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Supervisor, collaborator or critical friend: the changing roles of university tutors in teacher research

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Recent calls in the United Kingdom for teachers to adopt evidence-based practices in their classrooms have spawned a number of initiatives whereby individual teachers have been able to bid for funds to research aspects of teaching and learning. These developments have reopened the long-standing debate about the role of higher education tutors in teacher research: the extent to which academic supervisors should take a proactive part in setting the framework within which such research is conducted and whether this is likely to threaten the sense of control felt by teachers of their own research. The analysis of the role of the supervisor presented in this article is based on findings emerging from a questionnaire and from interviews conducted with teacher researchers and their supervisors. The findings clearly have implications for the approach adopted by higher education to supporting teacher research and would suggest that, rather than providing grants and scholarships to individual teachers, funding bodies would be better advised to provide funding to support the work of research networks.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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