Conducting research within the classroom is very valuable to the development of teaching and learning. Anything from effective assessment to managing behaviour can be the focus of thorough research without disrupting class time.

Action research enables teachers to reflect on what they would like to change, explore what others are doing in that field and experiment with practice in a controlled fashion.

This practical training support participants to improving teaching and learning through classroom-based research. The five units guide participants through two action research cycles to improve outcomes.

Each unit lasts about 1 hour 30 minutes, with a recommended gap of 3 weeks between each to give participants time to carry out the research. Participants are expected to conduct action research cycles within their own classroom time and to share their findings at each stage.

Aims and outcomes

  • Offer a step-by-step guide for staff on how to successfully facilitate an effective action research project.
  • Guide staff through two action research cycles.
  • Encourage engagement in CPD: embed a culture of improvement underpinned by teacher-led evidence.
  • Share results: successfully share outcomes of action research projects with your whole school community.

Course content

  • Unit 1: Benefits of action research
    • Unit 2: Suitable topics of research
      • Unit 3: Planning and running your project
        • Unit 4: Evaluating your research
          • Unit 5: What's next?


            David Leat is the Executive Director of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT) at Newcastle University and Professor of Curriculum Innovation.  His 13 year geography school teaching career took him round the country, before...

            Dr Anna Reid is a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University, where she currently leads three core postgraduate modules in Education; Research in Practice, Critical Thinking about Research Methodology, and Practices of Enquiry.  Anna’s doctorate,...