Summary module description:
This module focuses on the role of the practitioner as a researcher into their own context and practice. It will explore the development of practitioner based research, particularly action research, and examine the strengths and weaknesses of this as a research approach. As part of this module students will need to identify an area of their own practice that they wish to research in an appropriate and rigorous manner and examine how it could be improved.

Aims:
The aims for this module will provide participating teachers (or groups of teachers):
• To become fully informed about approaches to practitioner based research, in particular action research;
• To be aware of the strengths and limitations of practitioner based research and debates about the validity of such research;
• To be able to carry out an ethically approved and rigorous piece of reflective research into their own practice;
• To identify ways in which their own practice and/or understandings have changed as a result of their enquiry;
• To be able to recognise the potential of working in such disciplined ways to further develop their understandings and practices and those of others.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
• Identify an appropriate issue/problem that lends itself to practitioner based research;
• Design and conduct an appropriate research project that is ethically sound;
• Identify appropriate and critically engage with reading and use of research evidence relevant to the topic
• Reflect critically on the issue investigated and rigorously evaluate the impact of any intervention

Additional outcomes:
Development of research capacity
Ability to communicate research findings
Awareness of limitations of small-scale research

Outline content:
The module will introduce students to area of practitioner based research and in particular action research. There will be a number of taught sessions which will examine the nature of action research, its strengths and criticisms. Students will be supported in developing an investigation into their own classroom practice, to ensure that what they do is reflective, rigorous research, which is ethically sound. As part of the module students will be assigned an appropriate supervisor to help design and carry out the research. Students will be expected to share their findings with members of the group.

Global context:
The module is focused on practitioner based research, particularly action research as a means of bringing about change. It is a research approach that can be utilised in a range of different contexts and as such has a universal appeal.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be a small number of taught sessions in which students are introduced to action research and its associated issues, are asked to consider their project, identify appropriate methodologies and refine their approach; an appropriate supervisor will be identified at this stage. The supervisor will negotiate the schedule of the project and whether it may be assessed at 20 (EDM004) or 40 (EDM005) credits. Group supervisions, where appropriate, will enable students to learn from the progress of other projects.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Tutorials 4
Guided independent study 181
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
There will be one assignment of 5,000 words consisting of a research report of the project undertaken. This will include a critical literature review related to the area under investigation, an explanation of the issue and the nature of the issue examined, an outline of an intervention carried out and an evaluation of the intervention.

Formative assessment methods:
There will be two sessions where formative feedback is provided. One will focus on initial ideas and the other will focus on progress of the research.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
n/a

Requirements for a pass:
Students must achieve 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission within one calendar month of the notification of failure

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

Things to do now