Collected below are a set of research papers and publications related to learning and teaching which over recent years have proved useful to me.
Teaching – Best Evidence Review. This summary published in June 2020 is a short easily readable digest of ‘best bets’ in teaching. https://bit.ly/2ZlnPam It offers four priorities for teachers who want to help their student learn more:
- understand the content they are teaching and how it is learnt
- create a supportive environment for learning
- manage the classroom to maximise the opportunity to learn
- present content, activities and interactions that activate their students’ thinking
Learning to Learn published paper: February 2016. In 2010, a comprehensive secondary school in the south of England implemented a whole-school approach to ‘learning to learn’ (L2L). Drawing on a range of evidence-based practice, a team of teachers worked collaboratively to design and deliver a taught L2L curriculum to all students throughout Key Stage 3. This paper argues for a blended approach and shows how it led to improvement in attainment with lower Secondary pupils.
The Science of Learning. A short, succinct summary of learning interventions which have impact. The work of a small group of US College Professors. Based on cognitive science and six key questions around understanding, retention, problem-solving, transfer, motivation and ‘common’ misconceptions.
The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice. A report from the OECD on the nature of learning, including cognitive, emotional and biological perspectives. With contributions and evidence for different types of application: formative assessment, co-operative and inquiry-based forms of learning, technology-based applications – as well as learning beyond classroom environments in communities and families. Favouring a constructivist approach the final chapters look at strategies to overcome organisational resistance to change.
Innovative Pedagogy 2015. A summary of recent developments in learning and assessment interventions. Worth looking at this and previous years for material on flipped learning, learning to learn, BYOD, threshold concepts, learning by argumentation, context based learning and analytics.
Optimising Talent. Dylan Wiliam argues that the curriculum needs to be overhauled and be balanced, rigorous, coherent, vertically integrated, appropriate, focused and relevant.
What makes great pedagogy and great professional development. Three research questions shaped this 2015 NCTL publication. What makes great pedagogy? What makes great professional development that leads to consistently great pedagogy? How can leaders lead successful teaching school alliances which enable the development of consistently great pedagogy? Findings have a big emphasis on: student voice, embedding thinking skills and metacognition, scaffolded assessment for learning with professional development focused on improving student outcomes. Who can argue with that lot!
Developing Teachers: Durham University and The Sutton Trust. A short publication on what constitutes good teaching, bad teaching and how to do something about it. Influential and well-marketed it is limited in its research and its conclusions, over-reliant from case studies from a small circle of schools and their advocates, but nevertheless provocative enough to use to stimulate discussion.
John Hattie. Two monographs which explore what works in classrooms and schools according to the Hattie canon. Each worth a read though he can be, and often is, dogmatic.
Learning About Learning. A study of the core texts used in Teacher training in the US and how they could be improved. Six useful interventions for teachers designing resources or using lots textbooks in their classroom practice.