CGI development takes time

11th March 2016 at 00:00

The article “Closing the attainment gap, Sipp by Sipp” (Insight, 19 February) made claims about the Sipp project with Crookfur and Thornliebank Primaries using Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI).

Both schools had considerable expert input through the University of Strathclyde. I led professional development in CGI with all staff – two completed a CGI Masters module at Strathclyde, and one is working on a dissertation.

CGI is a promising but complex development programme. Research shows that teachers need three years of CGI classroom practice to develop a reasonable understanding and at least five years with ongoing support and study before leading the learning of colleagues. The inputs provided to the East Renfrewshire schools would only equip teachers to think about their own practice, not develop others.

Teachers and policymakers need access to reports that provide an accurate and rigorous account about how much support and expertise innovations require. I have raised my concerns about some of the details within the Robert Owen Centre reports with Education Scotland, who commissioned the SIPP research and with East Renfrewshire. East Renfrewshire immediately offered to correct their own publicity materials.

Dr Lio Moscardini

School of Education, University of Strathclyde

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@UpstartScot

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