Research with School Students: Four Innovative Methods Used to Explore Effective Teaching

  • Jessica Faye Heal Teach First and the University of Manchester
Keywords: innovative research methods, young people, education, interviews, draw and tell, child-led, child rights, primary, secondary, student voice


This article outlines four research methods we’ve employed to enhance how students from low-income backgrounds engage in research exploring effective teaching. It firstly outlines the need to be innovative, drawing Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and then moves on to explain two methods that scaffold a semi-structured interview, one child-led classroom tour and finally a creative ‘draw and tell’ approach. It argues that these methods are successful because they disrupt the researcher-participant power imbalance using the following techniques: Familiarity to the student, empowering the student to be an expert, and giving the student choice.


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School text book
Inequality in Education – Innovation in Methods