Sixty teenage researchers from Nicholas Chamberlaine School, Bedworth, are set to graduate from the University of Warwick on Thursday 17th July 2003. The students will receive their hard-earned research certificates for their study of learning in schools with a low rate of entrants into Higher Education and analysis of different teaching techniques.
The children aged 11-16 have just completed a 10 month pioneering school-based research programme where they examined their school's teaching and learning culture, and the project has developed understanding of what motivates and inspires children from schools where pupils often underachieve.
Students have designed questionnaires, taken part in workshops run by the University, and most adventurous of all, observed learning in lessons and given feedback to project and volunteer teachers.
The study revealed that students' learning improves when they are actively involved in researching and developing learning styles, and that even younger pupils benefit from being given a choice of learning styles. It also showed that students of all ages can effectively design research.
The pilot project is part of Warwick's programme activities to introduce pupils in years 7-10 to higher education, and increase awareness of what university life has to offer.
Dr Wendy Robinson, from the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick, said: “Professional researchers at the University's Institute of Education have trained and supported the young researchers as they analysed three areas of school life, including homework and independent learning. The young University researchers have been inspired by being given a voice in the way learning happens in schools and following the scheme’s success similar projects are to be rolled out at a further fifteen schools across Warwickshire."
Graham Tyrer, Deputy Head Teacher with Nicholas Chamberlaine School, said: “It has been a very exciting project. The scheme has fostered a culture of learning and participation in the school. The pupils have been empowered to voice their views about education, and to participate in the school's decision-making processes. It has even involved video-conferencing with group of fellow student researchers at Ashlawn School in Rugby.”
The junior research teams will participate in a ‘learning parliament’ where they will deliver presentations to researchers at the Institute of Education and Warwick Local Education Authority on what makes effective learning.
Photograph and interview opportunity 11.30am on Thursday 17th July 2003: There will be a photo opportunity when the junior researchers are awarded their certificates during a ceremony at Roots Social Building, Chancellors Suite, Central Campus, University of Warwick.
Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick
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Dr Wendy Robinson,
Institute of Education,
Tel (work): 024 7652 3231
Tel (home): 01926 339 815