How to improve research skills in schools
In a blog post on teaching website Teach Secondary, University of East Anglia Professor of Science Communication Kay Yeoman discusses the importance of teaching young people how to conduct research.
Professor Yeoman says: “Teaching young people about research is vital if we want to encourage them to evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions.”
Yet a little research of her own revealed that there has been very little research into how well school pupils understand the subject of research!
She discusses the results of a survey of Key Stage 3,4 and 5 pupils at seven schools in Norfolk and five in Cambridgeshire, which showed:
- 70% strongly agreed/agreed with the statement ‘Research is a worthwhile activity’
- 77 %, felt that ‘knowing how to do research will help my future career’ and a considerable majority
- 82%, were confident that they could do research.
- 84% strongly agreed/agreed they did research at school.
She said: “It was encouraging to see that our pupil respondents clearly value research.”
The research also revealed some misunderstandings among pupils.
Professor Yeoman’s article talks about the discussion points raised by the survey, and proposes five ways to develop learners’ research skills.
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