“What does it look like, what does it sound like, what does it feel like?” – The features of an evidence informed school
1 March 2018
“What does it look like, what does it sound like, what does it feel like?”
The features of an evidence informed school
Several year ago, with the establishment of the Aspirer Teaching School, one of the first activities we undertook was to consider how research and research evidence might underpin every aspect of the teaching school activity. Using the BERA publication
Research and the Teaching Profession (2014), we put together an overview of how this might work. We still use this to guide us and although we have got many of the strands in place, there is still some work to do. The benefit of this was that is has given us a destination to work towards and helps us measure our progress to date.
The recent publication of the EEF’s Guidance report, Putting Evidence to Work: A School’s Guide to Implementation is a welcome addition to the set of reports available for schools, providing further guidance about not just what but how to engage in the process of evidence based school improvement. In a similar way, it is helpful to have some idea of the destination and understand what an evidence informed school might look like, sound like and feel like when all is going well. It makes it easier to consider where you are in relation to the gold standard and identify strands to develop, building towards a system that is greater than its individual separate parts. At a recent conference, Professor Jonathan Sharples, from the EEF shared some of his latest research on the features of an evidence informed school and it struck me that this provides a useful overview of the destination we are travelling towards. I am not entirely sure it will ever be possible to ever fully get there, but it is nice to have some sense of where we are going and be able to judge how far we might have come.
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