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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 has sought 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.

Research Questions

  • 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?
  • How can research knowledge from one school in the Partnership be shared and accessible to another?
  • How can full time teachers be full partners in research?
  • How can the conduct and findings of practice-based research be both rigorous and at the same time 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 does useful practice-based knowledge combine with other sorts of professional knowledge?