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Do Your Homework?! 
Acting on Evidence from 
Educational Research 
Tom Sherrington 
Headteacher at Highbury Grove School 
...
Four examples 
• Homework – Hattie’s meta-analysis 
• Memory, Spacing and Interleaving – Bjork’s 
experiments 
• The Spiri...
Hattie on Homework 
• Methodology: 5 meta-analyses of 161 studies 
involving 100, 000 students 
• Effect size: 0.29 averag...
Conclusions from Hattie 
What Hattie actually says about homework is complex. There 
is no meaningful sense in which it co...
Hattie’s comment……
Bjork et al on Memory
Bjork on Memory 
• Methodology: controlled trials with ~ 100 
subjects 
• Statistical analysis with repeat experiments 
ba...
The Spirit of AfL
Teachers with the 
‘spirit of AfL’ also 
more likely to hold 
themselves 
responsible for 
impediments to 
learning and to...
…teachers who hold 
incremental views of learning 
are better equipped to deal 
with external pressures…. 
The implication...
Dialogue as Precursor to Writing 
• KEGS Teacher writing an MA Thesis 
• Methodology section and literature review. 
• Evi...
Questions 
• Is the initial research valid enough to base 
decisions on? How specific were the conditions? 
How well-defin...
Research ed2014
Research ed2014
Research ed2014
Research ed2014
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Research ed2014

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Research ed2014

  1. 1. Do Your Homework?! Acting on Evidence from Educational Research Tom Sherrington Headteacher at Highbury Grove School @headguruteacher
  2. 2. Four examples • Homework – Hattie’s meta-analysis • Memory, Spacing and Interleaving – Bjork’s experiments • The Spirit of AfL and CPD – Bethan Marshall (Kings) et al • Dialogue as precursor to writing – Emma Barton MA Thesis.
  3. 3. Hattie on Homework • Methodology: 5 meta-analyses of 161 studies involving 100, 000 students • Effect size: 0.29 average but 0.64 for secondary and 0.15 for primary • Different outcomes depending on tasks set, method of measurement, age of students, ability profile…..
  4. 4. Conclusions from Hattie What Hattie actually says about homework is complex. There is no meaningful sense in which it could be stated that “the research says X about homework” in a simple soundbite. There are some lessons to learn: • The more specific and precise the task is, the more likely it is to make an impact for all learners. Homework that is more open, more complex is more appropriate for able and older students. • Teacher monitoring and involvement is key – so putting students in a position where their learning is too complex, extended or unstructured to be done unsupervised is not healthy. This is more likely for young children, hence the very low effect size for primary age students.
  5. 5. Hattie’s comment……
  6. 6. Bjork et al on Memory
  7. 7. Bjork on Memory • Methodology: controlled trials with ~ 100 subjects • Statistical analysis with repeat experiments based on blocking and spacing sets of information. • Universal claims about fundamental nature of learning with implications for planning
  8. 8. The Spirit of AfL
  9. 9. Teachers with the ‘spirit of AfL’ also more likely to hold themselves responsible for impediments to learning and to value student autonomy.
  10. 10. …teachers who hold incremental views of learning are better equipped to deal with external pressures…. The implication is that beliefs and practices need to be developed together.
  11. 11. Dialogue as Precursor to Writing • KEGS Teacher writing an MA Thesis • Methodology section and literature review. • Evidence: Transcripts of a series of interviews with three students chosen as case-study subjects; assessment of students’ work plus some survey data from the class. • Conclusions focused on value of specific intervention in improving outcomes on specific task.
  12. 12. Questions • Is the initial research valid enough to base decisions on? How specific were the conditions? How well-defined were the parameters of the measures? Has the nuance been averaged out? • Is there a specific values-system at work that informs of dominates the measured outcomes? • Does the outcome have general significance suggesting specific actions that should be taken? • Does the outcome provide insights and/or raise questions that practitioners should ask about the learning in their context?

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