This book is a guide to research methods for practitioner research. Written in friendly and accessible language, it includes numerous practical examples based on the authors' own experiences in the field, to support readers.

The authors provide information and guidance on developing research skills such as gathering and analysing information and data, reporting findings and research design. They offer critical perspectives to help users reflect on research approaches and to scrutinise key issues in devising research questions.

This book is for undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers and practitioners in practitioner research development and leadership programmes.

The team of authors are all within the School of Education at the University of Glasgow and have significant experience of working with practitioner researchers in education.

Using Focus Groups
Using focus groups

This chapter introduces the use of focus groups in education research. We summarise its advantages and limitations and emphasise the gathering of information from young people, including researching sensitive topics. The chapter also includes the main stages of planning and conducting a focus group. We discuss what can influence the effectiveness of focus groups. The examples are from research conducted by the SCRE Centre and reflect practical issues researchers face when gathering information in educational settings.

What Are Focus Groups?

A focus group can be broadly defined as a small group of people with similar characteristics selected from a wider population (for example, parents, pupils within a year group, headteachers, non-teaching staff, and so on) that is convened to elicit, via moderated ...

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