By Dr Jo Neary
What does collaborative action research (CAR) in schools look like? On Thursday, 29 October, the NSEE team presented their CAR approach for schools to an audience of 30 interested school leaders from North and South Lanarkshire schools to explain how it can benefit their professional learning, and children and young people.
Included in the audience were staff members who were previously involved with our team, those who had their plans disrupted due to Covid-19, and those who were interested in finding out more.
Our presentation gave an overview of the NSEE approach, discussed CAR as a way for schools to interrogate their data, and gave an example of a previous CAR project that took place in Lanarkshire. The team answered questions and offered follow-up discussions with those interested teachers.
Audience members were also encouraged to return to their schools to discuss the possibility of this approach being developed with them.
For the past two and a half years, the NSEE team have been working with North and South Lanarkshire to develop CAR approaches to target issues identified by the schools. By working collaboratively, schools can design their own approaches to help close attainment gaps in education.
We have had great success in the past with developing enquiry projects that involve schools from both North and South Lanarkshire, ensuring that communities of practice cross local authority divides. This meeting was part of the third year of new CAR approaches within schools.
Dr Jo Neary is a research associate with the NSEE team based at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests include how social policy influences people’s experience of neighbourhood, education, and health; and the role of education in developing supportive systems for young people.
Follow her on Twitter @joanne_neary