September 2011 Harnessing Knowledge to Practice
September 2011 Harnessing Knowledge to Practice
In a world so full of change there is something wonderful – as well as manic – about a new school year. Like the turning of the seasons it brings a sense of rhythm and renewal.
We got off to a flying start in the first week of term with five new presentations of CUREE research (see the slides) at the British Education Research Association (BERA) Conference. Didn’t know whether to celebrate or cry about the press coverage of a tiny sliver of evidence about challenge from our research. Why is only bad news news? It’s nice to see education research featuring in the press and it’s true we found a substantial and growing minority of pupils who said that their school (and, actually their parents and friends) weren’t challenging them – but we also found lots of positive evidence about the obstacles and ways teachers are overcoming them…
It is both depressing and puzzling to see the government dismantling the infrastructure for supporting teacher access to research. Web-based free resources disappear every week and the stuff on DfE website is almost perversely difficult to find. Whatever happened to the promise in the White Paper to making research available to teachers free of charge? Our generic ‘tube map’ of useful research evidence is proving impossible to maintain so we are creating both simpler and bespoke versions. You’ll find details below about the first of our route maps tailored to specific topics…
We are trying to adapt to the new regime, hold on to core values, listen hard to schools and respond creatively. How are we doing? We’d love to haveabout what we do or could offer that would be useful.
I was delighted to be able to contribute to the launch of the exciting newand to sign CUREE up as a Pioneer - .This network of schools, Higher Education Institutes and education champions is focused on developing learning skills and promoting depth in learning through a series of principles about:
· aptitude and appetite for learning;
· everyone’s ability to learn;
· openness, resilience and imagination;
· ensuring there’s no tension between depth and richness in learning and performance in tests; and
· recognising that we know a lot but there’s always more to learn
Everyone at CUREE wishes the network every success!
CUREE’s Autumn Term Programme of Workshops are designed to be very practical –and to help you make use of the new evidence we launched at BERA
We are really excited with the Autumn term workshop programme. Building on the success of last term's efforts we have listened carefully to your feedback and made several additions and amendments:
· we are trialling new regional venues for our most popular courses – theEffective Mentoring and Coaching workshops and Evaluating the impact of CPD are now being offered in central London.
· we have introduced 2 sustained programmes, one on mentoring and coaching and one on CPD leadership designed to help schools gear up for the increased emphasis on CPD in the new OfSTED framework by ensuring CPD leaders and facilitators know what makes a difference and have the skills and resources to embed key features in all school based learning.
· a new partnership is enabling us to offer workshops in the North West. If you think you could generate an audience in your region – why not get in touch?
· we have also extended the times of the workshop – youwanted more!
Finally we have listened to what many of you are saying about the challenges teaching assistants face in making the most of professional learning opportunities by designing a programme 'Reading Classroom learning' especially for them.
We are always ready to listen to your thoughts and suggestions – why not take a look at the website and see what is on offer?
CUREE are really pleased to be working with the Institute for Learning to produce a Routemap to signpost their range of CPD resources for the Further Education and Skills sector. This sector has so often been overlooked by researchers but a growing number of colleges and colleagues are investing in research and evidence rich CPD so signposting pathways through a treasure trove of materials feels like a very worthwhile exercise.to find out more.
Another BERA paper focused on our review of research about what’s effective in helping teachers engage in their own research and with other people’s. The evidence from the review was clear: making use of research links strongly with positive pupil outcomes. The Large scale survey of what teachers want from research that we did in partnership with the National Teacher Research Panel () echoes this finding and suggests that research resources are pivotal here. We are delighted to say that includes CUREE resources –see the word cloud which shows by the size and intensity of the text where the thousands of teachers in this sample secured access to research.
But the review and the panel survey both also highlight obstacles and pinpoints the growing access problem Philippa refers to in her blog! You won’t be surprised that simply finding time to undertake research in the midst of busy school life featured strongly too.
CUREE has been developing resources specifically designed to make good use of teacher time in accessing research for many years:
· For example, ‘Bites’ are 2 page PowerPoint summaries of research which help teachers access key findings in just 2.5 minutes.
· Tasters are 1 page resources that offer teachers micro enquiries they can integrate into lessons. They help teachers immerse themselves in how their learners experience things as a springboard for trying out new approaches highlighted by research.
We completed several bespoke Routemaps for schools over the summer so that they could use them to get the new academic year off to a flying start. Each map provides a selection of bites, tasters and other resources specifically related to the school's priorities in the form of a hyperlinked, tube style route map. Visit .to try out a route map for yourself
We are also developing individual route map lines focused on specific approaches known to make a difference. Currently available are lines on challenge and what teaching assistants need to know about teaching and learning. Upcoming lines include improving motivation and tackling disengagement and use of ICT in the classroom. If you are interested in a particular line, please contact
The closing date for the TDA National scholarship fund is fast approaching – Friday 30th September!
Teachers with QTS can apply for a scholarship award of up to £3500 focused on improving subject knowledge in four priority areas:Maths, English, Science and SEN.
The fund is intended to support applications for Masters level or equivalent activity and obviously creates opportunities for teachers research but TDA recognise that other highly valuable CPD opportunities for developing in-depth knowledge and understanding could be developed e.g. developing a series of subject specific seminars, and would welcome applications from teachers wishing to engage in such activity, provided that they can demonstrate rigour and academic challenge. Why not consider working with CUREE to identify an area of research you’d like to mine in more depth? The TDA have recognised CUREE as offering the appropriate levels of support, depth and rigour to the scheme and we have already been approached by teachers and schools keen to work with us. Emailto find out more.
The new OfSTED Framework looks set to make the “ the quality of professional development” and “the use of self-evaluation and its accuracy” – both core SKEIN services – central to the new framework for January 2012.
We flagged up the SKEIN (it means ‘reflect’ in Norwegian and is the collective noun for geese in flight) service for helping schools identify their strengths, weaknesses and next steps in building an effective staff learning environment in our last e-news. Our pathfinder schools are well down the road. The Head of the first school to work through the process tells us ‘The report we received was representative and very thorough. It helped us identify new ways of establishing stronger and more transparent links between our CPD and improvements in pupil learning. We recognised the importance of making learning visible to all members of staff for them to fully benefit from the opportunities we offer. We valued the recommendations about how, by building on our ongoing school improvement work and making small changes to existing mechanisms and structures, we could significantly strengthen our CPD and have better evidence for evaluating its impact on our staff and pupils’. (Headteacher, Rokeby Primary School)
We are proud too to be working with a Teaching School Alliance to fine tune the process for creating an overview report for the Alliance as a whole.
to find out about discounts for early adopters and pathfinders for cluster or Alliances.
How can singing be used to improve learning and outcomes in different subjects across the curriculum?
Could singing help improve children’s communication skills, ability to concentrate and their behaviour?
These are just two of the questions that CUREE explored when evaluating the national Sing Up programme. Our researchers synthesised diverse evidence from a large number of projects and created thematic reports about using singing to promote and improve children’s:
· Health & Wellbeing
· Learning Across the Curriculum
· Musical Development
· Speech, Language and Communication
· Leadership and peer support skills
To find out more and access the reports,.
Events for this half term
Philippa Cordingley will be:
· speaking during the closing Panel at the IEE Conference - Empowering Educators with Evidence in York on Friday 30th September 2011;
· participating in the National Education Trust’s Leading Thinkers, Trustees, Friends and Associates: 'Closing the Achievement Gap’ event in Oxford; and
· helping to launch a new Pearson study about CPD and new technologies on 21st October 2011 drawing on CUREE work.
Paul Crisp will be presenting our research on curriculum design and implementation in relation to creativity at the NET evet at the National Gallery on 30th Septemer
In addition to running several CUREE workshops, Lisa Bradbury is speaking at the Coventry head teachers conference
Philippa was delighted to accept nomination to sit on the Cambridge Review of Primary Education Steering Group.
|CUREE Easter Enews|
|CUREE and Achievement for All (AfA)|
|The quality of CPD provision in England|
|Practitioner Use of Research - Summaries|
|School leadership and student outcomes: what works and why|
Accessible Web Design by Raspberry Frog