Making the link is about the use and misuse of evidence in education, and about the huge gap between classroom practice and educational research.

Executive summary

We talk so much about evidence, research and what works. But do we understand what this means, and do we have the same idea of what outcomes would be desirable?

Evidence really matters. It’s hard to imagine disagreeing with the idea that teachers should make decisions on the best evidence available to them, or that we should encourage a more research-informed culture in schools.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Diferent practices succeed in diferent contexts, delivered by diferent teachers. Most research claims are cautious, provisional; in our rush towards implementation we ofen overlook important nuance.

Making the link is about the use and misuse of evidence in education, and about the huge gap between classroom practice and educational research. Though much of this may seem negative, we’re also optimistic about the capacity of teachers to figure out what works for them.

The report makes three main recommendations to help this happen.

  1. Top-down approaches won’t work: the trick is in the implementation, not the prescription.
  2. Diferent types of research are carried out for diferent ends. So research literacy needs to be prioritised to figure out what would be most useful in a given context.
  3. Teachers should be enabled to do research as well as read about it. If teachers remain passive recipients of research, neither research literacy nor implementation is likely to improve

Making the link: The role of the teacher in educational research and the future of evidence-based teaching

Making the link is about the use and misuse of evidence in education, and about the huge gap between classroom practice and educational research.

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