Practitioner inquiry

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, and even when we pursue ‘safe bets’ there is a good chance we might be making things worse (Mannion, 2017). The only way to get to the bottom of what works in your context is through practitioner inquiry.

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Impact evaluation

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 rigorous, systematic impact evaluation has not been a part of the culture or training of the teaching profession. As experienced teacher-researchers, we train schools in how to carry out this important aspect of school improvement. Robust impact evaluation is essential if teaching is to become a more evidence-informed, sure-footed profession.

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Learning to Learn

Sometimes it feels like the harder teachers work, the more helpless our students become. Many teachers express frustration that their students expect to be ‘spoon-fed’. The lack of independent learning skills often becomes apparent when students enter 6th form and hit the ‘year 12 wall’.  Our whole-school Learning Skills programme enables 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.

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