5 things you need to know about research

In the rush to become an evidence-informed teacher, it’s easy to overlook the fact that not all academic exploration is equal – and some of it is better, or worse, than it initially appears. Christian Bokhove sets out ways to avoid being suckered by a persuasive consensus, guard against injudiciously dismissing oppositional findings, and recognise the limitations of educational research

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If you were to stop and observe teachers doing the Grand Tour of educational research that now seems a compulsory journey for all school educators, you would notice something concerning: where teachers choose to stop and where they hurry past, throwing a dismissive glance as they go, is highly variable.

For some, the shores of Sweller, Bjork and Willingham are a must-see; for others, not so much. Certain teachers walk among the more historical streets of a Piaget, Vygotsky or Bruner, others would sooner demolish the lot. There are groups who flock to neuroscience alone; others who single out ...

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