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Evidence-Based Practice

Professional Development
Skills for Life Network

The Professional Development Programme for Advanced Practitioners is working towards several outcomes best summarised by three deceptively simple questions we explored on the CPD programme.

What question is on your mind?

The tender recently issued by ETF will also be evaluating, amongst other things, how well the programme is ‘increasing participating AP’s knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to:

  1. research-informed approaches to teaching, learning and assessment and
  2. effective approaches to professional learning and development in the context of their role as an AP across their organisation…’

This reminded me of some of the content we explored on the residential and I think it’s worth a visit.

Principles of Instruction: Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers Should Know, by Barak Rosenshine

We used Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction reader (plus Oliver Caviglioli’s super poster summary) for a Jigsaw activity on day 1. APs critically examined 5 readers in response to our big question:

The Big Question

This blog from James Ramseaught @humanitieshola caught my attention. I love his suggestions on how the reader can be used with teachers in a professional learning and development setting to help them to explore and apply the research to their practice.  Check out his task list below. Could you adapt/use it with peers?


  1. Read each section
  2. Discuss your initial reaction to this section with your partner
  3. Summarise the key messages of each section
  4. Why are these principles of instruction crucial to effective practice?
  5. What do we do currently relating to these principles of instruction?
  6. What could we do differently in relation to these principles of instruction?
  7. List any questions you have about this section?

Review Tasks

And for those who want to read more on Rosenshine @teacherhead’s take is a good one.

Learning – What is it, and how might we catalyse it?

APs, also examined, as part of the Jigsaw another reader: The Learning Curriculum by Fletcher-Wood et al. This is a collaborative piece which, building on the team’s knowledge of the science of learning, aims to develop a structure and sequence for sharing this knowledge with teachers. It’s worth a read for anyone supporting teachers’ professional development.

The Institute for Teaching have recently published another paper: Learning – What is it and how we catalyse it? This is such a critical question for APs to help teachers explore as one’s answers influences planning, assumptions and what one does or doesn’t do with learners in the ‘classroom’. You can read it online. And for those who prefer a poster summary, do check out Oliver Caviglioli’s brilliant poster summary.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on either of these two pieces, or/ and on ways you have perhaps used the ideas with colleagues. Do you fancy writing a paragraph or two for the #APConnect3? We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch.

Finally, we have also noticed Ofsted and, in particular, Professor Daniel Muijis (Head of Research, Ofsted) are advocating increased scrutiny of evidence based approaches. Do have a look at this presentation by Professor Muijis. He argues strongly for professional development to be research informed. Our ambition is that your participation in this project will help develop a deeper understanding of such initiatives.

Review Tasks

We would love to hear your views on how the project is supporting this agenda. And I bet the appointed programme evaluators will too! Do get in touch.

Joss Kang, Project Director

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