Report looks at how to make best use of research
14 November 2017
Published just before the summer break, a major study led from Sheffield Hallam University, with colleagues from UCL Institute of Education and Durham University, has some important messages about how schools can make effective use of research evidence in schools. The study found:
- School leader support is crucial. Teachers need help in using research in their own practice, and school leaders need to be a key part of this support.
- A key step in building research use is for leaders to actively seek out research evidence to help meet school priorities. The most research-engaged leaders synthesised research evidence with other forms of evidence including school data and the experiences of other teachers and schools. In the less research-engaged schools, research evidence was often seen as a lower priority than other forms of evidence.
For teachers, there were also key messages:
- Seek out support from others in the school and outside to help access and help with judging the quality and applicability of research. Higher level study can be useful in this regard.
- Consider research alongside other evidence as you reflect on and develop your teaching: teaching must draw on professional judgment informed by a range of evidence including data, discussion with colleagues and evidence from other schools. But it should make use of and integrate research evidence as well.
- Effective use of research evidence doesn’t usually mean ‘importing’ it: where it was used effectively, teachers used it to inform their thinking and to experiment, test and trial new approaches in their practice.
A first step that any leader and teacher can use to begin to make research evidence part of the way of doing things in your school is to ask questions. It was commonplace in some of the more research-engaged schools in the study for conversations about dealing with issues in the classroom to include questions like ‘what does the evidence show?’ or ‘what is your evidence for making that change?’
Why not try this in your school?
If you would like to know more about how to make research evidence part of your school contact:
Posted on 14 November 2017
Posted in: Blog
Tags: leadership, Research evidence, Sheffield Hallam