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Let teachers experiment without fear of failure, says sector leader

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FE teachers should be encouraged to experiment and innovate in the classroom without fear of failure, according to the chief executive of the Education and Training Foundation.

Speaking at the organisation's practitioner research conference in London earlier this week, David Russell said the foundation’s aspiration was “that evidence-based practice and innovation will be recognised as fundamental to the professional identity of those who work in the education and training sector”.

He added: "This means encouraging and supporting experimentation and investigation, and assisting practitioners to do this is a systematic way, and recognising that sometimes it will go wrong, not produce the expected results, etc."

The foundation’s support programme, he added, aimed to help those in the sector to link theory and practice “so that they can draw on existing research and educational theory in their research”.

The conference in London this week showcased research projects carried out through the foundation’s practitioner research programme on a range of issues, from the curriculum to assessment and technology.

Mr Russell said the conference also illustrated the “ethos of supporting collaborative and democratic research relationships between FE practitioners within and across their provider organisations, with the educational research community which is focused in HE, and also our partner organisations who share our objective of helping FE be research-rich, research-active and evidence-based”.

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