Another positive outcome of our recent inset day has been a number of teachers asking me about how to find out about current pedagogical research and thinking. Here are some ideas to help you keep your finger on the pedagogical pulse.
Become a ‘Tweetcher’!
The easiest way to find out what people are talking about in education is to follow some relevant educationalists on Twitter. A lot of great teachers, leaders, writers and researchers are now using Twitter as a means of reaching a wider audience. If you haven’t used Twitter before then it may take a bit of getting used to – this article from The Telegraph is a good guide.
Once you’re on Twitter, here are some of the people who I follow. Obviously there is a literacy theme here, but most of these people write about education more generally.
David Didau @LearningSpy – English teacher, but writes about education generally. In particular, he challenges commonly held educational beliefs by examining the latest research. Recommended!
Daniel Willingham @DTWillingham – writer interested in research in education amongst other things.
TES @tes – good way of staying up to date with the latest TES articles from their website.
Tom Bennett @TomBennett71 – director of ResearchED. More about this later. You can also follow @ResearchED1
Geoff Barton @RealGeoffBarton – secondary head teacher and writer/thinker, particularly about literacy.
Alex Quigley @HuntingEnglish – research lead and deputy head at Huntingdon school. Lots of links to his fantastic blog.
John Tomsett @johntomsett – head teacher with some great ideas about teaching and learning which he shares through Twitter and his blog.
Tom Sherrington @headguruteacher – head teacher of Highbury Grove school. Writes a thought-provoking blog with lots of teaching and learning ideas as well as thoughts about curriculum reform and what is going on at his school. Very interesting account to follow!
I recently attended a weekend conference by an organisation called ResearchED with a few teachers from the English department. The website for this organisation is here: http://www.workingoutwhatworks.com/. I am sure there are other similar events going on and the easiest way to find out about these is Twitter.
Teachmeets are also a brilliant way to share information and ideas with colleagues. We recently ran a successful teachmeet and there are plans for similar events in the future. Watch this space.
As we saw on the training day, there is a huge range of books available for interested teachers. There is a collection of these in our school library and this can always be updated if you want particular titles. The TES runs a regular feature which introduces and reviews new books.
Visit the Education Endowment Foundation website
If you’re looking for reliable research, then this is the best place to start. The website (https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/) is very accessible and easy to use. Crucially, it explores the effectiveness of specific strategies and resources so that you can evaluate the likely impact of something before spending time and money.
The most frequently used page on this website is the Teaching and Learning Toolkit which ranks teaching/intervention strategies in order of effectiveness. The research behind each of these can then be explored in more depth. This list of their current publications is also very useful.
You can also follow this organisation on Twitter @EducEndowFoundn
Listen to ‘The Educators’
There is a Radio 4 series called ‘The Educators’ featuring teachers, leaders and thinkers from education talking about their ideas. There is a new series starting tomorrow and you can listen to the archived episodes here on the BBC website.
Not all of these suggestions will work for everybody. Whichever you choose, remember that the best resource is often the teacher in the classroom next door. Keep talking to each other and sharing ideas, so that we can find out together what works and what doesn’t.