School & District Management

British Researchers First To Compile Key Findings

By Debra Viadero — September 04, 2002 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Plans are just getting under way in this country for a new national clearinghouse on what research has to say about what works in education. But on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, British researchers have already beaten the United States to the punch.

In July, EPPI-Centre, a government-assisted effort housed at the University of London, published its first four reports reviewing and summarizing what researchers in the English-speaking world have discovered about key educational topics.

“Hitherto, nobody in the U.K. has invested money like this into the preparation of reviews,” said Michael Bassey, the academic secretary for the British Educational Research Association.

The first reviews by EPPI-Centre, which is the official acronym for Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre, focus on:

  • Identifying ways schools can become more inclusive in responding to students from diverse cultures and communities;
  • Reducing the stereotypical ideas students have about gender;
  • Assessing the impact of technology on students’ language arts learning; and
  • Gauging what’s known about the effect of high-stakes tests on students’ motivation for learning.

Difficult Process

If there is a lesson for researchers “across the pond” in the United Kingdom’s effort, however, it is that the process of gathering up studies, systematically reviewing them, and distilling some usable knowledge from them is difficult.

In an unpublished paper looking back at the center’s first foray into education reviews, Ann Oakley, the director of its social science research unit, notes that studies meeting the group’s criteria were hard to find—as were reviewers with the knowledge and skills to analyze them.

Moreover, the $30,000 or so in seed money that the British government provides for each review falls far short of the need. Most such reviews the center conducts cost $120,000 or more.

In the end, all four papers found that “more research was needed” in their topic areas.

The hardest-edged findings came from the assessment report. It concludes that high-stakes testing tends to reinforce the poor self-images of low-achieving students and leads teachers to resort to feeding facts to students, rather than undertaking the kind of hands-on learning that some students respond to best.

“Government asks, ‘Tell us what works,’” Mr. Bassey said. “Well, this substantial, comprehensive, and rigorous document tells what doesn’t work. It is now up to government to act on it.”

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Quiz What Do You Know About the Most Influential People in School Districts? Take Our Quiz
Answer 7 questions about the superintendent profession.
1 min read
Image of icons for gender, pay, demographics.
Canva
School & District Management Opinion I Invited My Students to Be the Principal for a Day. Here’s What I Learned
When I felt myself slipping into a springtime slump, this simple activity reminded me of my “why” as an educator.
S. Kambar Khoshaba
4 min read
052024 OPINION Khoshaba PRINCIPAL end the year with positivity
E+/Getty + Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
School & District Management The Complicated Fight Over Four-Day School Weeks
Missouri lawmakers want to encourage large districts to maintain five-day weeks—even as four-day weeks grow more popular.
7 min read
Calendar 4 day week
iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center Principal Salaries: The Gap Between Expectation and Reality
Exclusive survey data indicate a gap between the expectations and the realities of principal pay.
4 min read
A Black woman is standing on a ladder and looking into the distance with binoculars, in the background is an ascending arrow.
iStock/Getty