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Warwick Teacher Researcher Network

Welcome to the Teacher Researcher Network!

Are you a teacher seeking opportunities to get your research idea supported or a school leader searching for professional development opportunities for your research engaged staff? You may also be an education researcher trying to find schools that might want to engage with your research project. If so, this is the place for you. The Teacher Researcher Network has existed at Warwick for a number of years and was first presented at our partnership conference in 2018. We are delighted to have secured funding from the Enhancing Research Culture fund allocated by Research England, to support the Research and Development People and Culture Strategy. Link opens in a new windowWith 10x £3,000 grants available to our school partners to support small scale 'close-to-practice' research projects to be conducted in schools, the funding will support our drive to engage more people in research and provide access to research to our school partners. The CTE (Centre for Teacher Education) will provide academic support in the form of 6 x 1 hour meetings with an academic from our department between April 2022 and July 2022 to create and develop the teacher/school leader's research proposal, including ethical consideration and the design of research instruments. A short report on the academic support received from the CTE and a research proposal for work to be undertaken in the 2022/23 school year is to be submitted in July 2022. Burnaford, Fischer, and Hobson, in Teachers doing research: The power of action through inquiry (2001), neatly summarise the essence of teacher-research, describing a personal as well as a professional quest, "a journey towards making sense of and finding satisfaction in one's teaching', emphasising the importance of seeing teaching and research as a joint enterprise.

About Us:

At Warwick CTE we have a rich history of working closely with schools and other third sector organisations on research projects in order to benefit local communities and the children we teach. We offer a range of courses on which teaching staff and school leaders might want to enrol, including the MA in Professional EducationLink opens in a new window but we are also aware that staff enjoy and recognise the benefits of engaging in ‘close-to-practice’ research which is not for academic award. Often, there are roles such as Teacher-Researcher or Research Lead available in schools and we also welcome those colleagues and invite you to use this space to share ideas and resources as well as connect with each other. Willingness to engage in the creation of the teacher researcher network will be part of the selection criteria.

Aims of the Teacher Researcher Network:
  • Improve access to and participation in research;
  • Improve research leadership skills across all career stages;
  • Create routes for collaboration and exchange with third sector organisations;
  • Deliver new approaches to public dialogue and community led research. The end of project report in July would focus on whether engagement with this project contributed to these areas.

What is ‘Close-To-Practice’ Research?

Drawing upon Cooke’s (2005) definition from medical research, BERA (British Educational Research Association) defines Close-to-Practice research as follows:

'Close-to-practice research focusses on issues defined by practitioners as relevant to their practice, and involves collaboration between people whose main expertise is research, practice, or both'.

See the Close to practice educational research from BERA link to navigate BERAs statement on what close to practice educational research looks like. In it, BERA defines high-quality close-to-practice research as follows:

'High quality close-to-practice research requires the robust use of research design, theory and methods to address clearly defined research questions, through an iterative process of research and application. The research process will be well documented and the conclusions that are drawn will be appropriate to the strengths and weaknesses of the design, theory and methods used. Such research will draw upon practitioners’ and researchers’ reflections on both practice and context'.

See also the articleLink opens in a new window published in the British Educational Research Journal (May 2020) presenting research, conducted by Dominic Wyse, Sandy Oliver, Ximena Poblete and Chris Brown as part of this project, into the relationship between education practice and research.

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Issue #1Link opens in a new window

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The Teacher Researcher Network Team:

Dr. Kate Mawson

Associate Professor

Room: WA1.5d

Sebastian Croft

Teacher Researcher Network Developer