Bridging the gap between academic research and classroom practice by @SLTeachMeet

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Teachers and senior teachers are doing it for themselves … and so are academics.

But are we bridging the gap together?

I’m yet to see the evidence and I’m sure it exists …

In this blogpost I offer the reader, ten educational leaders, teachers, inspectors and lecturers from a wide field of practice across England. Each presenter is fully engaged with their own action research. You can view and download their presentation on this page.



On Saturday 12th July, 300 educators, united by a common interest in how research and evidence can inform and enhance practice, gathered at the annual BELMAS Conference. For the past two years, @SLTeachMeet have been tasked with the challenge of bridging the ‘gap between academic research and classroom practice’, using  TeachMeets as a CPD model during the conference. Yet, what I have discovered, is that although @SLTeachMeet aims to bring best practice, I fear the gap is much wider between academic and classroom practice than I had first anticipated. However, do not fear. There is some consolation. My assumption is based on experience and evidence of hosting such an event. I do believe the gap (is/has) been bridged, but we have much to do!

In terms of planning the TeachMeet, a simple logistical tweak would ensure we could bridge the gap between academic research and classroom practice; but we must remain conscientious of three key points:

  1. It is vital we [teachers] do not exclude academics from wanting to be part of this collective goal.
  2. Curate any SLTeachMeet (or TeachMeet) alongside a conference, such as the BELMAS annual conference and ensure that academics attend and are not distracted or alienated by alternative CPD.
  3. Maintain clarity and make ‘research’ fit for purpose, knowing that much is lost in translation between academic journals and classroom day-to-day pedagogy. Let’s bridge the gap!


Click the title to view the research presentation, as well as engage with the Twitter handle to contact or follow the @SLTeachMeet presenter. It may be worth watching the video whilst reading the presentation …

  1. Developing research culture: spreading the bug by @HelenaMarsh81

Developing research culture: spreading the bug2. Management with colours; making progress visible by @listerkev

Management with colours

3. Trainee Teachers and Learning from Lesson Observations by @Runrober

Learning from Observations4. Teacher-led CPD by @jkfairclough

Teacher-led CPD5. Researchers and practitioners – stronger together by @LCLL_Director

Researchers and practitioners –  stronger together6. The Professional Doctorate – being an insider and an outsider (presentation spoken in person) by @jillberry102

You can watch Jill speak 1 hour and 3 minutes into the video.

7. The quick wins of research by @MaryMyatt

The Quick Wins of Research ‘high challenge low threat’

8. Some Ideas for Qualitative Research by Dr. @cazzwebbo and her blogpost is here.

A Few Ideas for Qualitative Research
9. Balancing teaching and parenting by @thosethatcan

Lessons in Serendipity

10. How research could change your (teaching) life: confessions of a research convert by @lucindapreston

How research could change your (teaching) life: confessions of a research convert

The BELMAS blog, written by journalist Susan Young is here.

Video footage:


@SLTeachMeet Aims:

@SLTeachMeet is non-political and provides a platform to expose innovation, using strong and reflective leadership by communicating this effectively through collaboration. @SLTeachMeet aspires to share good practice to improve best practice for the benefit of students and staff. @SLTeachMeet provides high-class, free and where possible regional, learning events for Senior Leadership Team-members (and those aspiring to join SLT), whatever their starting point. We intend to offer CPD that is relevant, engaging and free from political rhetoric; to support networks of change, of mutual-support and innovative working practices for the greater good of our schools. To make attending #SLTeachMeet a valid and beneficial form of recognised CPD, we want #SLTeachMeet to evolve continuously and adapt to meet the needs of all attendees and place the value of CPD into the teachers’ professionalism, creating an atmosphere where it is ‘okay to fail’, share and encourage reflective practice, giving time and space to innovate.

To date, @SLTeachMeet has taken place in:

  1. London – December 2012
  2. London – May 2013 – presenter blog by @ChrisHildrew here.
  3. Edinburgh – July 2013
  4. Cambridge – March 2014
  5. Stratford Upon Avon – July 2014

7 thoughts on “Bridging the gap between academic research and classroom practice by @SLTeachMeet

  1. Reblogged this on Carol's Learning Curve and commented:
    Good summary of some current and pertinent issues linking research with teaching, as well as reference to all presenters and their presentations from the @SLTeachmeet in Stratford Upon Avon last Saturday, 12th July 2014. Enjoy.

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