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Researching Primary Education

Researching Primary Education

First Edition

May 2016 | 144 pages | Learning Matters

How do we know what works in primary schools?

How do we make sure that we are always learning from fellow teachers, always learning from the children we teach and always moving forward? The answer lies in research. In understanding, conducting, disseminating and learning from research.

But what do we mean by research, and how do we 'do' it?

This book is your guide to research in primary education. 

  • It takes you through both important established theory and recent developments in research and explores what these mean right now for primary education and classroom settings. 
  • It helps you to conceive, conduct, write up and share your research with others. 
  • It looks at how you can access research findings to improve your classroom practice and deepen your understanding.
  • It examines how you can use research in your classroom everyday to continually enhance teaching, and how you can shape and frame the questions you ask to help you get to the answers you need.

If you are a trainee teacher doing a research project as part of your course, or a qualified teacher doing further study, this text includes all the guidance you need. 

If you are a teacher wanting to find out what works best for your class, in your school, right now, this text will show you how to harness the power of small or large scale research to help you find the answer.


What is evidence-based practice and why does it matter? - Judy Durrant
Making a contribution to knowledge: Where do I begin? - Rebecca Austin
The Literature Review: What is already out there? - Viv Wilson
Methodology: What approach should I take? - Gill Hope
Research Methods: How will I collect the data? - Wendy Cobb
Data Analysis - Kristy Howells and David Gregory
Academic Writing: How do I write it up? - Viv Wilson
Looking back and looking forward - Rebecca Austin

Excellent support for students considering their initial dissertation topics

Mr Tom Cowan
Plymouth Institute of Education, Plymouth University
July 31, 2020

This is an accessible and clearly organised work that covers key aspects of undertaking practitioner research in primary school settings. It discusses the value of evidence based practice, how to write a literature review, approaches to research, data analysis and academic writing. At the send of each chapter there are stimulating 'Things to Think About' and useful up to date reading lists to guide further analysis.

Dr Louise Campbell
Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh University
May 18, 2016

Rebecca Austin

Rebecca Austin is Senior Lecturer at the School of Teacher Education and Development at Canterbury Christchurch University.  More About Author

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