How Can Participatory Methods Centre Teachers Within Education Policy?

Part of the learning brief series

A guide for

  • Teachers
  • Policymakers
  • Researchers

Why this matters

Participatory approaches to evidence-building in education mean that those closest to the context have a voice and are provided with the space to share their wisdom to inform and improve the work that takes place. By using a range of participatory methods – like design-based implementation research, participatory ethnographic evaluation and iterative user testing – researchers and policymakers can better understand teachers’ daily realities, needs, and challenges. This allows for the development of more contextually relevant and effective interventions that address the issues teachers face on the ground.

Key insights to improve practice

  • Build multidisciplinary teams, bringing together policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to promote dialogue across stakeholders
  • Balance power dynamics and foster spaces where teachers can tell their stories
  • Use video to show policymakers teachers’ realities
  • Use mixed methods to provide findings which have breadth and depth of research
  • Test products and systems with teachers early and often to ensure contextual relevance

Areas for further exploration

  • How to balance power dynamics and the unintended consequences of participatory approaches?
  • What role do incentives play in participatory approaches?
  • What are the burdens of participation on teachers’ already busy schedules?
  • How can teachers be more systematically involved in research and policy processes?

Useful tools and resources

A curated list of resources from EdTech experts to help continue your exploration of this topic.

A Guide on How to Blend In-Person & Remote Learning for Professional Development of Educators

Tech-Supported Structured Pedagogy Course

Innovative Research Methodologies: Participatory Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PEER)

Introduction to Interactive Teaching and the Use of ICT

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How Can Participatory Methods Centre Teachers Within Education Policy
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Koomar, S. (2024). How Can Participatory Methods Centre Teachers Within Education Policy? [Learning Brief]. EdTech Hub.

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