SET Fellow Dan Williams tells us how he is working with the professional standard 'Maintain and update your knowledge of educational research to develop evidence-based practice' and how this is helping his practice. Dan is a Lecturer in Initial Teacher Education and an Advanced Practitioner at New College Nottingham.
What do you do to engage with this standard?
I write a weekly blog, which uses research to critically analyse a range of teaching and learning strategies. This is written in my own time, but supports my reflection, keeps me well informed and aids many in the sector by bringing difficult to access research and putting it into easy to access terminology. I believe that all teachers should be provided with the time to partake in such activities to broaden their knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning strategies that work.
How do you know it is helping you?
I am more research informed and use this to not only aid my own planning and delivery of teaching and learning strategies, but also that of my trainee teachers and the wider FE social media community. Many have commented on how useful it is to them and how it has improved their practice, whilst others have engaged in rich debate about my thinking, which further develops their views.
How do you know it is helping your colleagues?
I am teaching to a much higher standard. Colleagues are engaging more in debate and are more informed by research, as are my trainee teachers. Beyond this, I have hundreds of readers of the blog, who challenge my thinking further and help me to spread my ideas beyond that of my own head!
Have you got any evidence to show it has helped your learners?
My trainee teachers are using teaching and learning strategies that are based on sound research and are writing more critically about learning. They are also accessing social media and scholarly reading more to further their views. As a result, their written assessments are improving a great deal too.