What works and what doesn’t work?

Evidence-based decision making about learning practice is one of the biggest growth areas in education in this country and internationally. The Gonski recommendations include the establishment of a national research organisation to assist schools and teachers in using evidence and research to assist teachers and schools in their decision-making process. In a great article in Teacher (https://www.teachermagazine.com.au/articles/sharing-good-practice-gonski-and-evidence-based-practice), Jo Earp explores the difficulty of putting this into practice. Her article makes the point that for teachers who are time poor and already trying to manage curriculum content, many don’t have the time to engage with complex academic research papers or to evaluate their own evidence and data against the wider data sets that they are seeing.

So, if we know it works and we know evidence-based teaching is best for students, how are schools supposed to go about it? Earp suggests that

the schools that do well are those with a strong culture of continuous improvement. They know their students and their needs based on the data; engage with reliable sources of evidence to select approaches with a high likelihood of success; faithfully adopt and intelligently adapt approaches for their context; and actively evaluate and adjust their work based on their findings.

There are also international online tools (with a downloadable function) like those provided in the UK by EEE which offer easy-to-use toolkits if you are looking for summaries from international research about what does and does not work. You can find these here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/evidence-summaries/teaching-learning-toolkit

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