Here at Evidence Based Education, we combine years of experience in teaching and school leadership, in conducting research into educational leadership and evaluation, and in policy advice to the UK Government’s Department for Education.
This rare combination allows us to take an objective view on effective uses of evidence in education, while also developing pragmatic, thought-provoking training courses, designed specifically for the complex professional lives of teachers and school leaders (lives we have lived).
Effective teaching leads to improved outcomes for students. This requires teachers who make good decisions, founded on good evidence. At Evidence Based Education, we create world-class professional development programmes focused on improving the quality of those decisions, ultimately leading to higher-quality teaching and better student outcomes.
We work with teams of teachers and school leaders to develop and deliver sustained, evidence-based training and support in key areas of education.
Very deliberately, our work aligns with the requirements of the Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development:
When you choose to work with us, we will form a partnership. We will challenge you and be challenged by you. We will plan programmes with clear intended outcomes, and a plan for how success will be evaluated.
The role of evidence in education is as clear to us as it is to Sir Kevan Collins, the Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation: “If you’re not using evidence to inform your decisions, you must be using prejudice.”
We are pioneers in training teachers and school leaders to use research and evaluation to improve attainment, reduce costs, and support teacher development.
We are the approved provider for training teachers to use CEM assessment data well.
We’re leading the way in innovative, flexible and affordable assessment training for schools too.
We bring vast expertise in teaching, school leadership, education research and policy to schools, and we are guided by an influential Advisory Board, which includes Professors in Education at Durham, UCLA and Harvard Universities, as well as teachers and school leaders at various levels.
We’re working with some awesome schools, universities and charities.
WHO ARE WE?
We exist to help you use evidence in education effectively (from the lesson plan to the school improvement plan), and to help those who generate evidence do so in a way that allows users to access it, interpret it, and integrate it. We help you to practise effective evidence-based education.
In short, when you work with us, you receive impartial and up-to-date advice on how to use research evidence in your school, clear and honest feedback from trained researchers and teachers, and concrete guidance on how to make evidence-based, contextualised school improvement decisions.
Here are a few of the questions frequently asked of us:
Evidence-based education employs practices and policies – at all levels of an education system – based on appropriate and methodologically robust evidence about their effects (costs and benefits). We draw inspiration for this definition from Coe et al. (2000). In essence, evidence-based school leaders actively review the best available research evidence as part of their school improvement process.
Claiming to be ‘evidence-based’ is an assertion which must be justified. Schools need to understand the impact of their actions on important student outcomes (Hattie, 2008); to do this requires high standards of evidence, not simply correlations and anecdotes. With too many examples of ‘common sense’ prevailing over the guidance offered by robust evidence (McCord, 1978), there is a clear need for help and support to be available. As Coe et al. (2000) put it (cf. Tymms, 1999), “common sense is no substitute for research”.
We are the experts in helping teachers, school leaders and policy-makers become evidence-based.
‘Good’ evidence is appropriate and it is methodologically robust.
By appropriate, we mean that it is able to tell you about the things that you want to know – to answer the questions you want answers to. Our understanding of research methodology enables us to guide you towards sophisticated judgements about what is appropriate for your context.
As with so many things in life, the quality of available research evidence varies. You may have evidence which is appropriate (in as much as it is relevant and adopts an appropriate approach to answering a specific question), but the quality of it may be low (it may have been conducted poorly).
By adopting a highly critical approach to the identification of ‘good’ evidence, we are transparent in highlighting the limitations as well as the applications of research evidence.
Integrating the best available evidence and evaluation techniques into the daily life of school improvement work is what we would consider to be ‘good’ evidence-based practice. We don’t expect or want schools which work with us to replace their rich professional understandings with an effect size, but we hope that conversations in school have appropriate and methodologically robust evidence as a key component. We tend to think of it as a ‘middle way’; a careful reflection on all the facts and opinions relevant to a decision.
The professional development of teachers is our utmost concern. We are truly concerned by the poor quality of much of what is offered to schools with the purpose of developing teacher knowledge, understanding and skill. In light of this, we use the Teacher Development Trust’s (2015) guidance on effective professional development found in the ‘Developing Great Teaching‘ report to inform our work.
While the ten points above don’t always sit comfortably with established practices for teachers’ professional development, we’re committed to designing our business around the best available evidence.
Contact us to discover how we will help your organisation develop evidence-based professional development programmes.