Curee: The contribution of research to teachers’ professional learning and development


Curee: The contribution of research to teachers’ professional learning and development

This paper summarises findings from several systematic
research reviews about the contribution of research to
effective continuing professional development (CPD)
activities and their impact on teachers’ professional
learning and outcomes for pupils. It starts with a review
of how teachers engage in and with research as part of
CPD, how teachers and researchers shape professional
learning activities and identifies key processes linked
to positive outcomes. Finally it explores how different
research contributions can be developed to make a more
visible contribution to CPD.


A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning

Featured Article from Pearson – Open Ideas

A rich seam of insight

The OECD states in their report “Education Today 2013” that countries need to provide a “good basic education in childhood and adolescence that equips people not just for the jobs of today, but with the ability to learn new skills for the jobs of tomorrow right through their lifetime.” In order to engage young people in their education and for them to succeed in the future, Michael Fullan and Maria Langworthy suggest that ‘deep learning’ – the disposition to learn, create and ‘do’– is necessary to stimulate lifelong learning in today’s students. The good news is that that deeper learning is already visible in many schools today, and, according to the authors, likely to spread globally in the near future.

This expansion is due to the convergence of three forces, which the authors have highlighted in A Rich Seam as:

1) New pedagogies – where teaching is no longer about curriculum content, but fosters learning that is more engaged with real life, encouraging students to continue learning outside the classroom;

2) New change leadership – where leadership is no longer about top-down or bottom-up, but rather about students and teachers pushing each other to learn together, driving progress in partnership;

3) New system economics – where learning can be less expensive due to students’ natural inclination to learn as a result of new, more engaging pedagogies.

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Progression in Creativity: A Literature Review

Authors: Ellen Spencer, Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton

This literature review provides an overview of the key issues and debates surrounding creativity and the potential for assessing it in individuals. The authors discuss the concepts of assessment, progression and creativity, how creativity is experienced in society and in schools, and consider the tensions faced by schools working to promote and develop it in their work.

The review underpins a CCE-commissioned research report conducted by the authors which aimed to explore the possibility of developing a framework for assessing creativity in school age learners.  The full report is available at

There have been numerous attempts to assess creativity in school pupils (discussed in section 7). However, the fact that no single model or approach has ever been able to assert itself within educational settings suggests that there are some deep rooted challenges to overcome. Not least is the question of whether there is a central contradiction between the development of creativity in young people and the way schools are currently configured. With their focus on age related exams, large class sizes and non-individualised projects it often seems difficult to see how schools might be able to sustain a credible focus on the development of creativity while at the same time conforming to other mandatory modes of assessment which value different forms of learning and knowledge than those we might describe as creative.

CUREE – The benefits of – and approaches to – collaborative maths

How can collaboration and discussion in class improve the teaching and learning of mathematics?curee_logo

Teachers and researchers have been concerned with how best to help pupils overcome their difficulties with mathematics for many years. This TLA research summary* describes an approach that has helped some teachers address these difficulties. The project used a student-centred, collaborative and discussion based method for learning, with some positive results.

The key questions which the research set out to answer were:

– How can we design teaching using lessons from other research, so mathematics learning becomes more effective?

– What effect do student-centred and collaborative learning approaches have on student learning and attitudes to

learning, and on teachers’ beliefs and practices?

– What tools can be used to encourage collaborative learning in mathematics classrooms?

Full report