Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies

Evidence-based refers to any concept or strategy that is derived from or informed by objective evidence—most commonly, educational research or metrics of school, teacher, and student performance

Evidenced-based strategies are those “effective educational strategies supported by evidence and research”. This means that whenever possible, the educational interventions being used must be strongly supported by evidence from well-conducted research studies.

Evidence-based teaching: teaching practice or school-level approaches that are based upon the results of evidence about interventions or strategies that are effective in helping pupils to progress.

At present, many practices and guidance in education are not evidence based as many of research findings are contradictory. To overcome this, researchers use meta-analysis. Meta-analysis reveals that there are key components in the learning environments that yield successful learning outcomes. The best known of these meta-analysis is that undertaken by Professor John Hattie from New Zealand, Professor Robert Marzano in the USA, and Professor Steve Higgins (the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in UK.

John Hattie, one of the foremost experts on effective teaching, has amassed a database of research on the classroom factors and teaching methods that improve student learning, and quantifying the effect they have. Hattie compiled 800 meta-analyses of more than 52,000 studies of 240 million students to rank the effectiveness of different teaching practices. Hattie distils his research into a simple proposition for teachers – “know the impact”.

According to John Hattie, high-impact, evidence-based teaching strategies include:

  • Direct Instruction
  • Note Taking & Other Study Skills
  • Spaced Practice
  • Feedback
  • Teaching Metacognitive Skills
  • Teaching Problem Solving Skills
  • Reciprocal Teaching
  • Mastery Learning
  • Concept Mapping
  • Worked Examples

Teaching strategies that had little or no impact included:

  • Giving students control over their learning
  • Problem-based learning
  • Teaching test-taking
  • Catering to learning styles
  • Inquiry-based teaching

Robert Marzano reported in his book “Classroom Instruction that Works” nine instructional strategies that have been identified as having the greatest impact on student performance:

Robert Marzano reported in his book “Classroom Instruction that Works” nine instructional strategies that have been identified as having the greatest impact on student performance:

  • Identifying similarities & differences
  • Summarizing and note taking
  • Reinforcing effort & providing recognition
  • Homework and Practice
  • Non-linguistic representations
  • Cooperative learning
  • Setting objectives and providing feedback
  • Generating & testing hypothesis
  • Questions, cues, and advance organizers

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), an independent organisation in UK, focused on building evidence for what’s worked in schools by identifying and rigorously evaluating innovative and promising approaches

The EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit is a summary of educational research developed by the EEF in collaboration with the Sutton Trust and a team of academics at Durham University led by Professor Steve Higgins. The Toolkit covers 34 topics and summarises research from over 10,000 studies. The toolkit identified The following top-ten evidence-based teaching strategies:

  • Feedback
  • Peer tutoring
  • Early years intervention
  • One to one tuition
  • Homework (Secondary)
  • Collaborative learning
  • Oral language intervention
  • Mastery learning
  • Phonics
  • Small group tuition

Learn more about Factors Affecting Student Achievement by using Effect Size Barometer.

Training Teachers to use Evidence-Based strategies and how to apply them to commonly used teaching practices is part of our Expert Teacher and Professional Development Program.

“Learning power is developed more by how – than by what – we teach”. Dylan Wiliam.