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Encouraging HE teacher-practitioner research in a maths department

CETL-MSOR Conference 2016, Loughborough University (06/09/2016).

Since I joined the maths group at Sheffield Hallam University in September 2015, I have a role as HE Maths Education Research Lead, to encourage educational research activity in our group. The group includes some established researchers, some innovative teachers interested in developing a research approach and some new staff looking to get started. This, for me, is about practice-based research, i.e. teachers researching their own practice (perhaps aiming to develop 'teaching excellence'?). At my previous institution, I ran a similar activity to encourage educational research across STEM subjects. This has interesting challenges because people who are educated and engaged in educating others in a positivist approach can struggle with the uncertainties surrounding research into the messy realities of student learning (myself included!).
This workshop will have two aims: to share what has been done (so far, with varied success) to encourage a practice-based educational research culture in the department; and, as an opportunity for discussion with others interested in taking a similar approach in their institutions. I'm very interested to hear your thoughts on this activity, and perhaps we might find opportunities for collaboration.