From the editor

Welcome to the first issue of researchED magazine!

Brain Gym. Learning styles. NLP. I started teaching in the early 2000s in what now seems like a golden age of edu-babble, where anyone could apparently claim anything and nobody could say otherwise. researchED started as a one-day conference in 2014, born out of a frustration I felt that teaching, and education more broadly, frequently failed to use evidence as much as it should. It seems that others also shared that frustration, but also a deeply felt belief that it was time to change things for the better. One conference became dozens, and the idea leapt from East London to the world. We now hold events everywhere from New Zealand to Philadelphia, bringing together teachers, academics, researchers, leaders and anyone else involved in the education ecosystem. We’ve been proud to host some of the most important voices in education, as well as platform many of the hidden heroes of the classroom.

Our aims have stayed the same since we began:

  1. To bust the myths and bad science that grip education and wreck the life chances of children everywhere
  2. To platform evidence bases that make a difference in classrooms and schools
  3. To raise research literacy in the teaching profession
  4. To bring research-generators and research-users closer together in mutually beneficial dialogue
  5. To build an international community of evidence-informed educators

Launching this magazine is the next stage in making these happen. The original idea was to capture the ideas, the excitement, and the passion for reason of a researchED conference in a resource that could be read, shared, and read again, passed around staffrooms and pinned, in cannibalised form, to classroom walls. Inside you’ll find expert opinion, summaries of what we think works best (or doesn’t), provocations, great ideas, and best of all, how this might translate into the classroom.

People talk about 21st century teaching. I don’t think we’re even in the 20th century yet. We still see edu-homeopathy passed off as cure-alls, and ideas from the 19th century dressed as cutting-edge innovations. Teachers still forced to carry out decisions that originate more in ideology than in reason and research. Children – and professionals, and society – can no longer afford such indulgences. It is time for a polite revolution in education. One that doesn’t require us to wait for Superman or seek permission from others. Educators of all stripes can now take part in this international and democratic conversation to seek out what works, what doesn’t, and when, and how, in their schools and classrooms. It’s time to apply evidence to the craft of teaching, and craft to that evidence, and see what happens in the beautiful space where they overlap.

I think it’s a very exciting time to be in education. And there has rarely been so important a project. I hope you enjoy the magazine – and maybe we’ll see you at one of our conferences!

Best wishes,

Tom Bennett


Founder of researchED

London, 2018

Download the PDF version of this issue.