Evidence-Informed Practice

I've been thinking alot about the 'why' to what I do in the classroom.

Last week,
 Juliet Twist and Lynda Carroll  reminded me of 
Simon Sinek's work.

                                                                       Simon Sinek

Sinek talks about the golden circle. Sinek reccomends to always start with 'why'. Watch this clip  and I almost think life may never be the same!

There are squillions of  amazing blogs and online resources on the ready to tell me about WHAT to do with technology and social media in all areas of the curriculum.  

Very few actually assist me with WHY.

During this year I have been using education research to inform the why in my classroom program. 

The importance of educational research being aligned to classroom practice was the anchor stone for a recent conference at Dulwich College / London researchED2013 I Working out what works 

Professor Robert Coe

I did not think using educational research in the classroom  was anything different until I realised there was no box in my planning template for the section about what research is informing my planning!  Then I started thinking, what would happen if every classroom teacher was required to place in their planning the research evidence that informed their practice?

Recently a colleague (after listening to Dianne Christianson and myself present SOLE) picked up the SOLE research  and completely turned around her classroom teaching. Our colleague took one good nights sleep to do this!  I was so excited about the speed of change,  I wondered two things.

1. How do we go about capturing such a process so other teachers may be inspired to try a similar process?
2. How do we instill a culture of  'evidence-informed practice through research in our classroom planning?

I spoke to Ally Bull about questions to best capture classroom teacher thinking. Thanks to Ally who whisked the following  questions up in a flash. We are unsure if these are the best questions, however they are something to start with. Do let me know if you know of other questions that really hit the spot.

Questions that may be helpful to you and your colleagues to capture the exciting teaching / learning moment. 
(The context for these questions is SOLE. However, change your context and you could be cooking with gas!)

1. What attracted you to the idea of SOLE?
2. How did you think your students would react? How did they react?
3. What benefits can you see in this approach for the students? / For you?
4. What are the down sides?
5. Has exploring with SOLE challenged how you think about other aspects of your practice? If so how?
6. In what ways (if any) does SOLE change the relationships between you and your students / between one student and another?


  1. Hi Diana
    I like your thinking! I think research should inform all our teaching practice, otherwise we rely on hearsay and assumptions....which are frequently ill-informed. In a conversation with a Principal of a school the other day we talked around the idea that all the research involved in a post grad qual in education needs to inform each and every lesson. Evidence based practice also involves using evidence generated in the class by what is happening on the spot eg evidence of who has learned what and how, why and basing our next steps and teaching decisions on this....ie formative assessment or assessment for learning or responsive teaching. The other day I asked some teachers how do you know if a student has learned something or not and they could only answer in general terms. What I want to drill down to is to find out exactly how we know for each student what has or has not been learned ie what do we measure, how do we measure. I suggested we could work with these questions

    Five essential questions for teachers:

    What do I want students to learn?

    How will I teach it to maximise learning

    How do I know if they have learned?

    What are my next steps when students don’t learn?

    What are my next steps when students have learned?

    All soooo fascinating. A life's work.

    cheers and thanks for the thought provoking post.
    PS I dont know what SOLE is.

  2. Thank you for these questions - appreciated!
    SOLE = Self Organised Learning Environment as identified by Sugata Mitra.
    SOLE may be one answer to how we can work with kowledge as a verb in our classrooms.
    SOLE may be one answer to how we can establish a knowledge creating culture in our schools.
    I"m not certain but I"m thinking its possibly a step in the direction of future building teaching and learning.
    Would appreciate knowing what you think of SOLE.