This involves working with colleges and schools that want to improve performance in teaching and learning and create a more innovative and collaborative culture. The Supported Experiments action research model, promoted by Geoff Petty, is one of the most dominant professional development models in the education sector. It is an effective way of engaging staff in improving their practice and sharing the results, so the outcome is a more positive culture of continuous development.
I have supported over thirty colleges and schools to build their project management and coaching capacity for Supported Experiments, often in collaboration with Geoff Petty. This process helps them to engage staff, plan effectively and keep up momentum during the action research cycle. Through this experience, the college/school builds capacity to implement other initiatives more effectively in future, as they acquire a range of skills and approaches to support the process.
Supported Experiments take place in five stages. Teachers:
- Identify key issues or areas to develop in their teaching, to meet learners’ needs
- Investigate evidence-based strategies and methods that have been shown to work in large scale research studies
- Plan an experiment to address the area of interest
- Share findings with colleagues, receive coaching and support from them
- Embed improved practices and disseminate findings both inside and outside the organization