Improving Teaching Not Simply Measuring It | headstmary's Blog. EEF_DIY_Evaluation_Guide_2013. Developing_Knowledge_Mobilisation_to_Challenge_Educational_Disadvantage_(2012) Building the capacity to use research in education requires a sustained strategic and systemic effort. The English education context offers positive elements and challenges for evidence-informed policy and practice. The issues are well understood but Carol Campbell and Ben Levin argue there is a lack of a strategic approach to improving knowledge mobilisation in the sector.
Renewed attention is needed to build such capacities if schools are to benefit from the findings of high quality research. Everyone in education, most importantly pupils, will benefit if schools make better use of high quality research evidence on effective policies and practices. While apparently a self-evident statement, we have learned from research on this topic that specific efforts are required if research is to make its full contribution to policy and practice. Recently, we wrote a paper on Developing Knowledge Mobilisation to Challenge Educational Disadvantage to Inform Effective Practices in England [pdf] for the Education Endowment Foundation as part of current debates on research use. So what to do? What can science tell us about how pupils learn best? | researchED 2013. “The mind is at last yielding its secrets to persistent scientific investigation. We have learned more in the last 25 years about how the mind works than we did in the preceding 2500”.
Daniel Willingham, 2009. The more we learn about the brain, the more we learn how much knowledge and memory matters. Last post, thanks to Ben Goldacre, Tom Bennett and Andrew Old, I explored the difficulty of distinguishing between scientific research and neuro-myths. This post, I want to set out how scientific enquiry and research evidence is discovering how the mind learns, and might guide us towards ‘working out what works best’- theResearchED tagline. Is Cognitive Science good or bad science? Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field of academic researchers from psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, philosophy, computer science, and anthropology who seek to understand the mind and apply the findings to education. Litmus Test One: Just how robust is the research? 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3. Research Base:
Reaping the benefits of school-based research. Most teachers will conduct a bit of personal, class-based research at some point. It will rarely be formally recognised, you will hardly ever get allocated time to complete it and it will almost never reach the light of day and be published. According to Raphael Wilkins' book Research Engagement for School Development, this lack of investment in class-based research is a huge oversight.
He claims that the best "research-informed practice" is bottom-up, not top-down. So, rather than government throwing down edicts, teachers and schools should be throwing them upwards. The evidence suggests that Wilkins has a point. Certainly, there is a lot of school-based research that has revolutionised the way we teach. Then there is John Hattie's Visible Learning, a meta-analysis of more than 800 studies over 15 years, which found that what works well for students from a learning perspective is similar to what works best for teachers. Increased attainment Embracing the benefits of in-school research. About_learning. Raising achievement through teacher research: a collection of teachers’ research projects from ‘Best Practice Research Scholarships’ | Mike Lambert.
Editors Mike Lambert is principal lecturer in primary initial teacher training at the School of Education,University of Wolverhampton.Dr Anne Hollinshead is senior lecturer at the School of Education, University ofWolverhampt on, and was module leader for the BPRS ‘Negotiated Study’ module which provided the framework for these teacher-research projects. Acknowledgements Our special thanks to the contributors to this publication, and to the teachers, parents, pupilsand others who participated so readily in the research projects.Thank you also to Pat Thatcher, University of Wolverhampton, for substantial help inpreparation of this publication. Mentors Mentors for the BPRS projects in this publication were staff from the School of Education,University of Wolverhampton: Richard Clarke; Bob Davies; Alex Kendall; Mike Lambert; ChrisRandall; Elaine Townsend.Cover photo: National Primary Trust School of EducationUniversity of WolverhamptonGorway RoadWalsall WS1 3BDWest MidlandsUK.
CamSTAR: Research as CPD: CPD as Research. One of the key things that first attracted me to KEGS was the concept of the ‘research-engaged learning community’. Although it has been articulated and organised in different ways over the years, we have always held the view that teachers should be both engaged with research and engaged in research as part of the CPD (continuing professional development) process. Teaching and learning is complex and, as professional learners, we need to participate in the process of finding out what works. Among our CPD processes at KEGS we have a number of avenues for engaging in research. Every member of staff is involved in a Teaching and Learning Workshop.
The results of our work last year have been recorded in my post about the ‘market place CPD‘ finale and in the lastest issue of our publication Learning Lessons: The KEGS Research Publication This involves staff meeting at various points in the year in self-selected groupings to pursue an area of mutual interest. The CamSTAR Website Like this: The many challenges of evidence-based teachingTeacher Development Trust | Teacher Development Trust. This is one of the articles in our National Teacher Enquiry Network December end of term newsletter (sign up here). Not a day goes by without an educational commentator lamenting the lack of evidence-based thinking, policy or practice in our school system.
If only everyone made evidence-based decisions, the thinking goes, then we would could reach some sort of optimal consensus and tread merrily along the road to educational utopia. Teachers have been subjected to all sorts of ‘research-based’ advice, from Assessment for Learning to the use of teaching assistants, from ways to ask questions to whether to set by ability. The initial hope that this will lead to a revolution in effectiveness has been endlessly disappointing. The reason is that every teacher, every pupil and every classroom is different from every other, and also that the methods of transmitting research have fundamentally underestimated the daunting barriers that exist when trying to persuade people to take on new ideas. Teachers! What would evidence based practice look like?
I was asked by Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) and the Department for Education to look at how to improve the use of evidence in schools. I think there are huge, positive opportunities for teachers here, that go way beyond just doing a few more trials: there is a need for a coherent “information architecture” that supports evidence based practice. I was asked to write something that explains what this would look like, specifically for teachers. Pasted below is the briefing note from DfE press office, and then the text of what I wrote for them, which came out this week. You can also download a PDF from the DfE website here. If you’re interested, there’s more on evidence based policy in this BBC Radio 4 documentary I did here, and in this Cabinet Office paper on trials in government that I co-authored here, as well as zillions more posts.
Hope you like it! And here’s the paper… I think there is a huge prize waiting to be claimed by teachers. This is not an unusual idea. Tom Bennett's School Report: researchED 2013 Is GO. If you build it, they will come. So I’m running a conference this September.... Beginnings are often noisy: babies delivered in an eruption of clamour and viscera; shuttle launches where a dot of metal balances on a skyscraper of exploding fire and prayers. This firework went off so quickly I didn't even hear it until my house was on fire. Last week: I'm invited to the Teach First launch of Ben Goldacres's 'Building evidence into education' at Bethnal Green Academy.
As usual he's fired up and switched on about Bad Science; eloquent, spiky and charging into education. Tuesday evening: I'm watching...well, I'm watching GI Joe, and marking essays. One hour later. Next morning, it was all still there. So: keynote speakers, of course- people need to talk. Wednesday and Thursday night were a bit like Tuesday- momentum hadn't stopped, so neither could I. As I go along, I know I'm going to need more and more help. I opened a Twitter account (@researchED2013) 18 hours ago; as I write it has over 300 followers. How can we tell snake oil from science?
The Doctor & The Leech Long ago a travelling physician diagnosed fevers as due to an over-supply of blood, and prescribed leeches as a cure to reduce the excess. ‘Blood-letting’, he said, ‘clears the mind, strengthens the memory, dispels torpor, reduces anxiety and lengthens life.’ He treated many poorly people in this way as he travelled from town to town. Whenever the patients recovered he would boast about the great remedy of the leech. ‘Cryptic, remote, irrelevant and unusable’, writes Tom Bennett on the Times Educational Supplement website: ‘why is so much research in education purest snake oil?’ In March, Ben Goldacre published a treatise on building evidence into education, a long-term aim I share. The reaction from the educational blogosphere was cautious.
One of the books I read on teaching before I trained was Neil Postman’s Teaching as a Subversive Activity. Education is peculiarly susceptible to the equivalent of bloodletting leech doctors. Alea iactis est. Like this: Tom bennet on goldacre. Bethnal Green Academy, a soy latte's throw from both hipster Columbia Road and the surrounding estates, was the venue for the launch of Ben Goldacres's new advocacy project: Building Evidence into Education. Nice looking school; it's got BSF written all over every plane and pane. The livery outside the school shouted every second sentence of the latest Oftsed report. Most pleasingly it was styled in the Star Wars font (or as my kids call it, 'That old film').
Hosted by Teach First, the Royal Marines of the teacher profession, we were first treated to an introduction by Dame Gove himself in what was, I thought, a remarkably short set. It was like booking Geoff Capes and asking him to open a jam jar. Goldacre followed; a passionate and determined thinker and speaker, whose Bad Science series shook me, like Hume did for Kant, from my dogmatic slumber. So why not have RCTs in the social sciences? I think there are, however, some serious problems with the use of RCTs in education. Expansive Education Network Winchester Uni.