Alongside individual staff projects, each year we organise a large project across the Upper School. These projects represent a smaller time commitment for staff and allow a greater number of colleagues to participate in the research programme. Collectively, we are able to gather valuable information from across subjects and year groups.
This year, we are piloting a technique called Lesson Study and we will be sharing our progress on the blog as the project progresses. Why not watch this video to learn more.
Lesson Study involves teams of three teachers working together to plan, deliver, and evaluate a lesson. Throughout the process they focus on one aspect of teaching and learning.
Each lesson study requires a time commitment of just three periods: one to plan the lesson, the lesson itself, and the subsequent discussion and evaluation.
The observations made during the lesson focus on the pupils’ learning rather than the teacher’s delivery. Often two pupils are picked beforehand to be observed throughout the lesson.
You need only be observed by colleagues you choose and there is no need to produce a formal report. The only commitment is to complete one cycle of three lessons before the end of term.
The joy of lesson study is its simplicity. You choose who to work with, what to study and how to share it. What’s more, you’ll be contributing to a project that benefits the whole school.
The Perse Research website is currently undergoing a revamp. Please bear with us as we update our pages and make the site even easier to use. We hope to complete this work in the coming weeks and it should allow us to share more of our research at The Perse. Thank you for your patience.
Earlier this year, a group of teaching staff decided to launch a research project together. The aim was to assess the impact of the new homework timetable that had been introduced at the start of the academic year. By administering questionnaires to pupils and staff, it was possible to gain an insight into effective homework strategies in the context of The Perse. A summary of the research is available here. Thanks to all the teachers involved.
Tuesday saw the fourth symposium of newly formed Research Leads Network. The event was hosted by the University of Cambridge’s School–University Partnership for Educational Research (SUPER) and focused on the question of creating and sustaining teacher enquiry networks and partnerships.
A highlight was hearing of Samuel Whitbread’s internal research publication Anthecology and the success of teacher-led research in that school. The Perse has its own extensive teacher-led research programme, which will culminate in the annual Research Twilight event in May.
The event also saw a date set for the inaugural meeting of the Research in Schools Learning Community. This aims to be an on going collaboration between research leads across the UK, organised by City of London School for Girls, Bedford School, Christ the King Sixth Form and Eton College. More details of this event can be found here.
For a number of years, The Perse have supported Isaac Physics and more recently Isaac Chemistry. These programs are designed to support students in years 11 to 13 in developing their knowledge of Chemistry and Physics, where subject-specialist teachers may not be available. They also serve as valuable extension tools for pupils considering studying physical sciences at University. As well as using both websites extensively, the Physics and Chemistry departments have tested resources and hosted workshops in recent years. At the moment, the Physics department is collaborating on a research project that hopes to evaluate the progress made by students who use the website. The results should be available later this year.
Monday evening saw the first staff training event of 2017! Teachers who joined The Perse in September 2016 began designing their research projects for the year ahead. Every new member of teaching staff at The Upper undertakes a small-scale classroom-based research project. These projects allow colleagues to bring new ideas or past experiences to the classroom and to share best practice within their departments. Successful projects frequently feature in the whole staff training event in the Summer term. Titles of the new projects will be announced next month.
Teachers at The Perse are engaged with the latest developments in their fields and some even publish their own research. Teacher of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dr Roxanna Lynch was recently published in Peeters’ Ethics of Care series. She explains her work in more detail below. More information on Dr Lynch’s research and her book can be found here.
“This book articulates and defends an original account of the concept of care. The definition of care that is put forward describes acts of care as those which successfully promote some or all of the conditions necessary for another’s flourishing, for that other’s own sake. Having put forward an account of care, the book moves on to explore other questions relating to the practice of care, focusing particularly on the issues of paternalism and partialism.
In formulating a definition of care, the book draws on work from various philosophical traditions including the Ethics of Care, neo-Aristotelianism and Practice Theory”.