Evidence-based education

Evidence-based education is an approach to all aspects of education—from policy-making to classroom practice—where the methods used are based on significant and reliable evidence derived from experiments.[1]
It shares with evidence-based medicine the aim: to apply the best available evidence, gained from the scientific method, to educational decision making. “Evidence-based teaching” refers to the teaching aspects.


1 Sources of evidence

1.1 Meta-studies of classroom-based experiments
1.2 What Works Clearinghouse
1.3 The Coalition For Evidence-Based Policy Congressional Top Tier Programs
1.4 Educational neuroscience

2 Myths and low effect-size methods

2.1 Myths
2.2 Low effect size interventions

3 Effective professional development
4 Implications for teachers
5 References
6 External links

Sources of evidence[edit]
Meta-studies of classroom-based experiments[edit]
As with the testing of new drugs, evidence-based teaching methods are derived from controlled trials. When several of these studies are compared, and their conclusions combined, we get a meta-study or meta-analysis. This is significantly more reliable than the results of individual studies due to the difficulty in controlling variables and individual bias.
Two sources of meta-analyses in education include: Visible Learning from a team in New Zealand under John Hattie[2] and Classroom Instruction that Works from a Colorado, USA team under Robert Marzano.[3]
According to the Marzano study, there are ten classroom methods which have been shown to work significantly better than many others:

using analogies and similes

identifying similarities and differences;

note making and summarising;
developing a growth mindset;
repetition and practice;
graphical organisers and methods;
cooperative learning;
setting goals in advance

providing feedback (formative assessment);

hypothesis testing;
activating prior knowledge;
advance organisers.

Although Hattie’s work does not exactly mirror this list, the main reason is that the New Zealand study looks at everything related to education, including family effects and changes to the curriculum, while the Colorado study looked only at classroom methods. There are, however, no incompatibilities and most of Marzano’s top-ten appear high on Hattie’s list.
Hattie points out that there is no shortage of effective methods – almost anything you try in education seems to have a small beneficial effect. He therefore uses a scale of effect size wh