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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Participatory action research: Implementing positive psychology in north-east primary schools

Hidson, Elizabeth and Duffy, Kate (2024) Participatory action research: Implementing positive psychology in north-east primary schools. In: BERA symposium: Showcasing collaborative research partnerships: Practitioner Researcher and Higher Education Professionals, 12 Jun 2024, Online. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The University of Sunderland and local schools already work in partnership to train and mentor new teachers. When a funded opportunity for a participatory action research project arose at the University, it made sense to reach out to teachers in existing partner schools and prioritise local insights into what works for children in this region. After all, Sharples et al (2019) remind us that no matter how great an idea is in principle, “what really matters is how it manifests itself in the day–to–day work of people in schools” (Sharples et al., 2019, p. 3). Following on from the pandemic, we know that cognitive, social and emotional resources must now find their place alongside more traditional learning (Wear and Bethune, 2021). Having identified this as a school priority, our practitioner researchers were interested in trialling an established positive psychology scheme of work providing 12 hours of learning for primary age pupils. As a group we were keen to tailor it to the needs of each school and embrace the potential to reflect on and learn from the experience. Our research group of two university staff, nine teachers and the external facilitator met for an initial day of joint training and planning. Using a structured process, each individual school then devised their personal research question, identified success criteria and designed their research cycles. What we would now like to share is a thematic collection of practitioner researchers’ perspectives on participatory action research as well as their individual implementation models.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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Depositing User: Elizabeth Hidson


Item ID: 17744
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Elizabeth Hidson: ORCID iD
ORCID for Kate Duffy: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2024 10:41
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 10:45


Author: Elizabeth Hidson ORCID iD
Author: Kate Duffy ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Education > Educational Research
Education > Higher Education

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