Volume 1, edited by Alison Lawson


Alison Lawson, Editor of practical research for education

Action research: what is it, who does it and why?
Anna Riggall

1. Professional development through teacher enquiry
Graham Handscomb and John MacBeath
Why should teachers engage in and use research? Drawing on their experiences as consultants working in schools, Graham Handscomb and John MacBeath show how the ‘research-engaged’ school can make an important contribution to self-evaluation, improvement and the professional learning of staff.

2. Benefits of a forest school experience for very young children
Sam Massey
What are the benefits of working outside the traditional classroom? Sam Massey reports on the forest school initiative, which originated in Scandinavia and has been rapidly developing in England and Wales.

3. Becoming a research-engaged school: using whiteboards and ICT
Caroline Sharp
In 2003, a group of 15 schools began a journey towards becoming research engaged, accompanied by local authority staff and researchers from the NFER. Caroline Sharp shares some insights from the journey as well as some of the findings of schools’ research.

4. Motivation techniques for encouraging reading at A level
David Godfrey
This chapter looks at how rewards contracts are used to motivate learners and discusses the benefits of using rewards with A-level students

5. School council research: student researchers help inform spending decisions
Jessica Lobo
What happens when a school council is given £10,000 to spend? They embark on a research project to find out what students want, of course! Jessica Lobo, a student researcher in year 11, reports on the research, findings and actions taken by her school council

6. What – no grades? An action research project in assessment for learning
Rebecca Rhodes
How would students react if you gave them feedback instead of grades? Would their performance improve or deteriorate? An action research project with A level students yields some interesting results.

7. Switching on the light – some reflections on staff development to support inclusive learning
Rob Rodgers
What sort of staff development is needed for those working with profoundly deaf students? This article reports on research carried out to find out what works for professionals working with this group

Afterword: how action research changed our lives
David Godfrey

Action research: making a difference in education

Volume 1, edited by Alison Lawson

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