Schools often struggle to evaluate the impact of what they do in a rigorous, systematic way. That’s not because impact evaluation is difficult, but because to date research-based impact evaluation has not been a part of the culture or training. As experienced teacher-researchers, we train schools in how to do this important aspect of school improvement. Robust impact evaluation is essential if teaching is to become a more evidence-informed, sure-footed profession.
In recent years there have been a number of publications seeking to tell us ‘what works’ in education. However, these guides can only point us toward what works on average; for any given area of practice, there is always huge variation in terms of efficacy, ranging from the highly effective to the highly counterproductive. Practitioner research is the only way to get to the bottom of what works in your context.
Learning to Learn
The harder teachers work, the more passive and apathetic children become. Many teachers complain that their students ‘expect to be spoon-fed’, and this issue often becomes particularly apparent when students reach year 12.Our ‘Learning Skills’ curriculum helps children become the active drivers of their own learning. We have a proven track record of doing this successfully so that all children benefit, with accelerated gains among young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our approach to Learning to Learn raises the bar for all, while closing the gap from the bottom up.