The Collaborative Action Research Platform – Bursary Scheme

The Collaborative Action Research Platform (CARP) is a new project in development at ESRI. It represents a new and networked approach to practitioner inquiry by bringing together practitioners and academics to focus on improving, researching and communicating effective practice through practitioner research.

In recent years there have been considerable changes in the importance and location of research focusing on improving practice.  Schools, for example, face the need to develop research capacity and CPD programmes, challenging schools to work in new ways with a larger number of practitioners.  Furthermore, schools have to conduct a range of assessments based on evidence to, for example, determine the impact of the Pupil Premium or use of phonics.  Similarly, early years practitioners are required to assess school readiness.  Then there are the perennial pressures to improve practice in order to boost levels and exam results.

At the moment there is an emphasis in policy for evidence-based practice and large Randomised Control Trials in particular.  This form of research has its merits but it has limited contributions to make to individual teachers making decisions in complex contexts.  At its worst this can lead to a situation where one-sized fits all practice can be de-contextualised and handed down to practitioners to implement.

CARP engages with a long tradition of teacher, practitioner and action research but brings these forms of enquiry up-to-date by joining-up the many and various practitioner enquiries using an online platform.  CARP is a website and social network that enables practitioners to:

  • Create a user profile
  • Start and describe a project
  • Update the project categorising the activity with action research terms
  • Attach documents and resources
  • Share this project openly or with a delimited group of people
  • Receive ideas or advice from other practitioners or academics

A key part of CARP will be the characteristics of the community:

  • The CARP community will be defined by the ethos and commitment of its members to an open, honest and reflective engagement with practice
  • The CARP community will include practitioners from different sectors, education and children’s services, and between practitioners and academics

CARP is based on the belief that there is great practice out there and that the way for a practitioner to get better at what he or she does is to reflect, try things out, and talk to colleagues within the an organisation or across the network about what has been tried in what circumstances and what did and did not work.

You can visit the site by clicking on the image below,

Screen shot 2013-09-27 at 17.09.52

 The Collaborative Action Research Platform Bursary

ESRI and MMU are offering 15 bursaries at £400 to committed individuals or research groups in schools or other settings that work with children and young people.  The bursary holders will be the first cohort of members of the Collaborative Action Research Platform (CARP), and will be instrumental in developing the community standards for research and practice.

The bursary will provide £400 to each project, which can be an individual or group working on a distinct project.  The money is intended to funds to be used at the discretion of the project individual or team, to pay for expenses or as a contribution to the school or organisation.  The bursary is conditional on the project individual or team meeting the following requirements:

  • Join CARP
  • Read and engage with the tutorials on how to use the site and conduct action/ practitioner research projects.
  • Complete an action/ practitioner research project using CARP to record and organise the research.
  • Engage in the community by reviewing other research projects on the platform and commenting on them to provide ideas, advice or encouragement.
  • Participate in an evaluation process to identify ways to improve CARP.

The bursaries are available immediately on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis. Please email J.Duggan [@] to discuss this opportunity or to apply for a bursary.

James Duggan

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