A research briefing published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) looks at what progress has been made in embedding evidence-informed practice within teaching in England.
As part of the brief, researchers from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) summarised findings from a nationally representative survey of 1,670 schools and teachers. The survey was conducted between September and November 2017, and investigated teachers’ research use. The results of the survey suggest that:
- Research evidence continues to play a relatively small role in influencing teachers’ decision-making. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed said that their continuing professional development was based on information other than academic research.
- Most teachers report that their schools offer supporting environments, which enables evidence-informed practice to flourish. Seventy-three percent ‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’ that their school provided a positive culture for professional development and evidence use.
- Teachers report generally positive attitudes towards research evidence, despite the fact that research evidence had only a small influence on their decision-making.
Survey responses varied by school phase, by type of respondent, and by type of schools. Those who were more likely to report that their schools had a positive research culture, and that they used research to inform their selection of teaching approaches, were:
- Senior leaders (as opposed to classroom teachers).
- Primary school teachers (rather than secondary school teachers).
- Schools with the lowest 25 percent of achievement (versus highest 25 percent achievement).
Source: Teachers’ engagement with research: what do we know? A research briefing (May 2019), Education Endowment Foundation