly recommend you stay for lunch as it provides a further opportunity to talk research, be reflective and generally debrief – even for 20 mins to grab a bite (although very un-Italian!!).

    In your research team/joining together with others to form a team, produce a poster to explain the kinds of data you have collected so far and the methods of collection used.
    Be prepared to critically analyse your work and share with the whole group.

  2. ETHICS discussion
    • Update on use of data in schools, the GDPR and consent forms
      Examples to consider – Consent sheet
      Sample research consent sheet GDPR
      • Make sure you have consulted the ETHICS page on this site
      • refresh from the last session and the update post with links to a more recent ISF consent letter from March 2021.
    • Sharing confidential data when we present our findings to a)parent/community groups b)staff c)externally (at a conference for example.
    • …Or write them up as a discussion paper or journal article for publication (internally/externally).
  3. UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH – we will continue to feed in thoughts on research in education – Empirical study or? check out this link
    Research Literature – visit the Library and spend an hour immersed (talk with Julio)
    1. literature about research;
    2. literature that is pertinent to your research.

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