Recently we interviewed Dr Lena Adamson, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Stockholm and former Director of the Swedish Institute for Educational Research.
We talked about the newly established Institute which was founded by the Swedish government in 2015 (http://www.skolfi.se/in-english/). Dr Adamson helped to shape its direction and as she is a great believer that teachers and researchers should work alongside, one of the main functions of the Institute is to fund school-based research. This is done with schools and researchers in universities collaborating and being in active dialogue. For a project to be funded by the Institute, it needs not only to show academic rigour but also ensure that both parties support each other.
In the first year of the call for research projects (which last 3 years!) they received more than 100 applications, when they could only fund fewer than 10; with applications being chosen by an external review panel. The positive news is that the schools which did not manage to get funding, still kept in touch with their research partners and were still trying to engage with their research questions.
The Institute promotes research which bridges the qualitative/ quantitative divide, and ensures research criteria are followed throughout the process.
The Swedish example is a positive addition to the ongoing dialogue existing in the UK on the collaboration of HE and schools and how research needs to be put at the forefront of what informs teaching and learning.