Evidenced and Informed – Part 5 The final piece of the puzzle.

13 July 2017

Author: Megan Dixon

So, I am coming to the end of this blog series considering some habits of thought that we might adopt as we approach becoming evidenced and informed in our teaching and learning, both inside and outside the classroom. As I have explored the challenges (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4), it is worth emphasising the positives. The DFE CPD guidance emphasises the importance of professional learning being evidence-based , firmly stating that it is the role of leaders (at every system level) to ensure that all professional learning starts and ends with pupil outcomes, in the broadest sense. We are not successful because we work long hours, or keep on top of the paperwork demands. Our effectiveness as practitioners must be measured by the impact we have on the students we work with. And school improvement outcomes should be evaluated by recognising the changes in practice that are having an impact on pupil outcomes. This is not an easy thing to measure, but by being evidenced and informed, we can be aware of the impact we are having and identify areas that might benefit from further scrutiny.

So, to finish off, here are some further thoughts and reflections:
1. Read all the evidence – not just one study. Go back to the original studies – read with comfortable scepticism. Take the time to understand. Embrace the nuance!
2. Take time to consider what it might look like in your school community – how do you envisage it looking? What will it look like, sound like, feel like for those involved? How will you know if it is working? What will you do if it doesn’t work?
3. Recognise that this is not a quick fix – ask for other pairs of eyes to work with you on the issues. We all need our implicit biases challenging (no matter how good we are!)
4. Ensure you build continual reflective, iterative cycles into any programme for change. Listen to all the voices in the field. Collect data from many sources; pupil voice, parental voice, teacher voice, SLT voice, peer voice, qualitative voice and quantitative voice and try not to allow one to become louder than the others.

We are moving into an ‘evidence’ golden age for education. Never before has the research been more easily available or accessible. We cannot let it slip between our fingers. Evidenced and informed all the way.

Posted on 13 July 2017
Posted in: Blog, Latest Research Evidence

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