Examining teachers use of research and the role of social relationships and school leadership in making research informed practice a reality

15 Norham Gardens OX2 6PY

Research-informed teaching practice (RITP) refers to the use of research evidence by teachers in order to improve how they teach and, as a result, student learning outcomes.

From 16:00 until 17:30

At Seminar Room B, Department of Education, Oxford University

The use of research by teachers is considered both beneficial and desirable. As such, research-informed teaching should be both encouraged and facilitated. At the same time, we are still to discover the most effective ways of supporting and fostering teachers’ engagement with research.  

In light of the increasing focus on social influence as a driver of behaviour/behavioural change, in this session Professor Chris Brown (University of Portsmouth, School of Education and Sociology) uses data from a recent study to examine the extent to which social-influence affects teachers’ use of research (via the impact social influence has on the benefits, costs, and signification teachers associate with research-use). He will also explore the relative importance of social influence compared to other factors known to positively affect research use: 1) teachers’ perceptions as to whether they work in a trusting work environment; 2) perceptions as to whether school leaders’ encourage the use of research in their schools; and 3) teachers’ perceptions regarding whether they are encouraged to innovate.

As Chris will highlight, the findings from this study point to a key challenge for policy-makers and educational leaders if RITP is to become a reality in school systems. Namely, if our use of research is greatly influenced by our colleagues’ use of research, then how can systemic and whole school research-use be ‘kick started’?

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