Dr. Christina Hinton, Carl Hendrick minus Tom Bennett- research with Harvard on grit and growth mindsets
Teachers have been given answers to questions we didn’t ask. Sometimes we’re even given answers to ‘how to teach effectively’ by people who have never even taught before.

Research Schools International’s work is far more refreshing- they are working directly alongside teachers to develop their own research and create unique collaborations to solve the big problems in education. It also makes it possible for learners to be involved in the research themselves.

There’s currently a gap between research and practice in education. On the one side, research is often disconnected from the needs and practice of the teacher. It takes place in a laboratory, away from the realities of the classroom.

On the other hand, when there is good research, it’s put in a way that is not directly applicable in the classroom or shared in a completely inaccessible way.

John Dewey noticed the gap between research and practice over 100 years ago. He had close relationships with schools, as well as being close to academia through his role at the University of Chicago.

The classroom becomes a laboratory- rather than having a lab outside of the classroom and then bringing the research in to see if it will work.

Partnerships have been set-up all over the world and these schools are committed to research.

The work takes place with the teachers and students and they form the questions from what’s important to them and what they need to understand more about in order to be successful.

  1. Research- collaborative- design the model and methods together
  2. Professional development- collaborative- work with the teachers- what do these results mean for practice?
  3. Dissemination- something that’s applicable and relevant to the classroom- academic journals and conferences and knowledge is shared freely around the world.

Wellington College- how can we promote grit in our students? We want them to have qualities beyond just getting an A.

Teachers and students had to apply to become a research fellow- this made the process more aspirational. They were involved at all stages- literature reviews, question formations and especially how the findings would be made accessible and relevant.

The next step in the grit project is around designing interventions.

Grit= Passion and perseverance towards a long-term goal

In the press, grit is made to look like pushing yourself at all costs.

Through their research, it was more about emotional self-regulation, self-compassion and not sacrificing sleep, healthy eating or downtime. These learners were more gritty.

What was really exciting about this workshop was when Christina pointed out all the visitors from around the globe- and I mean around the globe.

If schools are looking to do more research then a link with a university is vital, at least to begin with, as there’s a lot for teachers to learn about action research and making it as valid and reliable as possible. It’s also useful for the University as they learn more about education and how to make their research more relevant for teachers. Not because it’s about novices being taught by experts but that it’s experts teaching experts.

Teachers can benefit greatly from doing action research anyway, without the support of a University, even if they’re unable to disseminate the results as they won’t be valid. The benefits generally relate to reflection and becoming a reflective practitioner is vital for further development for themselves and the teachers. Having a whole school commitment is far better for results as there’s collaboration and the results will have more impact on learners.

One question invited the international partners to share what their focus has been in research:

  • Ecuador have been focussed on compassion and this year, student and teacher relationships
  • The US have been focused on happiness and how it shapes student achievement and motivation- happiness affects intrinsic but not extrinsic motivation and it affected student-teacher relationships greatly. This year, a programme of interventions on teacher’s professional satisfaction.
Advertisements