Putting robust research at the head of education policy, professional development and classroom practice

Putting robust research at the head of education policy, professional development and classroom practice

As far back as 1999, Professor Robert Coe, in his Manifesto for Good Education, argued that too many policies have been imposed on schools without adequate evidence about their likely effects and costs. This approach was as much a waste of public money and professionals' time then, as it is now. 

While education may not be an exact science, Coe argues it is too important an element of society to allow it to be determined by unfounded opinion - whether of politicians, teachers, researchers or anyone else.

He advocates three main ways in which education could become more evidence-based:

1. evidence-based policies
2. evidence-based practice
3. evidence-based culture

Professor Coe, a former maths teacher, leads the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), at Durham University.

​Most recently, he helped draw up the DfE Standards for Teachers Effective Professional Development, which concluded that professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise. 

Pedagogy embraces both the theory and practice of teaching. It lies at the heart of teacher training and practice. To the right are some of Coe's personal recommendations on essential reading for teachers on Pedagogy from UK and international researchers.


Related reading



Principles of instruction
Professor Barak Rosenshine, 2010


What works in classroom instruction
Robert Marzano, Barbara Gaddy and Ceri Dean, 2000


Confessions of an examiner
Achieving a research-focused education profession

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