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research
- 12:30 CRI

CRI Research Seminar: Ignacio Atal

CRI Research Seminar: Ignacio Atal

Teachers as Researchers: a citizen-science framework for the educational sciences

Teachers are in the front line to reach the objective of high quality education for all. Unfortunately, there is a high variability in teachers’ capacity to leverage students’ learning, and it is difficult to know what makes a good teacher. On the one hand, a promising way suggested by research for teachers' professional development is to support reflection about teaching to locally (re)discover "best practices". On the other hand, identifying general “best practices” through academic research has proven to be unfruitful because the transferability of results to practice is highly challenging. The Teachers as Researchers team aims at: 1) helping teachers build knowledge following scientific methods, to produce context-relevant evidence regarding teaching practices and 2) facilitating its use by other teachers in order to improve teaching practices. We are developing a community of engaged teachers working together during workshops following a unique framework for teachers' scientific collaboration. During workshops, teachers do a series of activities in which they: 1) identify the common challenges they face, 2) the actions they could put in place to address those challenges, 3) prepare to implement those actions, 4) report and analyse data collected following action implementation, and 5) synthesise the evidence to identify common “best practices” across contexts. The Teachers as Researchers community may have a double impact we intend to explore. First, community members may improve their teaching practices as they participate in such a collaborative research enterprise. Second, the nature of evidence produced by the community may prove easier to be taken into account by teachers than academic research, therefore improving other teachers' practices.