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History of ASPE

ASPE was launched at a conference in Leeds in 1988. One its founder members Professor Robin Alexander in his introduction to the papers from this first annual conference wrote:

“ASPE started as informal conversation in unlikely places. Its translation into something more formal began when those concerned decided to test the water by inviting a number of people to a seminar at Warwick University on 7th November 1987. The seminar was attended by about forty five people from different parts of the country and from various branches of primary education (teachers, advisers, teacher educators, researchers, HMIs etc)”

Those present considered and strongly endorsed, the case for establishing a national association to help advance the cause of primary education by promoting its study. Over the previous decade, primary education had gained a much higher profile than hitherto; it had attracted the attention of policy makers in central and local government, academic researchers and the press and public.

ASPE Aim and Objectives

The aim of ASPE is to:

Encourage and empower primary teachers to reflect on, and enhance, their classroom practice using robust research by themselves and others.

The objectives of ASPE are to:

  • Challenge teachers to engage with, and respond to, current international research in primary education
  • Promote research from around the UK and internationally to innovate in teaching in the primary classroom
  • commission research to encourage collaboration between primary schools and universities.
  • Bring together teachers and researchers together to plan, reflect, discuss and carry out research into primary education

Supporting Practitioner research

ASPE is seeking to encourage emergent research activity within the UK primary phase by offering schools, on their own or in collaboration with a university, the opportunity to bid for funding to support small-scale classroom and school-based enquiries.

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Frequently asked questions

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What is the core purpose of ASPE?

ASPE advances primary education through professional collaboration and action.

What does ASPE aim for?

ASPE aims to provide:

  • independent and informed commentary on major issues
  • productive professional collaboration
  • independent research and reflection
  • the enhancement of practice
  • dissemination of information

Who can join ASPE?

ASPE is available for:

  • Students / Trainees
  • NQT’s / Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Primary advisors and strategy consultants
  • University and college lecturers and researchers
  • independent education consultants
  • Primary education specialists working regionally, nationally and internationally

What do ASPE Members get if they join?

ASPE membership includes:

  • subscription to the ASPE international journal and Education 3-13
  • priority booking for ASPE conferences and events
  • opportunities to participate in national and regional ASPE activities and initiatives
  • copies of the ASPE’s ‘Researching in to Research’ journal and Education 3-13 including online access
  • support for teachers and others with local research to promote critical reflective practice within and beyond settings
  • opportunities to join study days and groups
  • partnerships with others in the production of well informed and reflective primary practice

Does ASPE have a set of agreed objectives?

The objectives are to advance the education of young children by promoting the development of primary education through:

  • promoting and fostering the development of informed and reflective study of primary education, including pre-school as well as the legally designated primary phase
  • bringing together and promoting collaboration within and between the various constituencies involved in primary education
  • holding such courses and conferences for those concerned with primary education
  • providing informed and independent information and commentary on policy issues
  • encouraging with a broad view of the forms and methods which those studying primary education might adopt, the practices and issues on which they might focus, and the institutional contexts in which study might be pursed
  • publishing materials suitable for promoting the above objectives.

Does ASPE have registered charity status?

Yes – ASPE is a registered charity with charity number 1091491.