What is Evidence-based Teaching?
Evidence-based teaching is simply teaching that is informed by sound research. Just as it is required for other professions (e.g. psychology, law and medicine) to use research to inform best practice, educators are encouraged to do so as well. Employing evidence-based methods has been shown to have a positive effect on student outcomes, as it is not just based on anecdotal evidence, but research methods that compare the effectiveness of different teaching methods. Of added benefit is the idea that evidence-based teaching can be used in a variety of different settings and age groups.
Why Educators Should Use Evidence-based Teaching?
Beyond the idea that evidence-based teaching can lead to positive outcomes, employing evidence based teaching strategies:
- Are mandated by federal law.
- Increase accountability by employing data to provide rationale for choosing learning strategies for students.
- Increase the possibility of attending to the needs of different types of learners, since they are tested in a variety of different populations.
- Save time and resources because educators begin with effective strategies and are not forced to rely upon trial and error.
How to Ensure Your Child is Receiving Evidence-based Instruction?
Ask. If you have questions about an educational practice that is being used with your child, you can ask their teacher about the research surrounding their teaching methods. If they cannot provide the answers that you need, speak to support staff at the school. You can always refer to the No Child Left Behind Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a basis in understanding your children’s rights to an empirically-based education.
Where Can You Find Evidence-based Strategies to Use at Home?
Several organizations have websites with information on evidence-based teaching. These websites are updated regularly and can be helpful to both parents and educators looking for resources for their students.
- What Works Clearinghouse (https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/)
Maintained by the Department of Education, What Works Clearinghouse provides evidence-based academic and behavioral practice guides and recommendations for educators and parents.
- Promising Practice Network (promisingpractices.net)
The Promising Practices Network provides research-based information on programs and practices that have been shown effectively improving the lives of children. Much of their data is focused on education and academic outcomes.
- The Center for Parent Information and Resources (www.parentcenterhub.org) The Parent Teacher Hub provides information on current events and topics in education, laws, and interventions that can be used in educational settings.
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. (2003). Prepared by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy. Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported by Rigorous Evidence: A User-Friendly Guide.
Turnbull, A., et al. (2010). Knowledge to action guides: Preparing families to be partners in making educational decisions. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(3), 42-53.