Student teachers, class teachers, school leaders and professional development leaders, research funders and NGOs, policy makers and civil servants all use MESHGuides in different ways – for personal development, for looking for ideas and expertise, for looking for research gaps. The Models of Translational Research which we have developed and tested show a range of ways that MESHGuides are created from these different user groups, different types of research and through collaboration and kept up to date.
How you use MESHGuides depends on your responsibilities, the challenges you face, the extent of your professional knowledge and the training you have had. Here are some examples:
STUDENT TEACHERS: You may wish to read Guides through from beginning to end as you start to build your professional knowledge, and then come back to dip into particular guides to extend your knowledge. You will be marking students’ work and every teacher is a teacher of English. As a beginning, look at how to feedback about errors in spelling via the five most common errors in spelling. Why not share this with students and use the professional language to describe patterns of errors eg ‘transposition’ and ‘omission’ etc. If you have dyslexic students then familiarising yourself with the dyslexia materials is a must.
CLASS TEACHERS: You may just wish to read the Guides relevant to you to keep up to date or to adapt the advice to your classroom practice. Alternatively, you may wish to be actively engaged in research and development. Perhaps you are part of a teacher-research network or are studying for a Masters qualification in which case why not look at the areas for further research section on existing Guides. We welcome digests of your findings. Currently we suggest you skim the list of Guides and read the ones relevant to you and the learners in your class. In time, with appropriate software development, you will be able to get alerts from this site when new material in areas of interest to you is published.
SCHOOL LEADERS/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEADERS: You may find it useful to take certain sections of Guides to shape professional development sessions. For example, one headteacher said he intended to use the guidance on identification of reluctant writers to prompt discussion and analysis in a staff session reviewing children’s progress. Another found the English as an additional language guide invaluable in helping staff understand how to support these learners.
RESEARCH FUNDERS/NGOs: Unfortunately,the funding of educational research relevant to classroom practice is random: with some areas massively funded and other areas with no funding at all. Often funding is focused on generic issues when in fact teaching has as a major focus, helping pupils grasp core or threshold concepts in a wide range of subject areas. The Guides are constructed to have a cell at the end suggesting areas for further research. If you are funding work in an area, this can be included in this cell so that others are more likely to fund new areas. If you require those in receipt of your funds to provide a MESHGuide research summary then other funders can build on what you have funded.
POLICY MAKERS/CIVIL SERVANTS: While your work is directed by elected politicians, we hope that the MESHGuides will enable you to identify what are research-based effective practices and, again, what the gaps are in research so as to make effective use of public funds. If you fund research relevant to classroom practice then requiring the publication of a MESHGuide along with traditional forms of publishing extends the reach and potential impact of your research.
For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.