Here are 2 good sites for accessing information about what works in schools – Evidence for Learning (Aust.) and Edutopia (US).
Evidence for Learning
This independent Australian site helps to build, share and use evidence to improve learning in all schools. Find out about new Australian education approaches and Australian and global evidence summaries of 34 education approaches. Sign up for the newsletter.
Evidence for Learning – Teaching and Learning Toolkit
The Toolkit summarises the global evidence on 34 different approaches to learning and investigates their effectiveness for student attainment eg. feedback, homework, digital technology, phonics, peer tutoring, early years intervention and behaviour interventions. Information is provided on how the approach impacts student attainment (number of months added to a student’s attainment), the strength of the evidence and the average cost to implement. The update in March has new evidence on 10 educational topics including class size, performance pay and outdoor adventure learning.
Evidence for Learning – Research trials
Evidence for Learning analyses global studies eg. Are there student benefits from taking practice tests? Research has shown that students who take practice tests often outperform students who study, practise, do filler activities, or do not practise with the material. New meta-analysis of evidence supports the use of practice tests to advance student learning. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3102/0034654316689306 (abstract only).
Tackling the ‘learning styles’ myth
Many teachers believe that students learn better when taught in their preferred learning style. However, there is very limited evidence for any consistent set of learning styles to identify genuine differences in the learning needs of students and it is unhelpful to assign learners to groups on the basis of a learning ‘style’. “Teachers’ time and resources are better spent on providing timely and specific feedback to students as evidence shows this has an impact of 8 months’ worth of learning progress” (Evidence for Learning 2017).
Homework, technology, smaller classes
Research shows teaching phonics is crucial to children in their early years (NSW schools use MiniLit – an evidence-based phonics program). For homework, studies show the optimum amount is between one and two hours per school day (slightly longer for older students) and effects diminish as time spent on homework increases. Research shows class size does not have clear effects on student attainment until class size is reduced to under 20 or below 15. Studies also show that technology can improve learning if it is used appropriately.
Edutopia: K-12 education tips and strategies that work
US site. Evidence and practitioner-based learning strategies for improving K-12 education. Lots of articles and videos. Topics include critical thinking, collaborative learning, blended learning, education trends, student voice, growth mindset, game-based learning….
Browse topics: https://www.edutopia.org/topic-index