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Teacher Development Trust(from 3 reviews)

A partnership of schools & colleges developing world class, evidence-informed professional learning, with the power to raise attainment, reduce inequality, and transform your organisation


Participation date 03 March, 2014
Review date 10:11, 14 June, 2014
Overall rating
Impact on practice

Focusing specifically on lesson study, what we found was a process that was valuable on two levels - though one was more 'significant' than the other. On the one hand, our study found that it might be that the barriers we found in achievement in Biology from year 11 to year 12 can be overcome by focusing on asking students to apply key terms in context, as opposed to have them define them only - to help assess the learning process. The other more significant finding, was our practice as teachers was undoubtedly more reflective, personalised, and considered. It was obvious that you could get bogged down in the data, the effect size, the inconsistencies in randomised control trials. And to do so would miss the point. It is not to say that these problems can't be overcome in rigorous research, but what is more important are the sustainable benefits of committing to an enquiry-based mindset. To expand briefly on the study itself, we started with why - why were students excelling at GCSE yet struggling at AS? Their scientific language was identified as a key issue. Alongside a series of collaboratively planned lessons, a case group of students in two parallel classes were observed. A baseline test was given, and at the start of each lesson a short test was given in each class. In one regime students defined a list of key terms met. In the other regime (and class) the test consisted of more open ended questions where students had to decide which key terms to use, and in the correct context. The findings were, after retesting, that the mean of the 'application' regime was higher both in actual attainment and value added, with the greatest gains being seen at the lower end of the case group. With a small sample size, and a period of four weeks, and a host of variables that we couldn't control, can we conclude anything with confidence? The answer is yes, but not in the way that was initially considered in the first place. The students as well as the staff involved were more engaged with the learning process and this was vocalised clearly. The data did show differences, and these were useful for future teaching practices - not because they offered a solution to publish to the world that would work in all cases - but because it seems we should increase application tasks, promoting a failing forward culture where our students explicitly see the value of application over rote learning; and they provoked further questions to investigate.
Quality of teaching

The use of webinars, resources, the NTEN portal and email support has been extremely thorough, informative and entirely professional.
How well did the provider deal with your booking? How easy was the training or service to organise?

The logistics of training received and the accessibility of the training is excellent. Both David and Bridget have been superb.
Any other comments? Would you recommend this to other teachers? If we are looking to foster an enquiry-based approach, which can raise attainment/development of staff and students alike, organisations such as NTEN are crucial in this - offering structured support and bridging the gap between school teachers, HEIs and the traditional, often seemingly inaccessible world, of educational research.
Response from provider