The RSA Academies’ Enquiry Fellowship uses a model of action research to apply and securely embed academic research within the practices and pedagogies of classroom teachers. It empowers teachers to become more professionally engaged in wider research to improve practice in the classroom.
The key characteristics of the Enquiry fellowship are:
A holistic view of education: The RSA has a long history of educational philosophy; the Enquiry Fellowship includes a three year associate fellowship with the RSA and training (provided by RSA Education) on the use of Research in Education.
Developing Leadership Skills: The acquisition of knowledge from reliable research bases is an important foundation in leading initiatives that have significant impact. The later phases of action research and dissemination strategies provide experience in leading and training others. This will provide access to the NPQML initiative upon completion.
High Quality Training: Training from an education academic will support the implementation and delivery of the action research through training and 1:1 mentoring via Skype.
A Development Coach: In each school a Development Coach will support the practicalities of the action research and also the challenges of the early years in the profession.
Personal Reflection: The action research project encourages journalling as a form of reflection on practice. Reflection is a proven method of improving teacher performance.
Celebration and dissemination: The Annual RSA Education Celebration Event provides an opportunity for the projects to be disseminated through the TSA and to be publicly celebrated.
Strategic use: The Enquiry Fellowships are targeted to shortage subjects in participating schools. Project areas are identified through development planning, ensuring that both recruitment and strategic needs are met. During the Enquiry Fellowship teachers focus on an area of research that is of professional interest to them, establish a methodology to evaluate the efficacy of their research and review their experiences against the literature in a written assignment which is published in our own Enquiry Fellowship Journal. They celebrate their projects with other teachers who have completed the fellowship and disseminate findings to schools within the Alliance.
Our current cohort of teachers who have enrolled on the Action Research programme find it a beneficial and productive experience. One participant said that;
“it makes me reflect on my own practice and it provides me with opportunities that allow me to stretch the learners. As teachers, we don’t always have all of the answers but we can work towards our own and the students’ potential through research and the implementation of this within our own practice.”