ACT - The Association of Christian Teachers

for Christians working in education

Research into learning.

Research into learning.

In the past few years, schools have focused more on the use of research, especially into how pupils learn and the implications on effective teaching.

One reason teachers have needed to become more research informed is to respond to the masses of misinformation presented to us. Even when a teaching approach is exposed as incorrect, it can continue to influence how we work.

One example is the learning pyramid, which is based on Edgar Dale’s cone of experience. This was a theoretical framework that made no mention of learning but soon took on a life of its own, as the learning pyramid. Most teachers will have been given information apparently based on this work – for example, that pupils only remember 5% of what they’re told but 90% of what they teach others.

A designated research lead can filter what’s out there and share the most robust evidence for their colleagues

There is not – and never has been – any evidence to support those claims and yet they still appear in continuing professional development (CPD) sessions and advice to teachers. Even when the fault in the original idea is known, it is so ingrained in “good practice” that it still holds sway; I’ve met plenty of teachers who limit how much time they spend talking to a class as a result.

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