Developing the research literacy of beginning teachers
Initial teacher education should develop the research literacy of beginning teachers sufficiently so that, in their first and subsequent posts, they are able to contribute to the collaborative development of research-informed teaching. A ‘research literate’ teacher will be able to critically engage with research reviews and with individual research papers and make a professional judgement about their robustness and relevance to their own practical wisdom, classroom practice and school context. Such research literacy will underpin the beginning teachers skills in professional inquiry and their understanding of its potential to contribute to personal development and collective instructional leadership of a school. This workshop will provide, in a condensed format, an example of a taught session on research literacy for a postgraduate student teacher group. This will be used to provoke debate on the level of research literacy appropriate for beginning teachers and on contested aspects of the value to schools and teachers of different forms of research evidence within the field of education. The session will include guidance and discussion on the evaluation by teachers and schools of randomised controlled trials and of qualitative research studies, the value of systematic and narrative research reviews, and the use of research meta-review evidence such as the Education Endowment Fund teaching and learning toolkit. The workshop will enable participants to update their own knowledge on critical evaluation of educational research evidence and consider the level of research literacy appropriate for their student teachers.