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 18, 2018
Evidence Based Educations, Expectations, Barriers and Pitfalls

Evidence-based education: expectations, barriers and pitfalls

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

Teachers, school leaders, schools, and education systems around the world are increasingly expected to use data to inform practice.

The Australian school system in which I work is grounded in the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians. Among other things, the Declaration outlines the need for schools to have reliable, rich, good quality data on the performance of their students in order to improve outcomes for all students by: supporting successful diagnosis of student progress; supporting designing of high quality learning programs; and informing school approaches to provision of policies, programs, resourcing, relationships with parents and partnerships with community and business. It additionally notes that information about the performance of students helps parents and families make informed choices and engage with their children’s education...

April 10, 2018
Data Matters

Data matters

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Mark Steed, Director of JESS, Dubai

There is broad agreement in research that effective use of data is vital to school improvement. We know that the effective use of data can promote better teaching and learning through practices such as tracking pupil progress, setting targets, identifying where students need further support, strategic planning and performance management.

Therefore, it stands to reason that there is also a need for school leaders to have high levels of assessment and data skills...

March 20, 2018
Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice: What it is and what it isn’t

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Gary Jones

We are delighted to host this piece by Gary Jones, in which he draws out the parallels between guidance on the meaning of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practice in education.

Talking about evidence-based practice often generates a level of concern among teachers who worry that this is an attempt to control or dictate what they can and cannot do; that it removes or devalues their professional judgement; that it reduces the complexity of school and classroom interaction to simplistic recipes based on a narrow range of research methods...

March 13, 2018
Reporting the evidence

Reporting the evidence: what research can tell us about how assessment data is used

Podcast Duration: Approx 17mins

Katharine Bailey is Director of Policy here at CEM, and for many years she has been working with schools and governments in the UK and around the world, helping them to use assessment data for pupil and school improvement...

November 30, 2017
Testing the water

Teachers need greater support in order to understand and maximise the value of assessment in their classrooms

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

A new report, Testing the Water: How assessment can underpin, not undermine, great teaching, published today by LKMCO and Pearson, calls for more support for teachers and greater understanding of assessment across education sector.

The report is based on a year-long research project including a national survey of over 1,000 teachers in England, opinions from focus groups, an online consultation, thought-pieces from fourteen leading educationalists, and three international case studies...

November 30, 2017
Student Exams

7 questions you need to ask about assessment

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

To a busy teacher, producing good assessments can be a time consuming and daunting prospect.

When it is done well, an assessment can provide you with information that it isn’t possible to find out in any other way.

We have all heard of teachers saying “I’ve set this test to be really hard, no-one will get this right”, but assessment isn’t about you as a teacher pitting your wits against your students. Assessment plays an important part in helping you find out what your students know and, importantly, do not know, in order to better meet their learning needs...

November 15, 2017
Working Together

Working together to get the best from technology in schools

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Robert Cooper, IT Manager

If you work in a school, you’ll probably be just about into the rhythm of things with the first half term under your belt.

A new school year is always a busy time for everyone and it can be stressful. Part of that stress can be caused by your school technology not working the way you want; your classroom projector has changed since last term, you can’t print your notes for the next lesson; or your PC starts up on your first day back with an operating system you’ve never seen before...

November 10, 2017
Teenager Science

Practical science in schools

Reading Time: Approx 1min

By Kirsty Younger

The Practical Work in Science study is nearing the end of its final year of data collection.

The study, funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation with a contribution from the Wellcome Trust, investigates how practical science in schools has been changing during a period of curriculum change and budgetary constraints...

November 8, 2017
Teaching Children

6 elements of great teaching

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Teaching can be, without a doubt, a complicated business.

Defining effective teaching is not straightforward and there are many facets to it that combine to make great learning happen.

Since its publication in 2014, research published by the Sutton Trust outlining the key elements of effective teaching has been downloaded over 100,000 times...