In the latest instalment in our “What we’re up to” series, we talk a bit about the MBE Research Engagement Framework we’re currently working on with the great people at The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) over in the US.
In between the lessons, pastoral duties, sports fixtures, break times and exam seasons, how do you find time and reason to persuade teachers to engage with the latest education research? That’s the problem we’re seeking to solve with this project. There aren’t enough hours in the day to fit it all in, simply put, but when what’s at stake is the education and future of hundreds of thousands of children, how can we possibly afford not to engage with the research, evaluate our decisions, and embed this as part of our daily practice?
This is the dilemma facing us as we try to improve research engagement in schools.
The CTTL team’s principal interest lies in the sustainable and sustained use of Mind Brain Education research evidence and neuroscience, in order to inform decisions about teaching and learning; it’s about a long-term, manageable and evidence-based approach to education.
The aims behind this unique innovation are to support teachers, first by identifying their current capacity for research engagement, then by providing achievable next steps for continuing professional growth, and finally by guiding them to improve their practice. Its key features are:
- Identification of the skills, knowledge, actions and behaviours needed to understand research well, use it appropriately, do it robustly in school, and embed it as a core part of decision-making;
- Its human-centred design – at every step of the way, the framework has been designed by a collaborative team of teachers and researchers, with a pragmatic view on what is realistically achievable in schools;
- Its one single aim: the application of MBE research evidence in schools for the purpose of improved student outcomes.
We have designed the framework with four distinct areas contributing to the overall research engagement of a teacher, namely: Understanding MBE Research, Using MBE Research, Doing MBE Research, and Embedding MBE Research. These four domains cover the whole spectrum of research engagement, from the knowledge and skills to access and interpret research evidence, through using it to inform-decision making, all the way to conducting robust research in school and embedding it as a core component of practice.
The idea is that the teacher will take 20 minutes or so to sit the online self-assessment, in order to ascertain what “level” they are at in each. We are creating a detailed reporting system, giving graphical and textual feedback on where the teacher is in all four domains, and we are building a CPD program based on that, with targeted steps and practical, relevant exercises to improve the areas which can be improved upon.
Finally, the report offers multi-attempt tracking. We encourage sustainable development, and with that firmly in mind, we give you time to act on the next steps we’ve offered, and then we send an automated email reminder. When you re-test, the idea is that both attempts come up on the report, giving you an intuitive and graphical representation of your progress, and offering real motivation to go the extra mile and become a Leader in all four domains.
Keep your eyes out on our blog for further developments. Register your interest in our pilot version by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, check out our other work here and that of the CTTL here.
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