The Institute for Research in School Education (IRSE) is a research department of the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic. Its goal is to promote research in school education in broader socio-cultural contexts. The Institute’s core areas of interest are in the educational conditions, environments, actors, aims, contents, processes and outcomes at primary and secondary school levels. The Institute’s aim is to undertake projects which investigate the areas of curriculum, teaching and learning, teacher education, etc.
The IRSE develops expert reports and evaluation studies for the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Education and its organisations. The research findings are publicly discussed as the Institute‘s ambition is to give voice to research community.
The mission of the institute (summarised in the motto better education through research) is to develop both in-depth knowledge of the educational reality in schools and elaboration of theoretical base for improving their practice. In order to reach these goals the members of the IRSE employ a wide range of research approaches: theoretical and empirical as well as interdisciplinary and comparative. Besides the quantitative and qualitative methodology the mixed-method design is employed.
The focus of the IRSE is put on the pedagogical methodology, especially the relation between the theory and practice, general didactics and subject didactics, mixed methods, video-based methodology, comparative methodology in the research of curriculum and the contrastive approaches in the research of teacher education.
The IRSE participates in providing the doctoral study in Educational sciences programme at the Faculty of Education by supervising doctoral students and prospective applicants. The Institute offers lectures, seminars and workshops on research methodology and subject didactics, as well as hosts visiting scholars from the Czech Republic and abroad. A special book series Educational Research in Theory and Practice (counting more than twenty publications) was introduced in order to present the findings in public.
- The head of the institute formulates IRSE's research programme in cooperation with the management of the Faculty of Education MU (bottom-up) and with the heads of research groups (top-down). The head also supervises activities of the research groups and publications.
- The heads of research groups are responsible for the strategy and planning in their thematic area (curriculum, teaching and learning, teacher education), prepare project proposals in compliance with the IRSE research programme. The heads of research groups are autonomous researchers, presenters of the projects and main authors of project outcomes.
- The members of research groups cooperate on carrying out the project tasks. They become co-authors of the project outcomes. The members of the research teams are staff members and doctoral students of the Faculty of Education MU, and guest experts.