Conducting Action Research In A School Setting


In June 2013, AGGS held a conference for several local schools, entitled “Becoming a Research-based School”.  The aim was to introduce delegates to the concept of becoming a research-based school and to share ideas on how to start.

Our keynote speaker, Professor Alan Dyson of the University of Manchester, explained with great clarity the difference between more general ‘scholarly’ research practised by academics and the kind of school-based research which can lead to specific outcomes.  He also explained that school-based research can either look at what we do now and improve it or examine why we do what we do and whether we should change it.

Sian Morgan, a joint appointment between the University of Manchester and the AGGS Maths department,  gave us a practical example of research that began by investigating the belief that questioning and dialogue in the Maths classroom needed to improve.  She showed us how those involved followed the research method similar to that described by Professor Dyson.  From this evolved the ‘lesson study’ technique, which started in Japan, which she shared with the delegates.

Finally, Rebecca Stokwisz of AGGS gave us some top tips for getting started with research and described how she was going to use the research model to improve aspects of teaching and learning within her own RS department.

All would agree that research had been demystified for us and we went away feeling a great deal more confident and with a better understanding of how and why effective research can make a difference to teaching and learning.

The conference, organised by the Teaching School Alliance’s Research Working Group, was very well attended and much appreciated by delegates:

“I came away from the evening feeling enthusiastic and well informed.”

“…excellent…hope to take up opportunities through AGGS in the future”

“Thanks for a great event-we are determined to become a research school.”

Grateful thanks to our three presenters.

You can download the presentation here.