The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Teacher-led Research

Sara Ratner, University of Oxford (United Kingdom)

Lawrence Collins, Heathfield Knoll School (United Kingdom)


This study aimed to address the following research questions: ‘Can a teacher’s research mindset be positively influenced by engaging in a structured, school-based research program?’ and, ‘What impact does this changed mindset have on their leadership and practice across the school?’. This paper, written from the perspective of an academic researcher and a school leader, explores the impact of positioning teachers as researchers on school leadership and transformational practice. During one academic year, four teachers engaged in training on research skills and then undertook an individual research project in an area of the school they identified as being worthy of intervention and/or transformation. The teachers completed a survey pre- and post- participating in the study to ascertain their attitudes towards research. They also completed semi-structured interviews regarding their progress on a monthly basis throughout the project. From the perspective of both the academic and the school leader, it was found that positioning teachers as researchers empowered them to lead change across the school and they were subsequently perceived more positively as leaders and changemakers by themselves and their peers. This provides important insights for the development of professional learning opportunities for teachers as they seek to develop their leadership potential within the school context. So too, it benefits the school from educational research that is aligned to its unique context and needs.



Teacher education, research, leadership, professional development



No references cited in the abstract. References in the full paper are below.


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