Research and Development Project

Towards an Evidence Based Teaching System

Facilitated by Luke Abbott & Rachael North

The SCLP Teaching School Alliance led a year long part funded small scale research with 2 schools in Crawley: Pound Hill Junior School and The Brook School in the academic year 2013-2014. The project was part of a national research and development project looking at what makes great professional development which leads to consistently great pedagogy? The CLPE Power of Reading Project has run for over 7 years with the successful involvement of 1,400 schools and over 2,000 teachers across the country. This research and development project incorporated this extensive whole school development project, combining web based learning and resources, face to face training, access to specialist experts with school based learning facilitated by SCLP Teaching School Alliance.

The SCLP Alliance is committed to designing professional development that combines a variety of CPD methods, including training sessions and school based learning, reflection and coaching.

Final Conclusions

What makes great pedagogy or what great professional development leads to consistently great pedagogy?

  • Great professional development relies on professionals recognising a need to develop pedagogy that is inspiring.
  • Well trialled and simple experiments that can be easily implemented are essential.
  • Coaching processes are essential so that practice can survive crashes and trialling without ‘failure’.
  • Great pedagogy can only come about in a climate of trust and professional endeavour that leads professionals to change their behaviours, absorbing new ways to enable learning to be deeper.
  • Allowing learners to have the power to influence (voice) is important and a largely underused process, which requires a coach to support the development.
  • Offering a wide variety of different types of CPD enables all staff to engage fully. For example: in this study members of staff below 35 years stated a preference for IT and web based learning that could be accessed on a flexible basis . Where as participants in the 40+ age range preferred face to face training and engaging with the trainer/ facilitator/ coach in person.
  • The quality of the CPD is a key factor. The use of experienced facilitators/ trainers/ coaches illustrating a strong expertise in a particular field inspire staff to have positive attitudes towards change and a commitment trying new ideas.
  • Planning for regular reflection is also important. Reflection sessions not only provide valuable time for school teams to collaborate but also enables self extension of learning. Where reflection is common place in practice members of staff instinctively engage in higher level professional discussions, critical thinking and enjoy professionally challenging each other.

Further small scale research currently being carried out by SCLP Teaching School Alliance:

  • Are there any common features in schools achieving requires improvement judgments from Ofsted inspections?
  • Does grouping children primarily by their personal, social and emotional development in Key Stage One impact on pupil outcomes?
  • Do schools that engage in system level collaboration do better or improve faster than those that do not?