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Open Access Fostering independent research skills and critical enquiry among school students: A case study of a school–university partnership to support the Extended Project Qualification

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This co-authored case study tells the story of a partnership project that aims to support students aged 16–18 to develop independent research skills. The University of Bristol, in collaboration with St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School, have developed the Extended Project Qualification Support Programme. During the support programme, students are offered supported visits to the university's libraries, and mentoring from university researchers to aid them in completing the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). Between 2013 and 2016, the programme supported over 650 students in 23 schools in the Bristol area. Outcomes of the EPQ Support Programme include that students reported gaining skills in research, independent learning and critical enquiry, as well as familiarity with the university environment. The case study also explores longer-term impacts in preparing students for university and changing their attitudes to research, including the perspective from university researchers. Finally, the paper reflects on the partnership work involved throughout the project.
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Keywords: CRITICAL ENQUIRY; EXTENDED PROJECT QUALIFICATION; INDEPENDENT LEARNING; PARTNERSHIP; RESEARCH SKILLS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2018

More about this publication?
  • Engagement with research goes further than participation in it. Engaged individuals and communities initiate research, advise, challenge or collaborate with researchers. Their involvement is always active and they have a crucial influence on the conduct of the research.

    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    The journal welcomes relevant articles. See the publication homepage for details, or contact [email protected]

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