It has been claimed that up to 90% of research that is published never gets read. Whilst this might be an over-exaggeration, there is no doubt that many professionals working in schools are unfamiliar with academic research. Journal clubs are the perfect way to start engaging with research and current ideas in education.
Not every member of staff will have read academic research – many degrees in subjects such as mathematics or computer science don’t require it, and support staff may not have higher level qualifications. Journal Clubs work to familiarise staff with the structure and language of research, and can facilitate evidence informed practice in schools.
A Journal Club will help staff keep up to date with emerging ideas in education and to develop skills of critical analysis – asking questions about why we work in the way we do and how this relates to teaching and learning.
The social aspect of Journal Clubs provides a less daunting route into engagement with academic research for all staff and can provide opportunities for networking and improving morale. The process of running a Journal Club lends itself to groups of any size, covering any subject.
Alguire, P. C. (1998). A Review of Journal Clubs in Postgraduate Medical Education. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 13(5), 347–353.
Deenadayalan, Y., Grimmer-Somers, K., Prior, M. and Kumar, S. (2008), How to run an effective journal club: a systematic review. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 14: 898–911
Denehy, J (2004) Starting a Journal Club. The Journal of School Nursing 20(4) 187 – 188
Golde, C. M (2007) Signature Pedagogies in Doctoral Education: Are They Adaptable for the Preparation of Education Researchers? Educational Researcher 36(6), 344 – 351