Supporting the development of teacher research: an exploration of Hutcheson’s Centre for Research

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Countries across the world have been modernising their systems of teacher education in response to shifting local and global contexts, and Scotland is no exception. Two themes that are common across these reforms are the promotion of teachers as ‘researchers’ and ‘agents of change’ (OECD, 2011; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005). Recent policy discourse in Scottish education draws on both; positioning teacher research as a professional learning tool for improving teacher quality (e.g. Donaldson, 2011) while highlighting the need for ‘change agents’ who are active in shaping the direction of educational reform (Priestley, 2011).This paper draws on research carried out within a school-based research centre (Hutchesons’ Centre for Research), which supports teachers to conduct independent research. It will answer the following:1)To what extent do teachers see themselves as ‘researchers’? 2)Are there any barriers to teacher engagement with research and the development of a ‘research identity’?3)What is the relationship between teacher research and teacher agency?In order to understand teacher agency in this context, we draw on Priestley, Biesta and Robinson’s (2015) ecological approach. An online questionnaire will be circulated to teachers to gather base-line information and additional data will be collected through interviews and focus groups with teachers.We understand that the development of a school-based research centre is somewhat unique; however, given its relation to the wider educational reform agenda, we anticipate that our findings will hold relevance for policy-makers and the teaching profession more widely. This research is ongoing, but our data will provide insight into the barriers around teacher engagement with research and the development of a ‘researcher identity’.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016
EventScottish Education Research Association Annual Conference 2016 - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Nov 201625 Nov 2016


ConferenceScottish Education Research Association Annual Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleSERA
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • teacher education
  • Scotland
  • teacher research

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