Monthly insights

11th June 2004 at 01:00
The Research of the Month website started life in the back of a taxi taking Carol Adams to a meeting at the Department for Education and Skills.

Turning to a colleague, the GTC's chief executive said that the council needed to produce a weekly digest of the best research studies that would help teachers find their way through the mountains of papers produced by university education departments.

This sounded like a pretty tall order, especially for an organisation that was then just three months old. "I come from a research background and my instinct was that this was going to be really, really difficult," says Lesley Saunders, the GTC's policy adviser for research and the other passenger in that cab. "But eventually we found that not only is it possible, it's highly desirable."

The idea of a weekly digest was dropped in favour of the Research of the Month (RoM) feature which is now one of the most popular sections of the website. In December 2001, users of these pages accounted for 6 per cent of all visitors to the website; two years later, that proportion had grown to 30 per cent. Topics featured include raising standards through classroom assessment, positive alternatives to exclusion and gender differences in achievement.

Research of the Month is clearly helping to turn teaching into what is known as an "evidence informed profession". But with a number of other websites now offering digests of educational research, is cyberspace being filled with more information than teachers have time to read?

Lesley Saunders acknowledges that there has been an explosion of information in the past few years, but says that the GTC works closely with other organisations active in this field to make sure that they complement rather than duplicate each others' efforts.

"RoM goes into some depth about each topic and is probably used by teachers who are already interested in using research," she says.

"Other websites have less detailed summaries and are aimed at those who are still unconverted but may come to see some practical value in educational research."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today