Evaluation of Birmingham Local Authority's Action Research Strategy

Rebekah Wilson, Lesley Kendall, Sandie Schagen

01 June 2007

This evaluation examined the impacts of teacher-led research in Birmingham schools. It focused on the role of teacher-led research within the local authority, teachers’ experiences of conducting research, support given to teacher-researchers, monitoring, evaluating and accrediting teacher-led research, and the challenges and impacts of teacher-led research.

In addition, the evaluation team identified a number of factors resulting in good practice relating to project set-up, the research process and reducing potential barriers. It also recommended ways in which Birmingham’s teacher-led research network might be enhanced.

Key Findings

From the evidence collected, teacher-led research:

  • is forming an innovative part of Birmingham local authority’s menu of continuing professional development activities, by responding to locally identified needs, enabling schools to control their own agendas and allowing teachers to personalise their teaching.
  • can provide teachers with time to reflect, with enhanced subject knowledge, new motivation, greater confidence and an increased ability to articulate children’s learning needs.
  • can positively impact on pupils’ behaviour and attitudes, along with their subject knowledge (depending on the research topic under investigation).

Sponsor Details

Birmingham Local Education Authority