Winners of BERA/SAGE Practitioner Research Awards 2009 Announced

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Guidelines for new lecturers in Teacher Education and A Virtual Learning Environment for Supporting Reading and Poetry (links below) are the winning entries in the 2009 BERA/SAGE Practitioner Research Awards, which were announced at the annual British Educational Research Association (BERA) conference in Manchester on 5th September 2009.


The awards recognise practitioners who have demonstrated excellence in the application of research in practice, both in a school setting and in a 16+ learning environment.


Winners of the 16+ category, Pete Boyd, Kim Harris and Jean Murray, developed and published guidelines for academic induction of new university lecturers in teacher education. In addition to independent research by the team members, more than 50 teacher educators took part in national seminars which contributed to the creation of the guidelines. The project was supported by funding from ESCalate, the Higher Education Academy subject centre for education.


"The project was stimulated by our personal experiences of becoming university based teacher educators and the need to support newly appointed colleagues through the transition from expert school teachers to academic," said Pete Boyd, Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching at University of Cumbria. "The guidelines publication has formed the core resources for the continuing and very well received ESCalate seminars for new lecturers in teacher education. We are very pleased to receive this recognition for our project, and would like to thank ESCalate for their support for the project and also to acknowledge the large number of colleagues across the teacher education sector who contributed to the development of the guidelines."


Winner of the schools, early years, social care and health settings category is Lindsey Thomas, whose action research project involved the creation of a virtual learning environment to share responses to poetry, and to develop creative writing.


Year 10 pupils from eight Buckinghamshire schools took part in the research project, where learners used a wiki to create a selection of poetry to which they could then add comments, responses and interpretations. Learners also participated in a workshop with former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, before using the wiki to construct their own poems. The final collection was published as an anthology circulated by the local authority.


"The aims of the project were to engage learners in reflective, critical and personal responses to their reading and writing," said Lindsey, School Improvement Consultant, Secondary English, for Buckinghamshire County Council. "Schools within the local authority are demonstrating more engagement with the possibilities offered by e-learning, following the basic model of the E-Anthology for Buckinghamshire". Lindsey completed the project as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Educational Practice at Oxford Brookes University.



"These awards seek to promote, encourage and reward excellence in practitioner research," said Marianne Lagrange, Education Publisher, SAGE. "All the entries were of a very high standard and choosing a winner was difficult. The winning teams should be proud of the quality of their projects, and the impact they have made to the practitioner research community."


Anne Campbell, chair of the award panel and member of BERA Executive Council, confirmed the strong field of submissions and thanked all applicants for their efforts. She also would like to thank the other three panel judges, Vivienne Baumfield, Marion Jones and Sue Davies, for their work in selecting the winners.



The BERA/SAGE Practitioner Research Awards were presented at the BERA practitioner day on 5th September, part of the BERA annual conference, 2-5 September, University of Manchester. Winners received prize money of £500, plus a selection of SAGE books.


This is the third consecutive year prizes have been awarded. Previous winners include 'I Can': demonstrating soft outcomes for homeless and vulnerable adult learners, Broadway (London) Homelessness and Support, Harriet Cookson and colleagues; and No Outsiders, University of Sunderland, Renee de Palma and colleagues.


SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore.


The British Educational Research Association (BERA) is committed to promoting high quality research and to its use in understanding and improving education. BERA, as the learned society in the field of educational research in the UK:

  • seeks to promote quality in educational research;
  • seeks to ensure that educational research is undertaken in concordance with the Association's EthicalGuidelines;
  • promotes independent debate about the quality, purpose and methodologies of educational research;
  • provides a forum for dissemination and debate of the findings of educational research;
  • supports the mediation of research findings for policy makers and practitioners;
  • represents educational researchers to government, funding bodies and the public;
  • provides training and development for educational researchers at all levels;
  • aims to work with employers and others to improve the conditions of work and rights of educational researchers; and relates to other associations nationally and internationally which have interests and concerns in educational research.


The SAGE press release dated 5th September 2009 is attached below.




BERA, BERA Conference, BERA awards

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