THE POTENTIAL OF TEACHER-LED RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIALS IN EDUCATION RESEARCH

R. Churches1, S. Higgins2, R. Hall3

1Education Development Trust (UNITED KINGDOM)
2Durham University (UNITED KINGDOM)
3Department for Education, England (UNITED KINGDOM)
In medicine and healthcare, clinicians are trained in experimental research methods in order to develop scientific literacy and their ability to engage with quantitative evidence, such as that from randomised controlled trials (RCTs). The research objective was to assess the effect of similar training on teacher evidence based practice. Teachers from schools across England were trained to design and implement controlled research in their schools. Following completion of a research project the teachers’ practice was compared to a case-matched control group using the Evidence Based Practice Questionnaire. Significant positive effects on a wide range of teacher behaviours and attitudes were detected. Alongside this, a meta-analysis of effect sizes and levels of significance from the 48 completed studies supported the viability of teacher-led RCTs as a cost effect of means of trialling school-based interventions.