Resources on Lesson Observation

Classroom observation: it’s harder than you think

Professor Robert Coe

The influence of video analysis on the process of teacher change

Tonya R. Tripp and Peter J. Rich, Teaching and Teacher Education 28 (2012) 728-739

Peer/Collaborative Learning Resources

EEF’s Teaching and Learning Toolkit 

A summary of research on collaborative learning.

Collaborative or cooperative learning can be defined as learning tasks or activities where students work together in a group small enough for everyone to participate on a collective task that has been clearly assigned. This can be either a joint task where group members do different aspects of the task but contribute to a common overall outcome, or a shared task where group members work together throughout the activity.

Read more here:

Education Endowment Foundation Collaborative Learning


A summary of research on peer tutoring.

Peer tutoring includes a range of approaches in which learners work in pairs or small groups to provide each other with explicit teaching support. In cross-age tutoring, an older learner takes the tutoring role and is paired with a younger tutee or tutees.

Education Endowment Foundation – Peer Tutoring


The Journey to Excellence

Cooperative learning is the use of small groups through which students work together to accomplish shared goals and to maximise their own and others’ potential.’ Johnson, Johnson and Holubec (ASCD 1994)

Read full article here:


Research-engaged schools – a self-review tool

From NFER – Building your research skills

Whether you’re just starting using research in your school or looking for more advanced, specialist techniques, these materials will help you on your research journey. These are continuously updated, so check back often.

A FREE online tool to help you review how research-engaged your school or college is, using eight key statements.

You can use this tool to do a quick review yourself, or you can set up an account for your school or college to involve all your staff and get a whole-school picture. The tool provides you with:

  • A set of eight key statements defining a research-engaged school or college
  • A downloadable chart of your review results
  • A downloadable report of your results including suggested next steps
  • Links to resources (from NFER and elsewhere) to help with your action plan.

This tool is free to use –


MESH guides – Supporting professional judgement with evidence from the science of learning

MESH is being built progressively through the collective effort of networks of educators based in schools, colleges, universities and other organisations, working in specialist groups using different tools. MESH operates in a similar way to that used for the production of edited books or academic journals. Funding to keep the MESHGuides available openly to all is provided by subscribing organisations, through projects and from donors.

Call for collective action: for scaling up promising small scale research

Much promising educational research is too small scale to warrant adoption across the education sector. MESH encourages educators to join together to scale up promising small scale research for example by replicating studies in different settings and by forming review groups to synthesise existing evidence (Tool 3).

Research, small scale or large scale, undertaken by teachers together under rigorous ethical and methodological conditions, can generate reliable and valid findings to add to a MESHGuide. An essential component in reporting research is that sufficient material is included to support comparisons with other studies and to allow others to build on and extend the work. The REPOSE Guidelines, were developed by experienced systematic reviewers of evidence to provide a writing framework which ensured key material is included in reports.

If you have good examples from your country please send these so we can share them with others. For example, Professor Greer Johnson and Professor Emeritus Neil Dempster at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia are  leading the synthesis of 1000 action research studies conducted by principals leading literacy in a number of contexts across Australian States and Territories. A MESHGuide summarising the outcomes should published by March 2016.

Research Aggregators such as the UK Education Evidence Portal and the Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe Search Portal provide useful tools for finding research which has been done before. Google Scholar and the USA What Works Clearing House are major resources providing access to existing research.


In the UK, members of eedNET provide training and support in teacher researcher methodologies.

Chemist with a Conscience

Action Research

“I was introduced to action research as part of a session run by Zoe Elder at my school a few weeks ago (for a quick summary see her blog post This then linked in nicely with a session that I attended last week with the Teaching Leaders programme on action research and Building Learning Power by Bill Lucas ( In both sessions action research was described as practitioner led enquiry with the aim of ‘becoming a better noticer’. Zoe Elder kindly stated that as long as you base your action research on your values as a teacher then you should be doing it right!

I’ve detailed the outline of my action research plan below using a combination of the ‘Teacher Enquiry Action Plan’ by The Expansive Education Network ( and the documents that Zoe Elder provided at our session. ”


Highlands College – Jersey

Membership of eednet is playing a major role in Highlands College’s goal to become recognized as a centre of excellence for practical and vocational education. In support of this aim, the senior management team of the College has introduced a year long cross-college project – ‘How to Teach Vocational Education’, based around the CRL publication. All college staff with a role in teaching or supporting student learning have been encouraged to review their practice and become ‘learners of their own teaching’ by undertaking a small scale action research project in their classrooms, laboratories, or workshops. The project was formally launched at Highlands in September 2013 with over 100 staff attending, which included nearly all the full time lecturers. In a follow up meeting in October over 60 staff attended an AR2 style workshop to discuss their action plans with the CRL team. Some of the expansive habits of mind that staff want their students to develop include resourcefulness, self-confidence and real world problem solving and they are using approaches such as peer learning, flipped classroom and self-assessment to achieve this.

School or college membership of eednet is increasingly valued as a way of fostering an institution-wide approach to educational innovation, as senior leaders see the benefits of encouraging staff collaboration for change, not only within but also across curriculum areas.

For more information about Highlands College see

Poulner Infant School

Poulner Infant School has been developing it’s learning to learn strategies
over the last three years.  The staff have poulnerbeen inspired by INSET with Guy Claxton and attended courses on ‘Building Learning Power’.  As a direct result the school has created the unique Poulner Learning Heroes.  They have been designed to encourage pupils to develop skills for life. The learning heroes are interactive characters that demonstrate the learning habits of independence (Incy Independent), co-operation (Team Bee), problem solving (Solver Snail) and reflection (Better Beetle).  They are shared with the children through puppets, stories, real-life situations and celebrated weekly.
The learning heroes are part of the fabric of the school and are fundamental to the schools vision, which states ‘ Great Learning is at the heart of who we are, what we do and what we strive to achieve’

Poulner Infant School has recently joined the Expansive Education Network to develop teacher’s professional learning and research skills.  The teachers have developed individual small-scale enquiries, enabling them to explore issues, which will have a positive impact on the learners in their class.

Some of the projects are based around the following questions;

•    If children are challenged to try a new activity will it improve their ability to seek, enjoy and persevere at new experiences?

•    If teachers model the key vocabulary and language of initiating play and sharing will the children be able to use these skills during child initiated play?

•    If children are given a self-evaluation tool to assess their writing will they be more able to identify their strengths and weaknesses as a writer and set their own targets for development?

•    If children are taught a strategy to ‘look away’ during thinking time will it help improve the quality and quantity of responses to questions?

Many of the projects are works in progress and the impact is being monitored  with a variety of tools such as questionnaires, attitude surveys, observation forms and work samples. The research will be written up and shared within  and beyond the school community.
The school recognises that everyone is a learner.

The school website can be accessed at