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Introduction to research: Evaluating your progress as an evidence-based practitioner

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What’s the idea?

A key aspect of being an evidence-based practitioner is to reflect, at the end of the process, not just on the outcomes of your actions, but also on how you did as an evidence-based practitioner (Straus et al, 2011). Indeed, before you start undertaking evidence-based practice related activities, you may wish to audit your starting point.

What does it mean?

A useful place to start is with Evidence-informed teaching: A self-assessment tool for teachers (https://chartered.college/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Evidence-informed-teaching-self-assessment-tool-for-teachers.pdf) – and asking yourself the following.

  • Do I understand the meaning of evidence-informed and evidence-based practice and what high quality evidence is?
  • Do I understand how evidence impacts upon practice?
  • Am I aware of where and how to access resources for evidence-informed practice?
  • Do I have an evidence mindset? I.e. Am I conscious of the need to engage with research and do I feel confident to do so?
  • Do I consider evidence relevant and applicable?
  • Do I talk to colleagues about evidence, face to face and through social media?
  • Do I read research or research summaries and can articulate how they use evidence?
  • Am I involved in evidence-informed enquiry projects and share experiences and findings?
  • Am I engaged with further evidence- related professional learning or higher degrees?

What are the implications for teachers?

Those working in schools – teachers and school leaders – are relentlessly busy and time poor, so it is entirely possible that your capacity to engage regularly and thoroughly with evidence is limited. How might you leverage other staff, outside partnerships, social media to make the best and most efficient use of evidence for decision making?

Want to know more?

  • Coldwell M, Greany T, Higgins S et al. (2017) Evidence-Informed Teaching: an Evaluation of progress in England. London: Department for Education.
  • Stoll L, Greany T, Coldwell M et al. (2017) Evidence-informed teaching: Self-assessment tool for teachers. London: Chartered College of Teaching.
  • Nelson J, Mehta P, Sharples J et al. (2017) Measuring Teachers’ Research Engagement: Findings from a Pilot Study: Report and Executive Summary. London: Education Endowment Foundation/NFER.
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