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History & Aims

History & Aims of SUPER

The 'School-University Partnership for Educational Research' (SUPER) was initially funded by the Wallenberg Research Centre for the Improvement of Education, based at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. It was created in 1998 by a group of local headteachers and Professors David Hargreaves and Donald McIntyre to address the national concern about the perceived lack of impact of the outcomes of educational research in the context of schools. SUPER still seeks to describe and document, analyse and interpret, conceptualise, understand and report on:

  • the evolving relationships between Partnership schools and between Partnership schools and the Faculty of Education;
  • emerging practice-based research issues;
  • practice based research processes, outcomes and effects.

SUPER Aims to:

  • concentrate, as a priority, on questions about understanding how a systemic research culture might be created within and across the Partnership;
  • compare issues that arise from within the Research Schools Partnership with those being reported from Partnership projects elsewhere;
  • use developing understandings of the processes and outcomes of the work undertaken within the Partnership to facilitate its constructive development;
  • disseminate the outcomes of the practice-based research work of the Partnership as widely as possible by appropriate means.

Our Key Research Questions

  • Within the Partnership, what kinds of research knowledge do schools and teachers value and find useful, in what ways and why?
  • How, within the Partnership, can the different rhythms and pacing of academic research, and those of a busy school life be productively combined?
  • What mechanisms can be found to make research knowledge from one school in the Partnership readily and attractively accessible to another?
  • How can full time teachers be, and feel themselves to be, full partners in the research processes?
  • How can the conduct and findings of practice-based research be both rigorous and at the same time couched in a form meaningful and accessible to practitioners?
  • How can research WITH teachers best be facilitated from within and without schools?
  • What claims and justifications are made for research within the Research Schools Partnership contributing to the enhanced learning of students?
  • How, within the Research Schools Partnership, does useful practice-based knowledge combine with other sorts of professional knowledge?