Exploring the impact of social relationships on teachers’ use of research: a regression analysis of 389 teachers in England

Christopher David Brown, Dell Zhang, Nan Xu, Stephen Corbett

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Abstract

Research-informed teaching practice refers to the use of research evidence by teachers in order to improve how they teach and, as a result, student learning outcomes. The use of research by teachers is considered both beneficial and desirable (a situation we describe as optimal rational). As such, research-informed teaching should be both encouraged and facilitated. At the same time we are still to discover the most effective ways of supporting and fostering teachers’ engagement with research. In light of the increasing focus on social influence as a driver of behaviour/behavioural change, with this paper we examine the extent to which social-influence affects teachers’ use of research (via the impact social influence has on the benefits, costs, and signification teachers associate with research-use). Furthermore we also examine the relative importance of social influence compared to other factors known to positively affect research use: 1) teachers’ perceptions as to whether they work in a trusting work environment; 2) perceptions as to whether school leaders’ encourage the use of research in their schools; and 3) teachers’ perceptions regarding whether they are encouraged to innovate. To investigate the impact of social influence on teachers’ research-use a regression model using survey and social network data from 389 teachers from 42 primary schools in England was constructed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Volume89
Early online date2 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 2 May 2018

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