Does a theory of action approach help teachers engage in evidence-informed self-improvement?

Jane Flood, Christopher David Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to evaluate how Theories of Action (TofA) can help teachers develop evidence informed teaching practices by providing a journey guide for impact and aid understanding of why an intervention works and which aspects of the approach drives change.

This paper reports on a very specific approach - a partnership between an academic and three schools and is based on interviews with 15 teachers and school leaders, and pre and post intervention surveys relating to teachers’ use of research.

The findings suggests that evidence informed practice, when aided by TofA’s can lead to substantial impact on teacher and pupil outcomes. By helping teachers consider how to tailor theories of action so interventions operate most effectively in their own settings this paper concludes that the effective scale up of research-informed interventions is to do with understanding why interventions have been successful and how that success might be realised in a new context.


This article reports on how using Theories of Action (TofA) can help teachers scale-up evidence-informed teaching practices by aiding their understanding of why such interventions have been effective and which aspects are key to driving change.

This paper reports on a specific approach: a partnership between an academic and three schools. The findings, based on interviews with 15 teachers and school leaders, and pre and post intervention surveys suggests that the scale-up of evidence-informed practice, when aided by TofA’s can lead to substantial impact on teacher and pupil outcomes.

The paper concludes that the effective scale up of evidence-informed interventions is grounded in teachers’ understanding of why interventions have been successful and how that success might be realised in a new context. Correspondingly when teachers are shown how to use TofAs to tailor interventions, this helps them ascertain how such interventions can be realised most effectively in their own settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
JournalResearch for All
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • theories of action
  • research informed practice
  • teacher/academic partnerships

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