Andrew Davis

The evidence for popular teaching methods is shaky

Issuing either broad guidelines or narrow ‘recipes’ or ‘scripts’ lead to problems measuring effectiveness. Andrew Davis argues teachers should be sceptical

Magazine article image

The Department for Education, with support from some educators, claims to adore research-based policies. Any kind of opposition to this is easily ridiculed. “Oh – so you don’t bother with evidence in your practice? Finally we’re getting some rigour and rationality into teaching and you are trying to ban it!”

In their 2012 book Evidence-Based Policy: A Practical Guide to Doing It Better, Nancy Cartwright and Jeremy Hardie address the question, “It worked there. Will it work here?” “It” could be many things in education. Popular candidates include group work, direct instruction, mastery ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues