Pictured left to right: Jan Delos Santos, Russell Grigg, Debbie Jones, Andy Townsend, Jeremy Miles MS, Professor Paul Boyle, Professor Elwen Evans KC, Elinor Banks.

Swansea University’s Department of Education and Childhood Studies has launched a new Centre for Research into Practice (CRIP) which will help educators enhance their teaching practices.

The Centre will serve as the primary channel for conducting and sharing the University's educational research and will be led by Dr Russell Grigg, Senior Lecturer on the PGCE Primary programme. 

The Centre has four main goals to achieve its vision:

  • Raise awareness of the Centre's news and activities.  
  • Develop high-quality resources to support educational research.  
  • Build educational research capacity.  
  • Strengthen partnerships for collaborative research and professional enquiry.  

As part of the first goal, the Centre aims to share its expertise across 10 core themes: the curriculum, pedagogy - including digital technologies, play through the lifetime, the early years, parents' engagement, wellbeing, animal assisted education, mentoring, leadership, and the history of education. 

One of the first projects that the Centre is planning is to produce a suite of language resources for primary schools in Welsh, English, Polish, modern foreign languages (MFL) and British Sign Language (BSL) in collaboration with the University of Warsaw. 

The Centre will work with a range of partners, including other universities, the Welsh Government, charities, schools within the Swansea University Schools' Partnership, local authorities, and consortia. CRIP aims to strengthen these partnerships and develop collaborative research networks, from working with young researchers to local and national government.  

Head of the Centre for Research into Practice, Dr Russell Grigg explains: “Educational research is hugely important. It can help educationalists understand how to improve and develop teaching, how children learn most effectively, and the impact of interventions. This is why CRIP also aims to build educational research capacity in the sector and develop high-quality resources to support its partner schools.” 

The launch of CRIP was combined with the annual PGCE research conference held at Swansea University’s Singleton Campus, where students from the PGCE Primary and Secondary programmes provided insights into their own research in their pursuit of becoming research-informed, reflective practitioners in schools across Wales.

Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, was at the launch: "It was a pleasure to be at the launch of Swansea University’s Centre for Research into Practice. By fostering a collaborative environment for research and innovation, it will provide invaluable resources and evidence-based insights that will enable our teachers to excel in shaping the minds of our future generations."

 Professor Andy Townsend, Head of Department of Education and Early Childhood Studies, is particularly delighted that CRIP has been established at a time of renewed interest in educational research and a drive for evidence-informed practice: “The launch of the Centre for Research into Practice happens to have coincided with my appointment as Head of Department as well as the implementation of the new and innovative Curriculum for Wales. I’m therefore delighted to be starting my journey at Swansea University alongside a new centre that we envisage as being key to supporting the Welsh Government's National Strategy for Educational Research and Enquiry. In carrying out research, the Department of Education and Childhood Studies is committed to the University's core values of professionalism, collaboration, and care. The Centre will offer exciting opportunities for our staff, partner schools and student teachers to work even more collaboratively to make a real difference to education in Wales and indeed more widely.” 

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