Education Endowment Foundation:Measuring Teachers’ Research Engagement: Finding from a pilot study

Measuring Teachers’ Research Engagement: Finding from a pilot study

Presents findings from a survey co-developed by the EEF and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)

Authors: Julie Nelson, Palak Mehta, Jonathan Sharples, Calum DaveyReport and Executive Summary,

March 2017

Despite recent policies to support evidence-informed teaching, and a number of important practical developments we still don’t know a great deal about the current extent or depth of evidence-informed practice across schools in England. This paper presents findings from a survey co-developed by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), which captured information about this issue in late 2014.

The survey was developed to provide a measure of research engagement across a series of projects, funded by the EEF, which aim to increase schools’ awareness, and use, of research evidence. The survey has also informed the EEF’s overall approach to scaling-up and mobilising evidence – a key priority for the organisation in the second five years of its life.

It suggests that at this point, academic research was having only a small to moderate influence on decision making relative to other sources, despite teachers generally reporting a positive disposition towards research. Additionally, it suggests this positive disposition towards research, and perceptions of research engagement, were not necessarily transferring into an increased conceptual understanding of research knowledge.