Blue skies and critical insights

December 4, 1998

Where is the recognition that in terms of school improvement, cognitive acceleration in science education, mathematical education, formative assessment, school action research, and gender awareness, British educational research is world class?

Where is it mentioned that in the 1996 RAE, education came sixth (of 69 subjects) in the number of researchers in top-rated departments. The RAE does not reward dross or gobbledegook.

The British Educational Research Association, working in association with government departments and agencies and the National Foundation for Educational Research, but particularly through its own special interest groups, is responding vigorously to the need to move forward. Next year we will launch our National Events Initiative, which will focus on a number of major research fields, combining discussion fora with the writing of substantial reviews aimed at policy-makers and teachers.

Educational research is not about tips for teachers on Monday mornings, nor automatic support for policies developed on Friday afternoons. In accord with the present government we work to raise standards, and we do this by offering critical insight into what is happening in education and engaging in a measure of "blue-skies" research.

Michael Bassey Executive secretary, British Educational Research Association

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