August 15, 2018
Signs of Progress

Signs of progress: what can we learn from results?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” - Benjamin Franklin.

With A Level and GCSE results days fast approaching attention once again turns to progress, and discussion about impact...

August 2, 2018
Spotlight on research

Spotlight on Research – getting to grips with what’s available

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

EEF findings last year suggested that teachers need “structured and intensive support” to engage with new research if outcomes are to improve, and the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training also recommended that new teachers should be inducted in where and how to access relevant research in order to help instil an evidence-based approach to teaching...

July 26, 2018
5 top blogs to read this summer

5 top blogs to read this summer

Reading Time: Approx 2 mins

It is perennially difficult during term time to make space for some interesting reads that offer insight into the teaching profession, and it’s easy to feel you have missed out on too much...

July 17, 2018
Vocabulary: A number of words

Vocabulary: A number of words?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Alex Quigley

Deep vocabulary learning is irreversible, irreplaceable and essential to learning and thinking. However, as it is so integral to all of schooling and learning beyond the school gates, it proves very difficult to assess and evaluate effectively. Simply counting up words in lists will never do the job adequately...

July 12, 2018

In pursuit of reliability and validity

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Chris Jellis, Research Associate at CEM

Any good assessment is a balance between reliability and validity.

A lot has already been written about this. Dylan William discusses the complexity of the relationship between reliability and validity in Reliability, Validity and all that Jazz, where he refers to the ‘tension’ between them....

June 28, 2018

Evidence-based improvement

Video Duration: Approx 40mins

By Professor Rob Coe, Director, CEM

At the Festival of Education 2018, Rob Coe’s presentation followed on from his recent blog post But that is NOT AN ASSESSMENT! by discussing some of the ways schools, and teachers, can use an evidence-based approach to get better at what they do, and he looked at what’s good and what’s not good in relation to assessment...

June 20, 2018
Not an assessment

But that is NOT AN ASSESSMENT!

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Professor Rob Coe, Director, CEM

It has become common, although I still find it surprising, to hear teachers use the word ‘data’ as if it were a bad thing.

‘Data drops’ have come to epitomise a pointless exercise in collecting meaningless numbers and feeding them into a system that can have no possible benefit for learners. People even say that Ofsted is ‘too reliant on data’, as if a judgement process could - or should – rely on anything other than data...

June 12, 2018
Teacher with children

Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

In my previous blog post, I considered some of the findings from the 2015 PISA study.

The data appear to suggest that independent or student led activities do not support outcomes as effectively as more traditional teacher led activities.

In reality, can either approach be solely relied upon?...

June 4, 2018

Making a world of difference: my experience of using evidence in international schools

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Sue Holt, Vice Principal, New Cairo British International School

It would be an easy task to list the benefits of working in an international school.

Less easy would be finding ways to meet some of the unexpected and complex challenges that face senior leaders in an international education...

May 25, 2018

What is on our bookshelves?

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Believe it or not, there were bookcases before IKEA’s ubiquitous BILLY bookshelf.

We’ve been putting things on shelves for thousands of years. Archaeological remains from earliest times suggest that clay and stone tablets were kept in some arranged order by their authors or collectors...

May 17, 2018
Assessment without Levels Webinar

Assessment without Levels: Using CEM data

Has the removal of national curriculum levels in England created a broader interest in assessment practices?

The removal of levels back in 2014 caused chaos, confusion and consternation amongst many educators. To some, levels were a secure, reliable, dependable way of scaffolding a child’s journey through school. To others, they represented the limitations of people’s understanding about learning and assessment practice...

May 8, 2018
What is PISA telling us

What is PISA telling us, and what can teachers do about it?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

Since the publication of the results from the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), many researchers and educational bloggers have drawn attention to, and have questioned, the results. For example, Greg Ashman has discussed the implications of the 2015 study on several occasions.

The 2015 PISA study involved assessing the performance of over half a million 15 year olds in 72 countries using a series of computer-based tasks and questionnaires...

April 26, 2018
How schools can engage

How schools can engage with research and evidence

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

It makes sense that the most effective teaching methods are used in classrooms, and that the most effective leadership governance practices are used in schools, but how do educators decide on what evidence on which they should rely, to whom they should listen, and how they might engage meaningfully with research findings? How do we know what research is worth listening to, what is worth ignoring, and what has been debunked?

In my last post for the CEM Blog, I explored the dangers of educators accepting seemingly simple solutions to the complex problems of education. In this post I suggest five ways in which teachers, schools, and systems can meaningfully engage in research...

April 29, 2016
Science Students

The big questions we should all be asking about practical science

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Helen Cramman

Science is not short of big questions to ask: How did the universe begin? How did life on earth begin? What makes us human? I could go on. But even though there are plenty of big questions in science, we must not forget to ask the smaller, no less important questions to ensure that we are nurturing the future generations who will go on to ask and answer the big questions of their time...

April 26, 2016
Confused Boy

Helping teachers give every child the support they need

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Christine Merrell

It can be hard for even the best teachers to notice differences in the behaviour of one child in a busy primary classroom, even though responding to these signs can be the key to helping a child make good progress.

However, I hope that new research by the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University will be able to offer both new insights and practical help...