Aims and Guiding Principles

Our aim is to provide practical suggestions for schools on how R&D could be developed in their own setting and context, taking into account factors such as school and alliance values and characteristics, pupil needs, prior experience and internal and external support for R&D.

Our approach is informed by the following insights and guiding principles:

  • No single model of best practice or uniform approach: any approach to R&D must be responsive to the needs, values and characteristics of particular settings and contexts

  • No single or fixed view of what counts as ‘research’: we recognise the multi-disciplinary nature of educational research and the diverse philosophies, theories and methodologies that exist within different paradigms

  • Demystify R&D by taking part: although engaging with research can seem daunting and off-putting, especially to teachers unfamiliar with research activity, it can be made less scary through practical experience and by making explicit the research elements of everyday practice

  • Support schools to make it practical, realistic and manageable: any framework for R&D needs to be realistic in its expectations of what schools and teachers can manage and allow time for changes in culture and behaviour to take root in the school and classroom

  • Not reinventing the wheel: rather than replicating previous work, we aim to signpost teachers and school leaders to existing tools and resources and provide a forum for sharing ideas.