A scholarship fund will enable 800 teacher-researchers to carry out small scale studies into classroom practice from September.
They will investigate areas such as creativity and thinking skills, transition from primary to secondary, raising achievement at key stage 3 and working effectively with teaching assistants.
Teachers in nine pilot authorities will also receive up to pound;700 to spend on their professional development and training such as conferences, seminars or part of a masters degree.
Estelle Morris, the school standards minister, said: "Teachers will be supported during their research by a tutor, and we will make sure that best practice is shared across the profession."
Other priority areas for research are special educational needs and iclusion; teaching gifted and talented children; managing pupil behaviour and discipline; overcoming social barriers to achievement; closer working between home and school; information technology and its impact on learning; achievement of ethnic minority groups; and English as a second language.
Subject associations, unions, universities, research bodies and local authorities will co-ordinate proposals on behalf of groups of teacher-researchers.
Pilot professional development bursaries will be available in the nine LEAs from this autumn. Teachers will get pound;500 or pound;700 (if they are in a education action zone or an Excellence in Cities area).
The pilot areas are Southwark; Croydon; East Riding of Yorkshire; Northumberland; Rotherham; Sunderland; Leicester City; Wokingham and Herefordshire.
More details are available from www.dfee.gov.uk or Val Candy 0207 925 6598