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1 Nuffield Foundation: funding science education Angela Hall Director, Science and Mathematics Education

2 Nuffield’s role in funding of science education Brief discussion of educational design research

3 Internal development plus funding of external research Changes at Nuffield Externally funded research and development

4 Research and development projects Relating to policy and practice Less interested in contributions to knowledge (pure theoretical research) Detail of dissemination crucial. Project funding

5 Rigour is crucial Eclectic approach to methodology Substance of the study and its potential for strategic impact and innovation in practice are important Features of projects

6 Particular interest in joint proposals Combine expertise and methodologies from different disciplines Collaborations

7 Outline stage (3 sides of A4) Short-listing is competitive ( around 2/10 short- listed; 30% put to Trustees are funded) Peer review of short-listed applications Process

8 Some commissioning and tendering for specific pieces of work Stimulating / facilitating discussion, hopefully leading to applications Tendering and commissioning

9 Themes of particular interest

10 How children acquire the foundations of scientific understanding in the early years and through primary school. The implications of this for curriculum, resources, pedagogy and assessment. How specific curricula, resources, pedagogies, and approaches to assessment influence students’ understanding of science through the secondary school phase.

11 Issues of transition relating to secondary science education, in particular the relationship with primary education; subject and qualification choices and pathways; factors affecting participation in science education at different ages and stages including transition into higher education and other post- compulsory routes.

12 The promotion of, and support for, quantitative skills and statistical literacy in young scientists. The gender dimensions of all of the above.

13 (This does not indicate a bias) Educational design research

14 To what extent could studies using investigator- designed educational interventions be improved if investigators could rely on accessible and useful principles of design? What knowledge from researchers is useful for designers? The case for educational design

15 Skilled practitioners (educational researchers) Additions to the corpus of scholarly knowledge – the products of research Additions to the corpus of scholarly craft knowledge, the means by which research is produced Products of research and research apprenticeships

16 Skilled practitioners (educational designers and developers) Additions to the corpus of well-developed materials – the products of design and development Products of design and development community

17 Little scholarship on the process of educational design – implications for capacity Form of design experiments pays some attention to synergies between research and design But - solid theoretical grounding and design knowledge and skills rarely found in single individuals What is the problem?

18 Educational design experiments underpinned by theory but focusing on principles of design. This may require collaborations between departments or institutions leading to more principled design accumulation of design craft knowledge leading to more effective resources more professionally produced research interventions aiding dissemination of effective practice. Area for development?

19 Range of methods and methodology are implied Need to balance the requirement for rigour with the need for data which informs future practice Need to e.g. understand the social situations leading to desired outcomes; illuminate common features of effective learning interventions; discover how generalised principles are enacted in different contexts Implication for methods

20 Educational research: intervention studies use a resource as a tool for theorising about how students learn through a particular approach Educational design research: pragmatic aim leading to a refined product Developing theory-based guidelines for design involves synthesising and applying educational research Summary

21 Science education call: end of July 2012 No particular methodology favoured – this depends on the aims of the study and the quality of the proposal is most important Open to more exploratory early stages such as seminars on themes relating to the call Nuffield grants

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