Welcome to issue 4 of researchED Magazine!
One of the reasons I started researchED was because of the frustration I felt, as a classroom teacher, about the lack of evidence easily available to the average practitioner. I could see this everywhere in teaching. It wasn’t until I explored the world beyond the classroom that I found – to my shock – that it was just as bad at the school level – and the policy level. Of course, this makes sense when you consider how much of what happens in the classroom follows from what teachers are inspected upon, trained in, and supported with. And most of that comes from outside of the classroom.
The past few years have taught me that the individual teacher can move mountains by themselves in the classroom. Indeed, unless things change in the classroom, it almost doesn’t matter. But the individual is still enormously influenced by forces beyond their control. It’s imperative those forces – budget holders, policy makers, education leaders – are as evidence-informed as possible. It’s not just a matter of practical urgency, but a moral imperative. The children with the most to gain from better instruction – i.e. the least advantaged – also have the most to lose by its absence.
This issue, we look at evidence usage at the national level, and see what impact the right – or wrong – decisions can have on the system of teaching. History provides us with a litany of mistakes and false starts, strewn with examples of chances wasted. But there is also cause for hope. The movement for evidence-informed education that researchED champions continues to grow. We continue to visit more and more countries – and as we do, interest builds. Now in our fifth full year, we’re seeing more and more teachers, leaders and educationalists waking up to the potential of evidence over ideology. It can seem dark at times, but the future may very well be bright.
See you at the next event!
Founder of researchED