This Masters course will teach you to be a researcher in education and particularly in your own classroom/institution. A vital place to start as a researcher is to be a reader so there are a number of things to get you started and to which I am sure you will return. You need to read these papers critically exploring:
- The content and your own reflections upon it - how does it relate to your experiences?
- The context of the research and its quality
What makes great teaching (Coe, 2014) - download
This document is a review of the underpinning research around teaching and learning and asks a number of core questions about teaching and learning. As you read this reflect on your own teaching (and the learning in your classrooms) to ask how this research supports, challenges or finds gaps in your own practice.
Researching from within: external and internal ethical engagement (Floyd and Arthur, 2012) - download
This article examines the superficial and deep ethical and moral dilemmas confronting ‘insider’ researchers, which we term external and internal ethical engagement. External ethical engagement refers to the traditional, easily identifiable ethical issues that insider researchers attend to by submitting their application for ethical approval to their institution’s internal review board. Internal ethical engagement relates to the deeper level ethical and moral dilemmas that insider researchers have to deal with once ‘in the field’ linked to ongoing personal and professional relationships with participants, insider knowledge, conflicting professional and researcher roles, and anonymity. By reviewing the literature in this area and drawing on the authors’ experiences of undertaking interpretive studies at institutions where they were members of staff, we explore these concepts and examine the implications for insider researchers.
From sage on the stage to guide on the side (King, 1993) - download
In most college classrooms, the professor lectures and the students listen and take notes. The professor is the central figure, the "sage on the stage," the one who has the knowledge and transmits that knowledge to the students, who simply memorize the information and later reproduce it on an exam--often without even thinking about it. This model of the teaching-learning process, called the transmittal model, assumes that the student's brain is like an empty container into which the professor pours knowledge. In this view of teaching and learning, students are passive learners rather than active ones. Such a view is outdated and will not be effective for the twenty-first century when individuals will be expected to think for themselves, pose and solve complex problems, and generally produce knowledge rather than reproduce it.
The return of the native: the blurred boundaries of insider/outsider research in an English secondary school (Perryman, 2011) - download
This paper outlines the methodological issues I faced during my research as a ‘returning native’ in an English secondary school. The empirical research took the form of a three-year case study and used some ethnographic methods, as it comprised interviews carried out over a period of three academic years in the school in which I was once employed as a teacher. I was also given the opportunity to work in the school as a consultant in the lead-up to and during its Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OfSTED) inspection. This enabled me to conduct interviews, observe, interact in informal conversations and participate in the inspection week. In this paper I explore the unique role of the insider-researcher, or returning native. Not only was this a school in which I had previously worked, but actually participating in the inspection added new layers of complex loyalty.