Research projects

Ian Abrahams:- ‘Research-2-practice: Research informed science lesson plans for busy teachers’ ((The Wellcome Trust, £270,000.00). Led by Ian Abrahams, this project works with primary and secondary PGCE trainees and their school mentors to provide the research informed support and guidance that they need to teach science in an evidence-informed way within their teacher training year. Having asked teachers and trainee teachers to identify specific issues / questions that they have when teaching science, the project sources, synthesises, and condenses academic science educational articles on their behalf to provide a short summary of what the research suggests is the most effective pedagogical approaches to use in order to address the issues / questions they identified. The project will, in addition, by providing school mentors with research-informed lesson plans, help to ensure that they support their trainees to become evidence-informed science teachers through collaboration and reflection on their classroom practice.

Adam Ockelford:- 'Sound touch: Researching and developing pedagogical strategies and resources for music teachers working with visually impaired pupils' (The Amber Trust, £71,000.00, 2019–2020). Led by Ockelford, this project met a need identified by The Amber Trust (which supports blind and partially sighted children across the UK in their pursuit of music) for a suite of pedagogical strategies and resources for music teachers to use in working with visually impaired pupils and students. Severe visual impairment is a rare disability (there are around 25,000 children in the UK who are blind or partially sighted), and so the chances of teachers encountering a child with serious sight problems is small. Hence standard training courses for music teachers do not cover the issues pertaining to blindness and partial sight. 'Sound Touch' addresses this need. The project team gathered evidence and exemplars of good practice from music teachers experienced in working with visually impaired children from across the UK and captured these in online videos and condensed them in written strategies. The results were used to create a new website, Sound Touch, launched in partnership with the Incorporated Society of Musicians in 2020.