CPD taster - New and aspiring heads of science

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This is a CPD taster created to give teachers a better understanding of what to expect when joining one of our secondary science leadership courses. Below you will find a video and a task for you to do in your own time. Once you have done the activity, book on to New and aspiring heads of science (NY200).


As a science leader you will need to be able to make evidenced based decisions on adopting teaching strategies and make persuasive arguments to get others on board. In the video, Gill Gunnill introduces the Teaching and Learning Toolkit from the Education Endowment Foundation which presents a range of teaching strategies, ranked by cost, impact on learning and the strength of evidence presented.

To get the most out of the toolkit, the Education Endowment Foundation provides some very useful tips:

  1. Look beyond the headlines. Every approach in the Toolkit has a dedicated page which describes in more detail what it is, what it costs and what impact you can expect. This extra detail can really matter. For example, the headline page shows that the average impact for Teaching Assistants is small, on average. However, the Teaching Assistants page reveals that using TAs to provide intensive, structured interventions, either one-to-one or in small groups, can deliver benefits of between three and five months’ additional progress.
  2. Think about cost and evidence as well as impact. The most impactful approaches do not always provide the best value for money. For example, reducing class size has been shown to have a positive impact, on average (3 additional months’ progress), but because it requires new teachers it is fairly expensive (with a cost rating of 4 out of 5). Other approaches have had the same impact at a lower cost.
    The strength of the evidence also matters. Homework in secondary school is estimated to deliver 5 months’ additional progress. However, the evidence strength rating (2 out of 5) shows that this estimate is less reliable than most of the estimates in the Toolkit.
  3. Draw on your professional expertise. The Toolkit can tell you whether an approach has a good track record, but you need expertise and insight into your school’s context to make a well-informed decision about whether to introduce it for your pupils. For example, parental involvement approaches have had an average impact of 3 additional months’ progress. However, the evidence suggests that it can be difficult to get parents engaged in programmes in the first place. So specific knowledge of your school and its pupils is needed before you can decide whether a parental engagement approach would be feasible for you.

Taken from Education Endowment Foundation, Using the Toolkits

Task

  1. Go to the Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit and browse through the list of teaching approaches.
  2. Select ONE approach that interests you and read through the detail on the dedicated page.
  3. Complete the online SWOT analysis, looking at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for the selected teaching approach. You should think about YOUR school and students and make a note of any points which might relate specifically to your context. 

The SWOT analysis template  is also available to download. 

Note your reflections on using the EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit, the approach that interests you and your thoughts about reviewing such approaches using a tool, like a SWOT analysis to evaluate it for your teaching context.

Next steps

Book your place on New and aspiring heads of science (NY200).

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