More teacher-led evidence please
I assume nothing of the kind. Like all professionals, teachers need to know what works with what clients and in what circumstances to enhance their skill and improve their effectiveness. "Evidence-based medicine" seeks to put at doctors' disposal the accumulated evidence of what therapeutic measures work in clinical practice.
Doctors often know no simple solution. Theirs is not a "technological skill, like word processing". Good doctoring, like good teaching, requires a sophisticated judgment. In the words of a great physician, Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Medicine is the most difficult of the sciences and the most laborious of arts."
The evidence-based teaching I advocate requires more research about what works in what circumstances and then makes the knowledge available to teachers for use as a component in decision-making that also takes account of specific circumstances.
Bassey commends one brand of educational research - the version of action research associated with the late Lawrence Stenhouse - as helpful to teachers. Evidence-based teaching is open to many varieties of research. Bassey is entitled to his preferences and prejudices, but these do not constitute a monopoly of the ways in which teachers are helped by research to make high-quality decisions in their classroom practice.
The TTA should support more teacher-led, school-based research adopting a range of approaches.
DAVID H HARGREAVES Professor of education, University of Cambridge