British Educational Research Association

As part of the LSIS funded Research Development Fellowship I have a year’s BERA membership which dropped through the post this week.


Membership benefits include discount at the annual conference, over 30 special interest groups (SIG) free access to major educational research journals and the opportunity to be part of a vibrant, forward-looking community of educational researchers.

I was very excited when I first opened the pack and realised what it was (how often do we get exciting things through the post these days?) I rifled through the pack, which contained three short reports called INSIGHTS, a magazine, Research Intelligence, the strategy plan and a bunch of other welcome papers.


The INSIGHT publications were really interesting. Printed on good quality card with bite-size over view on the cover they were easily accessible.  The pamphlet on ‘The Secrets of Supplementary School Success was interested, and made me think of the community languages aspects of NATECLA.


The second was titled ‘The Achievement Gap: Are Parents or Politicians Responsible?’ This was interesting from my perspective as a parent. The key point that the strongest indicator of language and literacy at age seven are family income, mother’s education and reading habits. Even more surprising was that there was no significant link between parental support for learning and language and literacy at age seven, with ¾ of parents from all socio-economic groups routinely helping children with school work.


The focus of the Research Intelligence magazine is Ethics and Emotional Educational Research. As usual I started by flicking through and found an article on Ethics and Action Research. I recognised the articles central premise that there is limited space given to ethics in relation to Action Research beyond ensuring participant consent is obtained. The notion of ethics, both in the classroom and with links to Research and Scholarly Activity within my college, has been on the HE agenda but there is no standardised institutional ethical procedure.


I got quite excited by this, thinking that here was something that I could use directly to impact on my job. However, none of the other articles really push my buttons in the way that a subject specific journal would. It all just seems a little too far removed from my everyday job.


I really want to make full use of this opportunity of being a member of BERA, but first impressions are that I’m not too sure to what degree I’ll be able to fit accessing this fabulous resource into my already overcrowded work/CPD/life balance.



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