CamSTAR – Cambridge, School Teachers and Research, is a group of schools who work together to support school-based teacher research. The philosophy that underpins CamSTAR is straightforward – teacher knowledge is at the heart of effective teaching and learning, and the professional right of teachers to engage with, generate and disseminate such knowledge is paramount for any continuing professional development teacher wish to undertake. It has grown from a small group of English teachers who decided to undertake some research into their own practice some eleven years ago to a network where over 100 teachers are researching at any one time, some on individual projects, some in departments, and more recently between schools.
How Does CamSTAR work?
CamSTAR schools identify a research co-ordinator who works with Sue Brindley to organise and support research within the school. CamSTAR supports teachers who want simply to explore their practice in a small scale way, or who wish to undertake a CPD programme, or indeed, who wish to progress on to a Masters (we have several teachers this year who are taking the blended learning Researching Practice MEd). Research can be accredited against published criteria, and many of our teachers opt for that route.
What kind of research do teachers undertake with CamSTAR?
There’s almost no limit! Some teachers decide to undertake very focused classroom based research; others have opted for highly creative projects which have involved the whole school.
How is CamSTAR research disseminated?
CamSTAR hold two dissemination conferences a year, hosted by CamSTAR schools, and we welcome teachers interested in research at those conferences. Completed CamSTAR certificated projects can be accessed via this Moodle.
CamSTAR has also presented at a number of national conferences, and some of us also made it to international conferences in Vienna, Melbourne Australia, and Barcelona. So the perks are quite good…!