In his address to the ResearchED national conference on Monday 12 September, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb described the growing influence of the teaching profession in shaping the educational landscape.
Too often, research has failed to impact on the classroom. Why?
Gibb suggested a core reason for this was the ‘near indecipherable language’ that many research papers are written in. The frustration of ploughing through reams of theory and having to decode the core messages is one that leaders will be aware of.
Findings from research need to be accessible to those who can utilise the studies. If not, how can the research impact on daily teaching and learning?
Leaders in Research
The Education Endowment Foundation has certainly made headway in giving leaders and teachers access to research that enables them to pursue teaching methods which have proven impact on pupil outcomes. In practice, I have found the teaching and learning toolkit to be highly beneficial during the process of provision mapping and reviewing Pupil Premium spending.
Online Education Research
Increasingly nowadays, education research is online rather than in academic journals. Teacher bloggers and tweeters have helped create online communities of educational professionals engaging with research, sharing ideas and discussing practice.
What about doing my own research?
Conducting small-scale research in school can have profound impact in a number of ways. What better way to give colleagues confidence in a particular teaching method than by having proven results from a pilot study in your own context? This also gives a new approach a trial run and enables any tweaks to be made before rolling out a larger scale initiative.
Having evidence of the impact of a particular approach from a partner school in a local cluster with a similar context gives teachers more confidence that they can use the initiative in practice and that the approach has been successful with children similar to those that they teach.
Authored by Fay Gingell.