Research interests

Pete has been an active action researcher since the mid 1980s and a member of the Classroom (now Collaborative) Action Research Network for over 20 years. He was a leader of the Essex Primary School Improvement and Research Programme with Cambridge University a member of the IoE EPPI-Centre’s (Evidence for Policy and Practice Information Centre’s) Assessment and Learning Research Synthesis Group (see below).

He used collaborative action learning approaches to develop and research Lesson Study in the UK initially through his TLRP/NCSL/CfBT pilot project and in 1998 completed a project exploring teachers emotional responses to pupil data and the affordances and barriers these create to improving pupil learning.

His doctoral studies focused on how teachers learn in contexts of lesson study. This was the first time teacher learning had been studied through discourse analysis of the talk of collaborating teacher groups.

Research projects

Lesson Study MLD Project, University of Exeter (2010 – 12)
This project examined what Lesson Study can contribute to the way that teachers in mainstream and special schools can better support the learning of pupils with moderate learning difficulties. The study has published outcomes through journal articles and publications and resources generated through the TDA. (DfE). The project recently presented findings in Singapore.

Lessons for learning: what and how teachers learn in contexts of Lesson Study, University of Cambridge (2003-11)
This project explored how teachers in Lesson Study groups collaborate, learn through talk and as a result are able to tap into normally hidden reserves of tacit knowledge in order better to understand their pupils, their teaching and thus better to plan for their pupils learning and teaching. The project established the use of ‘case pupils’ and learning through collaboratively imagined and rehearsed lessons as well as joint observation and analysis as key to developing and making transformational changes to teachers practices.

Learning How to Learn in Classrooms, Schools and Networks, University of Cambridge (2001-5)
This project involved collaboration between four universities, five Local Authorities and 40 schools. Over a four year period, the focus of investigation was on the conditions that enable scaling up of assessment for learning (AfL) as a strategy for promoting and embedding learning how to learn across teachers and schools in the UK. Pete worked as a Research Training Fellow developing the use of Lesson Study in a number of these networks as a mechanism for facilitating the transfer of practice including AfL practice.

EPPI-Centre (Evidence for Policy and Practice Information Centre) Assessment and Learning Research Synthesis Group, London Institute of Education (2001-5)

Pete was an advisory and contributory member of this group which oversaw the development of three meta-analyses of the impact of assessment approaches on pupil learning (Harlen and Deakin-Crick 2002, 2003, 2005). 

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