teachersThe Teacher Beliefs Project is a large scale, ethically approved, educational research study which targets all currently employed primary and secondary General Teaching Council for Scotland Probationer and Fully Registered/qualified teachers across Scotland’s thirty two Local Authorities and the Independent Sector.  It has been developed over a fifteen month period and was initially piloted in the North East of Scotland in the Primary and Secondary school sectors.

The Teacher Beliefs Project is principally designed to explore the following research questions:

  1. To what extent (if at all) do Primary and Secondary teachers consider appropriate discussion with learners about Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual issues in a school content?
  2. To what extent (if at all) do Primary and Secondary school teachers’ beliefs about parental attitudes to Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual issues impact on teachers’ classroom practice.

In particular, the targeted beliefs concern parental attitudes to discussion with learners of: bullying due to sexual orientation; same-sex relationships; same-sex families (in which there are children and young people); and same-sexual relationships (within the context of Relationships, Sexual Health, and Parenthood Education).


The Teacher Beliefs Project is a mixed-methods research project which employs an online questionnaire and subsequent semi-structured focus group interviews.

A University of Aberdeen hosted online questionnaire was chosen due to the anonymity it provides.  Given the large scale nature of this project, open dialogue boxes have been minimised.  Instead, subsequent semi-structured focus group interviews will explore the data in more detail.


This project has been ethically scrutinised and approved by the University of Aberdeen’s College of Arts and Social Sciences and is in accordance with the British Educational Research Association (BERA) and Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) guidelines on educational research.

Where necessary, it has also undergone an additional Local Authority ethical approval process prior to distribution.  For more information on the ethical considerations, click here TBP Ethics.

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator for the Teacher Beliefs Project is Dr. David R. Smith, email - davidsmith@abdn.ac.uk, who is currently the Director of the Professional Graduate Diploma of Education (PGDE), University of Aberdeen’s School of Education.