We’re listening to your feedback
We believe continuous improvement is an essential endeavour in all areas of education, including for ourselves and our work here at the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO). That’s why one of our projects in our first year was an evaluation of our early resources.
In 2021, we interviewed education professionals from early childhood and school settings to collect feedback about 3 of our Tried and Tested guides and 3 of our evidence use resources. We also collected feedback about how some of these practitioners had used the resources 3 to 6 weeks after their interview.
We found common themes across the interviews
- The resources are well-written and well-designed, with interviewees finding them easy to follow
- There are key barriers that limit the extent to which resources translate into improved practice, including:
- busy workloads
- evaluating the quality of evidence is difficult, even for trained researchers
- finding the balance between staying true to the research and adapting practices for contexts with different characteristics and circumstances
- change is hard work – practitioners need support from their school or centre leadership, and leaders need support from their systems and organisations.
- Interviewees wanted additional detail and practical tools such as video demonstrations, case studies and templates to show how the resources and associated practices look in the classroom.
- Resources will be most useful for those in a leadership role, who can use them with their teams or in communities of practice.
It’s been amazing having an entry point that is accessible, because a lot of research articles are just too dense … these have been an amazing opportunity to actually put research into our professional development, without it being overwhelming. So, we’re loving it, we’re really excited about it.
– Assistant Principal, WA, on AERO’s Tried and Tested guides
We’re putting our learning into action
- We’ve recently revised our Evidence decision-making tool (previously called the Evidence rubric) to make it easier to use and ensure that suggestions for action are clear and easy to implement.
- We’ve embarked on a project to develop a more comprehensive suite of practical resources to support education professionals to understand, access and interpret evidence.
- We’ve published further guidance and practical tools such as video case studies in our Practice hub. We’ll continue to add to this collection, addressing the desire for more resources to support implementation of evidence-based practices.
- We’ll be producing additional curriculum resources in partnership with Ochre Education, including videos of teachers highlighting their use of Tried and Tested practices and dissecting their instructional decision-making.
- Finally, we’re investigating how to effectively share the resources, including reaching targeted audiences such as school and early childhood education and care leaders.
We know that one of the best ways to support evidence use in Australian schools and early childhood education and care is to listen to current practitioners and respond. AERO would like to thank the participants contribution in our evaluation, which is critical to ensuring our resources effectively support and encourage the adoption of evidence in practice and policy.