Welcome to NATE’s Research page

NATE is delighted to have a new page dedicated to presenting, exploring and debating research within English teaching at all key stages. There is a very energetic buzz around the term ‘research’ in relation to schools at present. There is much talk of the importance of ‘evidence-based research’; events run by such organisations as ResearchED are increasingly popularly attended by teachers; and there are now 22 Research Schools in England, and a larger number of Teaching Schools, also meant to engage with and in research. Further, the Education Endowment Fund has a very strong emphasis on schools taking the lead on research projects and partnerships. It is therefore timely to consider the role of English teachers in relation to research activity. Is there now an expectation for teachers to be researchers? If so, would that be yet another addition to their work load? Or would it be a proper recognition of the increasing professional capacity of the profession? What is the role of NATE, the leading association for English teachers, in relation to undertaking research or disseminating research to its members? The site is in its early stages so we would be very pleased to hear your suggestions for what we should include.

Contact Andy Goodwyn, NATE Research Lead at  a.c.goodwyn@reading.ac.uk 

Recommended reading

Selected articles from English in Education 1970-2020

  1. Hodgson, J. &  Wilkin, S. (2014) English in Education: The first fifty years, English in Education, 48:3, 196-229
  2.  Britton, J. (1970) Their Language and Our Teaching. English in Education  4
    (2): 5– 13
  3.  Rosen, H. (1982) Language in the Education of the Working Class. English in
    Education  16 (2): 17– 25
  4. Snapper, G. (2009) Beyond English Literature A Level: The silence of the seminar?, English in Education, 43:3, 192-210
  5. Francis Gilbert (2012) ‘But sir, I lied’ – The value of autobiographical discourse in the classroom, English in Education, 46:3, 198-211
  6. Huw Bell (2016) Teacher knowledge and beliefs about grammar: A case study of an English primary school, English in Education, 50:2, 148-163
  7.  John Yandell & Monica Brady (2016) English and the politics of knowledge, English in Education, 50:1, 44-59
  8.  Andrew Mccallum (2016) Dangerous and uncontrollable: The politics of creativity in Secondary English, English in Education, 50:1, 72-84
  9. John Gordon (2018) Reading from nowhere: assessed literary response, Practical Criticism and situated cultural literacy, English in Education, 52:1, 20-35
  10. Myra Barrs (2019) Teaching bad writing, English in Education, 53:1, 18-31

Research Updates

The ‘decline’ of A level English

As announced in the October 2019 NATE News, the Post-16 and HE committee are producing a position paper on the decline in enrolment of students for A level English. We have taken account of evidence provided by NATE colleagues and our own experience as teachers and examiners. A meeting in Leicester in November was followed with an extensive online discussion and we shall publish shortly. The paper will give a clear analysis of the apparent reasons for the decline and propose action to be taken. This will require concerted action by the profession and the involvement of policymakers. John Hodgson, Post-16 Working Group Chair and English in Education editor.

The Pleasure and Pains of English teaching: an investigation into the quality of professional life.

The Professional lives of English Teachers Project

NATE seeks the views of experienced teachers about their current professional lives as English Teachers. We believe English remains one of the fundamentally important subjects for all students in all schools and that the voices of its teachers should be heard and taken seriously by policy makers, educational leaders and others. We are aiming to learn what has kept teachers enjoying their teaching of English when working in difficult times. We expect to hear about the many challenges of the job but also how colleagues have maintained their resilience and commitment. We are therefore asking for volunteers to take part in this project and to have your say about your professional career so far and your hopes and aspirations for the future. We appreciate how busy you are and how valuable your time is. The research team have all taught extensively in schools and currently work in the field of English in Education in a variety of roles; the research is being conducted in the UK, Australia and USA between March and July 2020. All interviews will be over the telephone or interactive media such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams and will be conducted at the most convenient time for you.

For further details, please email NATE’s Research Officer Andy Goodwyn on a.c.goodwyn@reading.ac.uk


Can you tell NATE about your role and how we can support you?

The Lead Practitioner is a relatively new role in England. The once well established Advanced Skills Teacher role was abolished in 2013; it had been the only career structure role linked to leading teaching and learning. The Chartered Teacher schemes, including the relatively new model created by The Chartered College of Teaching, are recognitions and not designations or direct career paths.
The LP role is emerging across the main curriculum subjects with varying names and responsibilities. The DfE gives it some recognition on its web site. It seems generally to be a role in MATs i.e. where the post holder can work across schools. The National Association for the Teaching of English is keen to understand what this new role entails for the post holders and the English teachers they work with, looking to support such important subject leaders. The Institute for Research in Education at The University of Bedfordshire is undertaking the research on NATE’s behalf.
So we are keen to talk to you and hear about your experiences.
All conversation will be over the telephone or interactive media such as Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams and will be conducted at the most convenient time for you.
If you are interested in these opportunities or have any questions then please email NATE’s Research Officer Andy Goodwyn on a.c.goodwyn@reading.ac.uk
Fuller details of the project can then be supplied to you.