The Importance of Research in Education

The Importance of Research in Education

I attended the conference of the National Conference of University Professors recently. One of the speakers at the event, which was titled Research Excellence and Publishing Seminar, was Professor Marilyn Leask.

She asked: "Where is the research on lesson planning?"

We may do things without knowing if there is any research about that approach, or what the research says. Perhaps we may even justify that by taking the view that if we get it wrong, ie it turns out that what we're doing is ineffective or worse, at least nobody is going to die.

No, said Professor Leask. But if schooling is poor, pupils could go on to lead impoverished lives.

All very well, and all very true, but as Professor Leask said, teachers don't want to read academic research papers that boast 20 pages of methodology. They want practical solutions. As I always ask when I am evaluating a talk at a conference for teachers: how will this help me with class 3B next Friday afternoon?

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Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."