: Putting Evidence to Work: Where to Start? Where’s the best place to start when it comes to interpreting research and putting evidence to work in your classroom?


Putting Evidence to Work: Where to Start?

Where’s the best place to start when it comes to interpreting research and putting evidence to work in your classroom?

by Exchange Research School at Don Valley Academy
on the

Tom Gray, Director of Exchange Research School, presents the EEF’s Using research evidence – a concise guide’ as a valuable resource for educators seeking to integrate evidence-informed practice into their classrooms.

In the fast-paced and often chaotic world of education, it’s easy to get swept away by the latest trends and fads. But amidst the chaos, research evidence stands as a beacon, guiding us toward those best bet’ practices that have demonstrated effectiveness in real classrooms.

The EEF’s Using research evidence – a concise guide’ serves as a roadmap, providing educators with the tools they need to navigate the vast landscape of research literature and make informed decisions about their teaching strategies. It serves as the best place to start for any teachers or school leaders who wish to become more evidence-informed.

Be a Critical Consumer

Just as we teach our students to question and analyse information, educators must apply the same principles to the research they encounter. By considering factors such as the rigor of the study design, the reliability of the findings, and the relevance to your specific context, and by approaching research evidence with a critical eye, you can ensure that you’re basing your decisions on solid ground.

Blog image CLAIMS
The claims model provides a lens through which to consider any piece of research evidence.

Putting Evidence into Practice

The crux of the issue for many settings is how to put into practice what you have read. We know that implementation is vital and will make or break any potential initiative.

When it comes to the question of How can we use research evidence to inform practice?’ the guide reminds us of the need to:

Balance the likely benefits of changing against the potential costs.

  • Do the potential benefits match your school improvement priorities?
  • Is this better that what we already do?
  • Does the research suggest it will impact outcomes?
  • What are the costs involved?

Identify and translate the approaches to fit your setting.

  • What are the best bets’ identified in the research evidence?
  • Why is it thought to work?
  • What was the sample and how does this compare to my setting?
  • What will this look like in my school?

Consider the processes and people required for change.

  • What infrastructure is required for our setting?
  • Can we adapt any existing systems?
  • Which people will need to be involved? How do we ensure their buy in’?
  • How will the change impact on staff workload?
  • How will we measure the impact of any change?

While reading research evidence alone can provide insights into what the best bets’ are and how they have worked in the past, we need to be active in our implementation, making changes to what we do.

But what does this look like in practice?

Let’s say you’re considering implementing a new instructional approach in your classroom. Before diving in headfirst, take a step back and examine the evidence supporting this approach. Is there research demonstrating its effectiveness? What do other educators have to say about their experiences? By taking the time to evaluate the evidence, you can make more informed decisions about which strategies are likely to have the greatest impact on student learning. 

But what about the challenges that inevitably arise along the way? Fear not, for the EEF guide offers practical strategies for overcoming common obstacles in using research evidence. Whether you’re grappling with limited resources, navigating conflicting findings, or struggling to engage sceptical colleagues, there are strategies to help you stay on course. From building a culture of evidence-based practice in your school to leveraging technology to access research literature, there are countless ways to overcome barriers and make evidence-informed teaching a reality.

Using research evidence – A concise guide | Education Endowment Foundation (d2tic4wvo1iusb.cloudfront.net)

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