01 SES 16 C, Evidence-informed Practice: International Perspectives, Problems and Opportunities for Teacher Development
This presentation explores the notion of research informed teaching practice (RITP) (Malouf and Taymans, 2016; Walker, 2017) and how such practice can best be facilitated. Since the seminal work of the late Carol Weiss in the 1970s, (e.g. Weiss, 1979, 1982) approaches to using research to inform teaching practice have broadly been categorized as having either instrumental or conceptual goals. The former suggests a direct link can occur between research findings and action; the latter that research typically guides thinking and will be considered along side other evidence and knowledge (Penuel et al., 2017). Grounded in the argument that conceptual research-use is more likely and realistic than instrumental research-use (Brown, 2017), this paper explores what can be learnt from a small scale project designed to help teachers engage with and employ research in a conceptual way such this engagement impacts positively on their practice and the outcomes of their students. A mixed methods approach comprising pre and post intervention surveys and 15 in-depth interviews was used to evaluate the project. This data suggests our approach has enabled participating teachers to successfully engage with research evidence on effective pedagogic practices: specifically all teachers developed research informed approaches that improved outcomes for both themselves and their pupils. Vitally however our findings suggest that, more generally, the effective use of research/the scale up of research-informed interventions is less to do with the instrumental replication of existing strategies and more to do with understanding why interventions have been successful and how that success might be realised in a new setting and context.
Brown, C. (2017) Achieving evidence informed policy and practice in education: evidencED, (London, Emerald). Malouf, D. and Taymans, J. (2016) Anatomy Of An Evidence Base, Educational Researcher, 45, 8, pp. 454-459. Penuel, B., Davidson, K., Herlihy, C., Sherer, D., Hill, H., Farrell, C. and Allen, A-R. (2017) How School and District Leaders Access, Perceive, and Use Research, AERA Open, 3, 2, pp. 1-17. Walker, M. (2017) Insights into the Role of Research and Development in Teaching Schools, (Slough, NfER). Weiss, C. (1979) The many meanings of research utilisation, Public Administration Review, 29, pp. 426-431. Weiss, C. (1982) Research in the context of diffuse decision making, The Journal of Higher Education, 53, 6, pp. 619-639.
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