Action Research to Empower Professionals

Created on: 08 Apr 2020 | Last modified: 16 Feb 2023

At the EIS Professional Learning Conference 2020, attendees heard presentations from EIS Action Researchers on recent projects and findings as part of the EIS Action Research Grants scheme.

The session was introduced by Karen McArdle from the Collaborative Action Research Network, who outlined explained how Action Research positions education professionals as the expert and agent for change in both their own teaching and professional learning.

Audrey Brotherston, who was part of the EIS Action Research Grants programme 2018-19, presented with Alistair Kelly on her findings about the impact of Mindfulness Training on Levels of Well-Being and Self-Compassion for Secondary School Staff. Attendees heard how Audrey’s practical and collaborative research had measurable success in changing staff attitudes and behaviours, and helped identify long-term changes to school practice. 

Murdo Macdonald, also part of the EIS Action Research Grants programme 2018-19, presented his in-depth study of National 5 Geography and the attainment gap.

Focussing on the effect changes to assessment structure had on learning outcomes, Murdo articulated how his research challenges the belief that current practice represents a 'robust and credible assessment system', and how the assessment demonstrates poor assessment practices hit the most disadvantaged learners hardest.

Konstantina Papaspyropoulou, a current EIS Action Researcher, presented on her wide-ranging project exploring the impact of connecting outdoor learning to the learning for sustainability in primary school.

Konstantina explained to attendees how she is conducting research in partnership with colleagues and parents, examining attitudes towards outdoor experiences and encouraging families to use the local green spaces in the context of personal growth and Learning for Sustainability.

All the researchers articulated how being part of the EIS Action Research Grants programme had supported their professional development, and encouraged them to lead on a topic they found interesting and impactful.