Working with users: Some implications for educational research

Anne Edwards, Judy Sebba, Mark Rickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


In its emphasis in working with users of research throughout the processes of pedagogic research, the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) has reflected a current interest across disciplines in user engagement to enhance research. The scale of the TLRP and the range of research genres encompassed by it have meant that it has provided a useful site for considering in some detail what is meant by enhancing pedagogic research in this way. The authors draw on a TLRP-funded seminar series which examined a variety of forms of user engagement, their purposes and their implications. The series attempted to understand the intertwined features of new education spaces where research and policy can meet; the negotiations with policy communities that occur there; and the implications for these negotiations and for research design in the production of pedagogic knowledge in partnership with practitioners. The lessons revealed included the following: user engagement strengthens the warrants of research with potential users in both practice and policy communities; it needs to be understood and sustained as an aspect of project management; and research mediation is a developing form of expertise. The authors conclude that TLRP has provided an unrivalled opportunity for the public to `speak back to science? in pedagogic research, and enabled an emerging reciprocity where the public understand(s) how science works but equally science understands how its publics work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647 - 661
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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