Best Practice

CPD: How to unlock education research

Unpacking research findings can be challenging. Dr Fiona Aubrey-Smith and Professor Peter Twining offer teachers and CPD leaders some practical tips about how to source and interpret the latest research efficiently and effectively and discusses some of the common flaws to look out for


As a profession we are getting better at using research evidence to inform our decision-making, both individually and collectively. However, just over a year ago, the National Foundation for Educational Research and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF, 2019) undertook research which suggested that there is still a long way to go (see also Nelson & Walker, 2019).

Part of a school becoming an effective professional learning environment is engaging meaningfully with available research and embedding specific types of strategic thinking and evaluative focus into practice (Twining & Henry, 2014). While many teachers and leaders are now more pro-actively engaging with academic research through formal studies (such as Master’s programmes), others will not yet have had the opportunity to be coached through how to source and unpack robust research specific to their own practice. Whether you are a classroom practitioner or a leader supporting others here are some tips for how to source and interpret the latest research findings.

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