Best Practice

Creating a research culture – lessons from other schools

Action research
How can schools develop a research-engaged culture that has a positive impact on teaching and learning? Former teacher and research co-ordinator David Godfrey shares some insights from his PhD work in this important area.

This article sets out some of the findings from research carried out to explore patterns of research engagement in schools at varying points along a path towards fully embedding those practices.

The ultimate aim for research-engaged schools is to become learning organisations, in which the language and activity of research can be converted into knowledge that is used for the better of the school and also the wider education system.

In 2011/12, I surveyed and interviewed staff from eight secondary schools in England. Five of them were national Teaching Schools and two of them were schools that had a high profile for being research-engaged. The research categories were developed from various sources, including the National Foundation for Educational Research’s Research-Engaged School Award, which has now evolved into the NFER Research Mark.

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