Transforming student learning through evidence-informed research

Millions of dollars are spent on education research each year, yet the results rarely find their way into the classroom to transform teaching and student outcomes.

That’s all changed thanks to the Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) Teaching and Learning Toolkit.

It’s a free and accessible summary of the best international evidence on teaching for time-poor teachers and senior leaders.

Across England, 70 per cent of secondary school leaders are now using the Toolkit to inform their decision-making, enabling them to make evidence-informed decisions about using available resources to transform student learning. They also support schools across England to scale this evidence to achieve the maximum possible benefit for students.

In addition to the Toolkit, EEF generates evidence of what works through funding rigorous evaluations of promising programs and approaches.

To increase the volume, quality and use of evidence to deliver better decisions in schools and learning outcomes for students globally, the BHP Foundation saw an opportunity to support EEF to test this model internationally.

That’s led to the Toolkit becoming the largest education evidence database in the world over the past three years.

It’s now been contextualised and translated for teachers in Latin America, Australia, Spain, the Middle East and is currently being contextualised and translated for use in The Lake Chad Basin.

"The Effective Education Practices Platform is one of the most important initiatives in SUMMA. This highlights the relevance of the toolkit to inform the decision-making process across different stakeholders in Latin America. It has provided, for example, relevant information on Digital Technologies during the pandemic, a strand that has received the highest number of visits during 2020.

Educational actors from Argentina, México, Perú, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia and other LAC countries are using the platform to find rigorous evidence to design new solutions to the needs of their education systems. This reality encourages us to continue to deepen and expand the evidence base on effective practices, not only to close the learning gap in the region, but also to narrow the gap between evidence and practice." Said Dante Castillo-Canales, Director of Innovative Policies and Practices, SUMMA.

More recently, the Toolkit has been used in The Netherlands to inform government and school spending decisions in relation to COVID-19 education recovery.

Ongoing research undertaken by EEF to develop and grow the Toolkit has also enabled them to work with their partners to respond effectively to the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns.

When over 800 million students around the world had limited or no access to technology or the internet, EEF developed Rapid Evidence Assessments on the impact of remote learning and effective remote learning approaches.

This was achieved by drawing from the best available existing research on a wide array of approaches that schools might choose to use in order to support the learning of students while schools were closed.

These resources have now been shared and replicated across EEF’s global network.