Supporting teachers to use research evidence well in practice
This report describes ways that schools can build teachers’ and leaders’ confidence in using research evidence, and why this is important. It presents findings from independent surveys conducted by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) and the Monash Q Project.
Nearly 1,400 school teachers and leaders were surveyed across all Australian states and territories in 2020 and 2021. AERO and the Q Project used the survey data to examine the relationship between support provided by schools, confidence in using research evidence and use of research evidence in practice. This report therefore uses empirical data to examine the importance of school support, and the role that confidence plays in the use of research evidence.
We found that when teachers and leaders are supported by their school to use research evidence, they are:
- more confident in using research evidence
- more likely to use research evidence in their practice.
The support can include being given dedicated time, professional learning, and access to a coach or school leader in a specialised research dissemination role or with specialised research expertise.
Additional findings include:
- Many teachers and leaders indicated that their school provides support to use research evidence.
- While teachers and leaders believed in the value of using research evidence, research evidence was not often used to help improve knowledge or practice or to make decisions.
- Teachers and leaders had some concerns about their abilities to assess or analyse research evidence. These confidence gaps represent important opportunities to target improvement initiatives in schools.