The link between research and the classroom, or educational evidence

Evidence involves identifying through scientific research which practices work, but also which ones do not. There is more and more interest in education.

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Evidence involves identifying through scientific research which practices work, but also which ones do not. There is more and more interest in education. A look back at some proven practices.

The use of evidence, which has been recognized since the early 1990s in the medical field, is also increasingly discussed in education, particularly since the publication in 2009 of the famous meta-analysis Visible Learning, by Australian researcher John Hattie.

In summary, according to CTREQ, the use of evidence in education "encourages the practitioner to rely on known scientific evidence to make the clinical decision which appears to be the most effective and adapted to the needs of the patient". 

We can also read, in the file Evidence and meta-analyzes in education of CTREQ, that “the original idea of the movement (…) consisted of reducing the influence of fashions or trends on the world of education, by advocating the use of practices deemed effective, ie those that work best. Initially, the evidence discourse was not addressed directly to teachers, but to educational researchers, so that they produce knowledge that can be transferred into practice. "

Evidence involves identifying the practices that work, but also those that do not. "There is a risk of slippage if we present the evidence as the truth, regardless of local variants", believes Frédéric Saussez, associate professor of the faculty of education at the University of Sherbrooke, to this effect. quoted one in a report from Quebec Science magazine. He also believes that "science should not tell politicians what to do, but what born not make ". 

Some examples of evidence-based practices

Taking this into account at the level of classroom practices, what can evidence-based teaching represent? Here are some examples among those listed by CTREQ :

  • For each teaching day, write a plan of the intended learning objectives, rather than a plan of tasks and activities.
  • Provide learners with a basic knowledge of a concept so that they can expand on it later, by combining auditory explanation and visual mapping to make connections between pieces of information.
  • Before continuing with the teaching, make sure that the learners have understood the basics of the concept. This can be by asking students to validate their understanding among themselves. 
  • Encourage feedback: the most constructive comments are those qualifying the student's work and indicating what he can do to improve it.
  • Structure teamwork to learn with peers. 
  • Prepare the learner to choose the best strategies to use and to adjust his strategies when they do not work.

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About the Author

Maryline Barrette Dubé
Maryline Barrette Dubé
A graduate of a bachelor's degree in public communication, a “marketer” for more than 15 years, Maryline has been working to promote École branchée's activities and to publicize the organization's mandate since 2018. She is a devoted mother, an assumed epicurean. and IPA lover who, in her spare time, enjoys blog.

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