Teacher Research Projects: what’s available out there?

Students working on a computer[1090]

At this point of the year, lots of teachers will be breathing a massive sigh of relief having finished their classroom research projects;  others will be chewing their nails thinking about the one they’re about to start.

So it’s timely to think about where all this work gets published.

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An investigation into student needs in complementary Ismaili Muslim schooling in Toronto

Shezeleen Kanji was working in a complementary school in the Shia Imami Ismaili Religious Education (RE) system in Toronto, Canada when this study was conducted in 2010. In this system, denominational RE classes are run by professional teachers in Ismaili places of worship outside of mainstream school hours.  A new programme for the Religious Education of Ismaili Muslim secondary age pupils was in its inaugural phases at this time. Prior to the introduction of this new programme, no data had been collected around student emotional and social needs. Based on her observations in the RE spaces in the west sector of Toronto she noticed some students appeared to lack self-esteem, felt isolated among their peers, were victims of bullying, felt stressed about coming to the RE space, or had physical or learning disabilities that could not be addressed. At the time, there was no parent council or a platform for students to be able to voice their needs. In addition, the governance model of this system was also still evolving; there was felt to be a need for an institutional model with a focus on addressing the needs of the community’s young people. This study examined the organization and governance structures for the complementary school programme to see if they could be altered to best care for student needs specifically in the areas of academic, social, emotional, safety and security needs.

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Investigating Pedagogical Methods in Raising Levels of Attainment & Engagement in EAL Sixth Form Students

Laura Howard is a Social Science teacher in a secondary school in outer London, and carried out this research in 2013. This research focuses upon assessing and examining how different teaching methods can raise levels of engagement and motivation among year 12 students studying psychology, who have English as an additional language (EAL). A wide range of teaching methods were tried and tested, and evaluated for levels of both engagement and attainment, with reference to students’ responses using a range of research methods. The research also focuses upon the impact of using independent learning projects to allow students to become more critical and independent thinkers. Careful consideration and discussion upon constraints within the curriculum and exam focus within key stage 5 is also mentioned, as there are often many complexities when helping to students to develop a wider range of skills after taking compulsory examinations.

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