CULTURE OF INFORMED PRACTICE
RGS PeRL Research Academy promotes and facilitates investigative inquiry into school-based practices. This research helps us better understand pedagogical strategies that work in the classroom, and the conditions under which such success can occur. As a result, teachers can make more informed instructional and pedagogical decisions about their lessons. A culture of research and inquiry into teaching practices enhances teacher professionalism.
In order to foster a culture of informed practice in which teachers critically reflect, question and evaluate the effectiveness of pedagogical practices in teaching and learning, RGS PeRL Research Academy provides support for teachers embarking on practitioner inquiry and ensures ethical standards and quality in teachers’ research.
Practitioner inquiry or teacher research has been defined by Cochran-Smith and Lytle (1993) as “systematic intentional inquiry by teachers about their own school and classroom work”.
Teachers are encouraged to embark on Practitioner Inquiry so as to:
- Position teachers as generators of knowledge
- Provide a sense of ownership
- Develop high levels of professional expertise to improve students’ learning outcomes
VALUE PROPOSITION: INDIGENIZED RESEARCH
Underlying the endeavour of reflective practice is our conviction in the value of an indigenized paradigm towards educational research. While scientific information on how the human brain works may be universally applied in teaching and learning, the context in which one learns also influences ones’ actual learning experiences and attitudes. In particular, we seek to address the gap in the research literature on the pedagogy for highly able Asian girls. While Western models and principles of education have been well adapted to the schools, there is a need to review their effectiveness and implementation within the realities of our cultural context, and to extend or qualify our understanding of relevant pedagogies that work.
Our overarching aim is to enhance and enrich an Asian discourse in education. The diagram above illustrates RGS PeRL’s value proposition.
RESEARCH FINDINGS: DISSEMINATION
Deliberate effort is taken to ensure that research findings are used to inform practice. The findings
are disseminated in the following ways:
1 . Curriculum review sessions at RGS: RGS PeRL’s research informs the school’s annual curriculum review focus.
2 . RGS PeRL’s workshops: Our findings are shared with participants, providing a localised and practitioner-oriented paradigm to the training.
3 . Publications: Our in-house magazine, ‘Insights’, consists of teachers’ articles on their research-related work. Designed as a coffee-table book, it offers bite-size information on evidence-backed pedagogy. Our findings are also submitted to suitable external publications.
4 . Presentations: RGS PeRL’s research is shared at conferences, both internal and external.