Professional Development

Two Ways of Communicating Research to Teachers

If education research is to lead to improved learning outcomes for students, then its outcomes must be communicated to teachers. But what are the outcomes of education research? Here I draw a distinction between findings and theories, and suggest that disseminating findings, especially in the form of effect sizes – as advocated by several influential funding bodies and researchers – is probably unhelpful. Instead, drawing on the work of Mook (1983), I suggest that the main outcome of education research is theoretical understanding, not a collection of findings. If this is right, then it is theories of instructional design and theories of learning that should be communicated to teachers. I conclude by contrasting exemplars of these different approaches.

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About Professor Matthew Inglis

Matthew Inglis is a Professor of Mathematical Cognition in the Mathematics Education Centre at Loughborough University, UK.

His research aims to understand the cognitive processes involved in numerical thinking, logical reasoning and mathematical practice. His work has been widely published across both psychology and education journals. In 2014 he was awarded the Selden Prize by the Mathematical Association of America, and in 2017 he was named the Times Higher Education Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year.

Ages: Primary, Secondary