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What are the benefits of educational research for teachers?

Ask an Expert Rebecca Austin Researching Primary Education

Cultivating a research-based approach to developing your practice provides evidence to effect change in your teaching, your classroom, your school, and beyond. Rebecca Austin, author of Researching Primary Education and Senior Lecturer at the School of Teacher Education and Development at Canterbury Christchurch University, highlights what the benefits are of research to your practice…

In the context of the debate about what works and why, there is a wide range of benefits to researching your own practice, whether directly feeding into improvement through action research or, more broadly, gaining understanding and knowledge on themes of interest and relevance. This is why research is embedded into initial teacher education. As research becomes embedded in your practice you can gain a range of benefits. Research can:

  1. help you find solutions to particular problems arising in your classroom or school

  2. underpin professional learning of knowledge, skills and understanding

  3. connect you with sources of information and networks of professional support

  4. clarify purposes, processes and priorities when introducing change – for example, to curriculum, pedagogy or assessment
  5. improve understanding of your professional and policy context, organisationally, locally and nationally, enabling you to teach and lead more strategically and effectively

  6. develop your agency, influence, self-efficacy and voice within your own school and more widely within the profession.

Each of these can involve investigation using evidence from your own setting, along with wider research evidence. 

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