Teachers Need to Use Research to Improve Learning in Schools; Teachers in Wales Are Being Encouraged to Use and Carry out Research So That Teaching and Learning Gets Better and Keeps on Improving. Here Education Consultant FINOLA WILSON, Director of Impact Wales, Offers Advice

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 13, 2018 | Go to article overview

Teachers Need to Use Research to Improve Learning in Schools; Teachers in Wales Are Being Encouraged to Use and Carry out Research So That Teaching and Learning Gets Better and Keeps on Improving. Here Education Consultant FINOLA WILSON, Director of Impact Wales, Offers Advice


Byline: FINOLA WILSON

THE latest aspect of the reforms to education in Wales is an explicit encouragement to use evidence to underpin teaching and learning. The expectation is that teachers should start any school or pedagogical improvement by reviewing the relevant research and selecting strategies based on that research.

Turning our "Schools into Learning Organisations" (SLOs) is an idea from Welsh Government supported by the OECD and Estyn, which is currently being piloted by a small group of schools.

The SLOs document states that: "Sources of research evidence are readily available and easily accessed and are used by staff to improve their practice."

The new Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership also include an expectation that staff are confident not only to read and understand but to make choices about which pedagogical approach to take based on the most relevant research saying: "The teacher makes reasoned pedagogic decisions based upon relevant reading and research findings."

Engaging with research though, is not easy. Time, access and having the tools to do it effectively are challenges every teacher faces. This may be why the recent report into use of the Pupil Deprivation Grant found that only a few schools are using the Sutton Trust Toolkit as a research base for interventions intended to close the attainment gap for our most disadvantaged pupils.

Impact Wales was one of very few school support services represented at the recent WISERD Annual Conference where recognised researchers were sharing and discussing work that included tracking the emerging pioneer development process for the new Curriculum for Wales.

Fascinating findings and robust discussions identified some key issues underpinning school preparation for the new curriculum. It is surprising that there was so little representation from other school improvement services. Being research-informed is about being open to new ideas, being willing to question and evaluate new content, but most of all being research-informed is about being curious. …

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Teachers Need to Use Research to Improve Learning in Schools; Teachers in Wales Are Being Encouraged to Use and Carry out Research So That Teaching and Learning Gets Better and Keeps on Improving. Here Education Consultant FINOLA WILSON, Director of Impact Wales, Offers Advice
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