For the fifth year running, opportunities for teachers, trainers and education leaders working in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector to work towards a Masters qualification have been launched by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) at the ETF’s Annual Research Conference 2018.
The ETF’s Practitioner Research Programme provides a valuable opportunity through research for practitioners to work towards improving practice in the sector and gain a MA or MPhil qualification at the same time. The application process for the 2018/2019 programme formally opened on 2 July 2018 at Mary Ward House in London.
Participants from the current MA and MPhil research programmes joined the CEO of the ETF, David Russell, and programme leaders from both the ETF and the University of Sunderland Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT) – which delivers the programme. The practitioners presented their research at the ETF’s fifth Annual Research Conference, which is a highlight of the Practitioner Research Programme.
Promoting high quality teaching opportunities
The ETF has been running the Practitioner Research Programme since 2014 to promote high quality research opportunities to teachers working across the education and training sector in England. Previous participants have gone on to senior leadership positions and advanced practitioner posts in their colleges.
Delivered by an expert team and led by Professor Maggie Gregson at SUNCETT, this year’s programme has seen a significant increase in the prestige and rigour of the programme as it is now 100 per cent accredited, so all participating teachers and practitioners are now working towards an MA or MPhil, focusing on research into challenges and areas for growth within their institutions.
These programmes are free of charge and come with a small bursary fund for employers to support remission time for research. They include residential events and offer participants expert research training and support from a renowned team of FE specialists.
Shifting Horizons: Educational Practice, Education Theory and Educational Research
Over 45 participants from learning providers across England showcased their research abstracts at the conference, the theme of which was Shifting Horizons: Educational Practice, Education Theory and Educational Research.
Research topics include:
- Raising engagement and enthusiasm in GCSE English lessons in the FE sector.
- Exploring the importance of craftsmanship in the development and delivery of digital education.
- The opportunities and challenges of adopting mastery pedagogy to develop maths competency in Further Education.
Paul Kessell-Holland, Head of Partnerships at the Education and Training Foundation, said: “One of the key principles underpinning the ETF’s approach is that teacher-led research helps to develop both teaching professionals for the future and an evidence base for all practitioners and leaders to access and learn from. This is why this Practitioner Research Programme has such a crucial role to play in driving forward standards in teaching across the sector.
“I am delighted by the range and quality of research on display today, and with the immense leap forward we have taken as we move to fully accredited research outcomes through MA and MPhil study. The breadth and depth of work being showcased today is good reason for us all to be confident we can succeed.”
Professor Maggie Gregson at the University of Sunderland, said: “Drawing on our extensive experience and expertise in delivering innovative approaches to supporting practitioner research, the depth of this year’s research shows there is a real desire for talented sector practitioners to improve standards. We are proud to be working with the Education and Training Foundation and practitioners from across the country on this vital strand of research and we are confident we will receive the same level of first class applications as we have done this year.”
There are currently two qualification routes available:
- A one-year MA Module in Educational Research (30 credits), targeted at teachers starting out in research and interested in engaging in small-scale, evidence-based and practice-focused research.
- A two-year Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) programme in Educational Research aimed at those seeking to take their research to the next level, specifically designed for practitioners with some experience in research.
In summary, successful applicants will:
- attend three residential research development events
- be allocated a research mentor to support them
- receive a bursary (payable to their employer) of amount to be confirmed, in 2017/18 these were £1,500 for practitioners on the MPhil Programme and £1,000 for practitioners on the MA Short Course to support with study time, and all costs of the residential and course fees are covered
- work towards an MA or MPhil qualification
- present their work at the Practitioner Research Conference in London in summer 2019.
The 2018/19 programmes are now open. Applications close on Monday 17 September at 5pm. More information can be found on the ETF’s website.