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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

On this week's programme I discuss how research can inform teaching with Professor Chris Brown from Durham University's School of Education. Professor Brown discusses his work with teachers in professional learning networks, how teachers can apply research in their schools, and the barriers to doing so.

Among the topics discussed are the following:

  • How frequently do teachers consult research to solve problems of teaching?
  • The need to draw first on teachers’ knowledge and experience
  • How does research add to, challenge or deepen teachers’ knowledge?
  • The importance of teachers collaboratively engaging with and looking at research
  • Having an “evidence champion” in a school and partnerships with higher education institutions
  • The quality of research available to teachers (original, significant, robust methods)
  • Different kinds of research (Stokes’s quadrant)
  • Carol Weiss and instrumental research use, conceptual research use and symbolic research use (9’22” – 10’08")
  • Drawing on research to develop theories of action
  • Teachers’ access to published research
  • Networks of teachers and effective change management (17’36). The focus of the four whole-day workshops each year is:
    1. Vision and engagement with research
    2. Trialling
    3. Change Management
    4. Impact
  • Leadership and degree centrality (24’53”)
  • Evaluating “best practice” (27’58”)
  • Areas of research that have been particularly helpful in informing teachers’ practice (30’26”)
  • Factors that influence what and how research influences policy (31’49”)
  • Professional Learning Networks (34’45”)
  • The role played by encouragement, trust, social influence, and innovation in promoting research-informed practice (35’59”)
  • Avoiding edu-myths or other dead-ends in research (39’39”)
  • What are schools for (40’51”)
  • A teacher who had a significant impact on him (42’17”)
  • What inspires him (43’17”)

Among the people named by Chris Brown in the course of the interview are Stephen Ball, Jean Baudrillard, Alan Daly, Jim Spillane and Carol Weiss, some of whom have appeared on previous episodes of Inside Education: Ball, Spillane.

The paper that I reported on in the research section is Fan, H., Xu, J., Cai, Z., He, J & Fan, X. (2017). Homework and students' achievement in math and science: A 30-year meta-analysis, 1986-2015.

 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney.

On this week's programme, philosopher and retired primary school teacher, John Doyle, reflects on teaching. First he uses the boxing ring as a metaphor for the classroom and preparation for teaching is like the time spent in a gym. Later in the programme he answers questions on books that influenced his teaching and advice for a beginning teacher. John taught for several years in St. Brigid's National School in Castleknock; I first met him when I was placed as a student teacher in his class in the mid 1980s. 

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Presented and produced by Seán Delaney

Homework report by Barry Hennessy

Barry spoke to Professor Pam Sammons from Jesus College Oxford on the subject of the latest findings of the Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education project, particularly with regard to homework. Professor Sammons referred to research reports and you can read them here, here and here.

Seán spoke to Dr. Séamus Cannon, recently retired director of Blackrock Education Centre about how the work of the centre evolved during his time at the helm and he shares his thoughts on how teachers learn.

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