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Carnegie research pathway for teachers


Carnegie research pathway for teachers 

With research becoming more central to school improvement, the Carnegie School of Education has designed a new research pathway for teachers, school leaders and teaching support staff. The pathway aims to develop practitioners who can research and evaluate practice within educational settings to find out what really works for students and help to improve teaching standards in their school. 

Key benefits include:

  • Staff development based on internationally recognised principals for effective professional learning.
  • Support with developing the focus and rigor of school improvement plans.
  • Enhancement of evidence-based teaching.
  • Consolidation of school research strands.
  • Enhanced university links with access to resources and support. 
 The pathway has three stages and teachers are able to join at any point depending on experience.

Stage one - Carnegie Teacher-Researcher Status

The first level gives recognition to the development of research and evidence-based teaching in the school.  Participants will be supported with developing evidence-based teaching and helped to conduct research in areas which require development within school. Each teacher completing the course will be awarded ‘Carnegie Teacher-Researcher Status’ while participating schools will be awarded the ‘Carnegie Teacher-Researcher Standard’ to evidence a commitment to embedding research within their organisation.

Sessions can be delivered for groups of up to 15 teachers, working on the same research project, and can be tailored to suit the needs of individual schools, alliances or trusts.  

Course session will address the following areas:

  • School needs analysis.
  • Models of evidence-based teaching.
  • Finding and using existing evidence.
  • Introduction to principles and practices of practitioner research.
  • Formulating research questions. 
  • Evaluating possible research methods.
  • Interpreting findings and the next steps.

These sessions can either be delivered separately in two hour blocks or several can be grouped into a half or full day. In addition four hours is allocated to on-going flexible support.

Teaching School Alliances/Multi-Academy Trusts also have the option to send participants from across their consortium.  

Duration: 12 months – typically a full evidence-based teaching research cycle will need a 12 month period to be meaningful.

Start date: Schools can start at any time during the school year.

Location: Delivered on-site.

Course fee: £1,500 for a group of up to 15 teachers

Stage two - Masters of research: Professional Practice (MRes)

This award supports and accredits research-informed, professional practice development. Teachers and school leaders who have demonstrated research-informed improvements will be supported with gathering a portfolio of evidence which will qualify for the MRes. The award is also open to those about to embark on a research-informed improvement project. Unlike a traditional masters course, which can take up to three years to complete, if studied part-time, the MRes can be completed within a year, with no requirement to attend timetabled sessions.  

You will be expected to build-up a portfolio of professional evidence, your final submission must also include 7,000 word critical and reflective commentary on your portfolio written to masters level, drawing on appropriate literature.

Depending on your experience and background there are two study routes available. 

Route one - Retrospective

Primarily for experienced professionals, you will critically analyse previous practice,

Example case study

Subject leader for construction in a large FE college. Having worked in industry for 20 years, they made the transition into teaching four years ago. The portfolio consists of evidence concerning teaching practice and subject leadership:

  • Job description for his current role.
  • Case study and evaluation of an e-learning project for bricklaying students that involved live streaming of practice from building sites and e-mentoring.
  • Collection of lesson observation reports highlighting his outstanding teaching practice.
  • Minutes of team meetings evidencing the development of teaching and learning in bricklaying.
  • Testimonials from a number of construction companies outlining the impact of their work with their apprentices.

Route two - Prospective

You will apply research to the planning and evaluation of a work project that you are about to begin.

Example case study

A Deputy Headteacher of a large primary school currently holds a BA in English and a PGCE. They have been tasked with taking the school from Ofsted ‘standards met’ to ‘good’.  As a senior leader, the portfolio consists of a range of evidence relating their whole-school role:

  • Job description for current role.
  • Work on the revised school strategy for teaching and learning which they authored together with the implementation plan.
  • Data showing an increase in assessment results since the introduction of the strategy.
  • Minutes of meetings with staff and planning.
  • Impact case studies of teaching and learning innovation arising from the strategy meetings.
  • A copy of the most recent Ofsted report. 

You will be assigned an academic advisor who will discuss the contents of your portfolio and scope out your critical and reflective commentary at your initial induction session. To support you with the production of your portfolio you will have access to the learning resources from our library, the Virtual Learning Environment and Skills for learning tools.

Duration: One year, part-time

Start date: February 2017

Location: Headingley Campus

Course fee: £2,060 (per student/per year) 

Stage three - Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)

This research degree has equivalent outcomes to a PhD, including its level of award and title. It provides continuing professional development for those working across the field of education in its broadest sense. Students will enhance their understanding of research and its application, engaging in critical discussions and reflections that involve in-depth consideration of the relationships between theory and practice. The first year consists of three taught units. The thesis component involves one substantive research study of 60,000 words or equivalent.

Support is provided through weekend sessions, meetings with supervisors, engagement with and contribution to our University's research culture, networking with peers and the dissemination of research findings at conferences.

The course provides the opportunity to progress professional learning and development through an extended period of research-based study with the intention of making original contributions to knowledge.

Taught units include:

  • Research methods: Research Approaches, Ethics & Analytical Considerations.
  • The Practitioner as Researcher.
  • Professional Learning & Dissemination.

Duration: 48 months part-time

Start date: September 2017

Location: Headingley Campus

Course fee: £2,060 (per student/per year)

For an initial discussion on how the Carnegie research pathway for teachers can support the development of teachers at your school please contact Professor Carey Philpott at or call 0113 812 3261.