CfEM blog: thoughts on action research at New College Stamford

Blog by Ross Coupland, CfEM Centre Lead at New College Stamford, for the Centres for Excellence in Maths programme.

Thoughts on action research

As we approach another window of action research, Stamford College, like many other establishments, has had to consider the context within which action research is being carried out. Our last project came to an abrupt halt in March but nonetheless left us with a thought-provoking set of data that influenced the programme of delivery for maths this year.

One of my key reflections from attending Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events and webinars as part of the Centre for Excellence in Maths (CfEM) programme is that action research has to work for you, your team, your establishment and ultimately your students. To that end, Stamford College is making this year’s action research project more relevant and more refined.

Our last project centred around interactive software. Why? To create an improved teacher and learner experience.

Yet there was so much more involved; sharing new techniques, networking with our partners, common CPD events, reflection. Action research creates a platform within which a community of practitioners can aim for a common goal but also identify individual developments for their own context, their own establishment.

Working with our network, developing ongoing relationships and creating a forum of discussion has been enlightening and remains a key feature of our ongoing action plan.

The shadow of Covid-19 is far-reaching and clearly impacted action research last academic year yet nonetheless insightful and thought-provoking reports were produced. In this new context within which we find ourselves, action research empowers us to work towards improvement through large steps or small, providing a lens to review the distance we have travelled.

Being part of the CfEM initiative collates all this experience, knowledge and excellent practice that we can all look back and reflect on as we look to develop maths achievement across the country.

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