July 5, 2019
Measuring progress in education

Measuring Progress in Education

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

At the 10th Annual Festival of Education, held at the beautiful Wellington College, CEM hosted a panel on “Measuring progress in education: The good, the bad and the future.”...

June 27, 2019

The Big Evidence Debate – Catch Up

On Tuesday 4th June 2019 we held the first ever Big Evidence Debate.


Leading educational experts Dylan Wiliam and Larry Hedges gave fascinating keynote presentations, and thought leaders and educational practitioners joined them to debate the contribution that meta-analysis and randomised control trials make to understanding what works in education.

June 21, 2019
The good, the bad, the future

Measuring Progress in Education – The good, the bad and the future

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Richard Selfridge

In recent years, ‘progress’ or ‘growth’ has become a much-discussed issue in education. The terminology has often been used to mean a numerical summary of a child’s development over time, usually when compared to their peers...

June 20, 2019
Root of evil

Progress measures are the root of all evil

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By James Pembroke

In their pursuit of a number - a neat proxy for the distance travelled between two points - schools can do some crazy stuff...

June 20, 2019
An exercise in mega-silliness

Is meta-analysis all just ‘an exercise in mega-silliness’?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

By Stuart Kime

To my mind, there was something heroic about Gene Glass’ presidential address to the 1976 American Educational Research Association annual meeting...

June 14, 2019
Meta Analysis Blog

Meta-analysis: Don’t do it or Do it more carefully?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

By Philippa Cordingley

Meta-analyses (like the popular Sutton Trust Tool Kit and Hattie’s Visible Learning) apparently offer a more sophisticated and orderly approach to our world than the messy reality of day to day practice...

June 11, 2019
Is Meta-Analysis the best we can do?

Is meta-analysis the best we can do?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

By Professor Steve Higgins

Is meta-analysis in its current state trustworthy enough to be a basis for practitioner decisions?...

June 6, 2019
Introducing the 50 Percent Rule

The Big Evidence Debate: Introducing the 50% rule

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Lee Elliot-Major

As a news editor, I developed my own 50% rule: reporters should spend as much time writing their stories as getting the stories in the first place. Journalists often race back into the newsroom with great tales to tell...

May 30, 2019
Phil Stock Blog Meta-Analysis

Meta-analyses and the making of an evidence-informed profession

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Phil Stock

Before entering into a broader discussion about the use of meta-analysis in school decision-making, it’s worth appreciating just how far teaching has progressed towards becoming an evidence-informed profession...

May 24, 2019
Systematic Reviews and meta-analyses

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses – what’s all the fuss?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Megan Dixon

Should we be using systematic reviews and meta-analyses as teachers and school leaders to support the decisions we make, or is that a luxury? How do they actually help?...

May 20, 2019
Where is the value in meta-analysis

Where is the value in meta-analysis?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Dr Niki Kaiser

Before I trained as a teacher, I worked as a researcher, investigating the effect of phytoplankton processes in the ocean...

September 19, 2018
Is It Time To Ditch Differentiation

Is it time to ditch ‘Differentiation’?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Greg Ashman

I suspect I would struggle to find a teacher who has never heard of ‘differentiation’. Exhortations to differentiate are ubiquitous in schools and from school leaders...

September 12, 2018
Systematic Reviews and Weather Systems

Systematic Reviews and Weather Forecasts – how purpose shapes the significance of systematic reviews for different education stakeholders

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Philippa Cordingley, Paul Crisp & Steve Higgins

We are planning a barbeque in our new house next weekend and we want to know if it’s going to rain. We look at the weather forecast and it tells us there’s a 25% chance of rain...

September 6, 2018
What should we do about meta-analysis and effect size

What should we do about meta-analysis and effect size?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Rob Coe

In part 1 of this series of blog posts, I set out some of the recent criticisms that have been made by researchers such as Wiliam, Simpson and Slavin about the use of effect sizes to compare the impact of different interventions and the resulting problems in combining them in meta-analysis...

September 5, 2018
Serious Critiques of Meta-Analysis and Effect Size

Serious critiques of meta-analysis and effect size: researchED 2018

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

By Rob Coe

Since I became a researcher in the late 1990s, I have been an advocate of using effect size and meta-analysis for summarising and combining results from research.

It seems hard to imagine now, but back then, both approaches were well outside the mainstream of educational research practice and were neither widely used nor understood by most education researchers, let alone policymakers or teachers...