June 6, 2017

Five things you need to know about value-added

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

We all know that academic progress is an individual thing. Making progress relies on a whole range of influencing factors and students make progress at different times and at different rates.

All too often the focus on exam results fails to take account of the mammoth steps students and teachers have sometimes taken on the way to attaining their personal summits...

May 16, 2017
Science Students

Practical work in science – CEM wants to hear from you

Reading Time: Approx 6mins

By Kirsty Younger

CEM wants to hear from you on practical work in science.

Policy and practice rarely stand still in the world of education, and science teaching is no exception. Recent years have seen changes to the way that science subjects are assessed at GCSE and A level in England. Importantly, the assessment methods for practical work in science have changed...

May 11, 2017

What makes great assessment?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Almost 20 years ago, at the very tail-end of the last century, Professor Rob Coe published his Manifesto for Evidence-Based Education, in which he argued for evidence-based policy, evidence-based practice and the promotion of a culture of evidence.

“‘Evidence-based’ is the latest buzz word in education” he wrote in 1999. If the Chartered College of Teaching event...

April 25, 2017
David Weston

Assessment for Teacher Learning: Making CPD responsive

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by David Weston

Here’s the big idea – teachers can only improve their practice when they also improve their ability to assess.

Dylan Wiliam, along with his colleague Paul Black, could be considered the fathers of formative assessment. And yet Dylan Wiliam considers this one of his biggest mistakes, wishing he’d called it something like ‘responsive teaching’ instead...

March 14, 2017
Stuart Kime

No robust evidence to prove learning styles exist

Video Duration: Approx 4mins

presented by Stuart Kime

This week leading academics from the worlds of neuroscience, education and psychology expressed their concerns over the continuing popularity of the theory of ‘learning styles’, saying the approach is ineffective, a waste of resources and ...

March 10, 2017
Boy with book

How much difference does going to school make?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Professor Christine Merrell, CEM Director of Research Development.

The contribution of schooling to learning gains of pupils in year 1 to 6

Using longitudinal data from our PIPS and InCAS assessments, we have been able to explore this question...

February 16, 2017
Carol

Carol Taylor Fitz-Gibbon, 1938 – 2017

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Professor Rob Coe, Director, CEM

At the end of January, the educational researcher who influenced me more than any other, my formative mentor, an inspirational leader, and the most innovative educational thinker I have known, died...

February 15, 2017
Rob Coe

A Vision for Enhanced Professionalism

Video Duration: Approx 24mins

presented by Professor Rob Coe

"Teaching is far and away the most important of all professions. Teachers make more difference to more people's lives, in a way that more people feel passionate about... what they do really matters." - Professor Robert Coe, Director, CEM.

The new professional body for the teaching profession, The Chartered College of Teaching hosted their inaugural conference in London on Thursday 16th February...

February 3, 2017
Girl On Computer

The future of primary assessment: Learning first or accountability?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Christine Merrell, Head Teachers' Roundtable Summit, 2nd Feb 2017

I was asked to speak about the future of primary assessment in relation to learning and accountability at the Head Teachers’ Roundtable Summit in London on 2nd Feb. The summit offered an opportunity to debate matters that enable schools to thrive and flourish, and was clearly an important forum, attracting over 200 delegates...

January 24, 2017
Maths

Investigating Mathematical Attainment and Progress (IMAP)

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

by Dr Lee Copping

Low attainment is acknowledged to be one of the most serious problems in mathematics education.

The proportion of the very lowest attaining students at the end of Key Stage 3 has roughly doubled since the 1970s. This group now constitutes about 15% of the Year 9 cohort and these students have difficulty answering even basic questions about core ideas...

July 28, 2016
Holiday

Summertime and the planning is easy

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

The summer holidays are finally here and offer a long awaited break after SATs, GCSEs and A-levels. There has been a raft of changes which have hit schools during the last few months such as examination reforms, new Ofsted frameworks and changes to baseline assessment in primary schools.

Despite all the uncertainty which schools are facing due to these issues, there is some breathing space for teachers to read around recent research and innovations and plan ahead during the holiday...

July 8, 2016
Teacher Child

Understanding what works in oral reading assessments

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

by Professors Christine Merrell and Peter Tymms

Last week saw the publication of the new online and open-access report, Understanding What Works in Oral Reading Assessments. Produced collaboratively by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the Global Partnership for Education and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the report contains an important chapter, ‘Assessing Young Children: Problems and Solutions’, co-authored by CEM’s Director of Research, Professor Christine Merrell and iPIPS Director, Professor Peter Tymms...

June 22, 2016
Books

What is Worth Reading for Teachers Interested in Research?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

Professor Robert Coe, June 2016

I give a fair number of talks to groups of teachers and school leaders on the subject of connecting educational research with their practice. Often I will mention a particular book, such as John Hattie’s Visible Learning, Graham Nuthall’s Hidden Lives of Learners or Dylan Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment, and ask if anyone has read it. I have learnt that it is rare for more than a handful of my audience to say yes; I confess I am repeatedly disappointed...

May 24, 2016
Lee Copping

What’s in a name?

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by Dr Lee Copping

New research from CEM shows that the length of a child’s name is not predictive of future academic attainment.

There are few who would dispute that the ability to write one’s own name acts as a gateway for future literacy abilities. Previous research in education however has suggested that the length of a child’s name may be predictive of future academic attainment (Treiman, Kessler and Bourassa, 2001)...

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...

March 4, 2014

Would you let this test into your classroom?

Reading Time: Approx 6mins

By Professor Robert Coe, 27 February 2014

In England, the government has announced the end of using levels for assessment. If that means an end to meaningless numbers based on unstandardized, impressionistic, selective and biased judgements that fail to capture true learning, it is a good thing. But will it? And what have we got that is better?

As schools start to confront the reality of having to design their own assessment systems, or adopt them from elsewhere, two things have become clear to me. The first is that in assessment, quality matters. The difference between good and bad assessment is huge and it makes an important difference. The second is that the understanding of what makes...

January 9, 2014

Classroom observation: it’s harder than you think

Reading Time: Approx 7mins

by Professor Robert Coe

We’ve all done it: observed another teacher’s lesson and made a judgement about how effective the teaching was. Instinctively it feels valid. I am a good teacher; I’ll know a good lesson when I see one. We’ve all experienced it from the other side – being observed – but this time the feeling may be more mixed. Sometimes you get real insight from someone who sees what you don’t, questions what you take for granted and makes you think differently. Sometimes they just tell you what they would have done, or focus on some trivial irrelevance...

October 10, 2013

Baseline assessment, to test, or not to test, that is the question…

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

To test, or not to test? That is the question which provokes one of the most keenly fought debates in education policy, and which can lead to soul searching on an almost Shakespearean scale among teachers and academics.

From a CEM perspective there is a strong argument for testing as a baseline assessment and the Centre has recently submitted evidence to the DfE making the case for this as part of the consultation on Primary Assessment and Accountability held by the Department (#cemevidenceforassessment)...