Every year we present the Marie Butterworth Prize for Excellence in Practitioner Enquiry to a student who has completed one of our M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry programmes. Marie was a keen advocate of teacher research, an active participant in a number of ECLS research projects, a CfLaT research fellow and a local deputy head teacher. ECLS makes this award in her memory to celebrate her enthusiasm and achievements. We were pleased to present this award to Sara Wood this year, who recently completed her dissertation entitled ‘Fifty Shades of Independent Reading’. Sara’s enquiry focused on developing a curriculum based approach to encourage and enable greater participation and enjoyment in independent reading at Key Stage 3. Her research was undertaken while she worked at The Academy at Shotton Hall, a Teaching School with whom ECLS has had a long relationship supporting teachers to develop their practices through Master’s level professional enquiry. Sara recently discussed her approach and findings at a CfLaT research tea. During the research tea Sara’s supervisor Rachel Lofthouse commented on the significance of Sara’s core pedagogic values and how they had influenced and shaped her practice and enquiry, and Maria Mroz complimented Sara on the quality of her writing and encouraged her to consider writing about her enquiry for publication.
Sara is presented with her award by Rachel Lofthouse
We also welcomed Steve Jones, Marie’s husband, to share in the event. He acknowledged the award stating “Thank you too for all the work you put into choosing the award winner every year. It’s a very touching – and appropriate – gesture to help keep Marie’s memory alive and to, in a sense, allow her work to continue.” In relation to Sara’s work he added “It’s encouraging to know that there are still people out there who don’t see data-crunching as the be-all and end-all of education.” The last word should go to Sara herself who wrote, “I just want to thank you again for the wonderful recognition of this award and the opportunity to talk about my research. It really was an absolute pleasure – please pass on my thanks to all who attended. Their interest and thoughtful questions were particularly gratifying. It’s a delight to be able to share my research in such depth to such an esteemed group – it has let me re-engage with the successes and findings of this research as well as inspiring me to further this work.”
Sara is joined by Steve Jones at the CfLaT research tea