School and university in partnership: a shared enquiry into teachers' collaborative practices

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Building on previous presentations from ECER 2015, this study is modelled on a collaborative enquiry basis (Angelides, 2003), and provides one example of closer partnership working between schools and universities, as recommended in Donaldson (2011). In this model, the academic researchers/facilitators work in collaboration with teachers in order to analyse and develop existing practice, and can add an outsider's, or critical friend's perspective (Angelides, 2003). Philpott and Oates (2016) drew attention to the pivotal role of the facilitator in the presentation at ECER 2015. In the resulting publication above, we contend that the academic facilitator in collaborative learning practices can enhance teacher agency in the longer term and shine some light on the theory-practice relationship that might be encountered in a collaborative setting involving school/university partnerships.

Conclusions are still to be analysed at point of writing but will be complete by the time of the co
nference. The study will shed some light on the conditions necessary to underpin collaborative practices both in schools and within wider school-university partnerships. In a time where requirements are called for in both closer theory/practice links and analysis/ understanding of teacher agency as a feature of the wider improvement agenda, these findings should speak to this priority whilst also illuminating dynamics of relationships which lend support to or detract from successful collaboration which supports teacher agency in the wider context of school improvement.

As a partnership endeavour, findings will be disseminated at university level (namely the School of Education at the University of the West of Scotland) via the School Seminar series and at this academic conference. My co-researcher, Dr Carole Bignell and I also aim to develop a series of professional learning opportunities for teachers in the school where the research took place, as well as the local network of schools to which the school concerned belongs. The collaboration of teacher educators and practising teachers in the research process is an identified priority since recent teacher education reform in Scotland (Donaldson 2010). This is aimed at enhancing teaching as a research-based profession, and at developing research methods and evidence which have been forged from,and are accessible to practice and practitioners. The findings from this study will add to this wider agenda. We aim to collaborate beyond the empirical stage of this research project with our practitioner colleagues and co-author some publications, based on our findings, for dissemination to both the academic and practitioner communities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2018
EventEuropean Conference on Educational Research 2018 - Free University Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 4 Sep 20187 Sep 2018


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Educational Research 2018
Abbreviated titleECER 2018
Internet address


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