Last weekend, myself and Mrs Poole attended the annual ResearchEd conference at Chobham Academy in London. This conference is always an excellent opportunity to meet teachers, leaders and academics who are looking to integrate more research into the way we plan, teach and organise our schools. You can read more about this organisation here:
More than 1000 people involved in education attended the Saturday event:
The first two sessions I attended focused on the key questions:
- What is educational research?
- What evidence is out there?
- How might it be accessed when training new teachers and developing new CPD opportunities?
However, these sessions stopped short of explaining what using research and evidence regularly might look like in the classroom.
Therefore, I set off to find a session that would provide me with some solid examples of both how to use research across the school and within the classroom. The next session, hosted by Coalition for Evidence-Based Education, certainly gave me lots of food for thought. This network aims to connect academics (and their research) with front line practitioners; they want teachers to engage in and engage with research (not the same thing).
Dr Caroline Creaby, @carolinecreaby began by explaining how she had used academics within the CEBE network to support a colleague who wanted to develop the gifted and talented provision in their school. By using the CEBE database she contacted an academic who had researched effective gifted and talented provision. Together they were able to distill his research conclusions down to the simple idea that their school’s gifted and talented course should involve open ended writing that would be published. The resulting provision stretched and challenged those students successfully, and engagement improved – clearly evident in the growing number of students who wanted to get involved.
Claire Hill continued in this session and explained how she had established a voluntary (but passionate) research team who regularly meet and look to engage with small chunks of research. These teachers then experiment in their classes and reflect back in discussions about what was successful and what was less successful. All resources have since been shared out via email and this will be an area to develop at Neale-Wade as part of our CPD provision.
If you want to catch up with any of the sessions you can watch the live stream here. If you want to read more about what others thought about the conference then there are blogs that you can access here:
Do let us know your thoughts. Perhaps you might like to attend next year yourself as part of your own CPD development? Speak to one of the Lead Practitioner team if you are interested.