This research study aims to extend knowledge on how science teachers use and engage in pedagogical research, by identifying effective ways to support teachers to engage with research and carry out their own research and how teachers feel about engaging with research or carrying out research.
To do this we are undertaking a concurrent mixed-methods study across the four delivery projects that Wellcome are funding, each of which take different approaches to supporting science teachers to use research and/or to engage in research. We will explore the impact of participation in the projects has on awareness of and access to research, on confidence to use research to inform practice, and the use of research in science teaching, as well as the wider outcomes this has on pupils, schools and the education system. We will also look at how this varies across the four projects. The study will also examine who teachers engage with the projects and impacts upon their pedagogy, as well as what challenges (such as a lack of time or confidence) or enablers (such as collaboration or autonomy) there are to engagement with both the projects and research more generally.
In order to do this we carry out:
- An analysis measuring change-over-time in relation to intended outcomes using baseline and end point surveys.
- Qualitative research, with methods tailored to each project, to explore explanations for any outcomes observed, deepen understanding of how science teachers use and/or engage in research and the types of support that enable this.
- Analysis of management information (MI data) to explore recruitment and participation patterns.
SIoE have lead responsibility for the research grant, and lead the qualitative element of the study and take lead responsibility for reporting. NFER will lead the impact evaluation and MI data-collection and analysis.