Current projects

The Research Design for Undergraduate Quantitative Methods (QM) Teaching

This is an ESRC/RDI funded project. The aim is to encourage social science undergraduates in many subject areas to engage with, use and re-use numeric evidence both wisely and appropriately. We have successfully completed the Phase I of this project and in the Phase II we aim to do trials of the teaching resource material.

Evaluation of Curriculum Centre: Core Knowledge

The project to be evaluated is an intervention called Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA). The concept behind this programme is that children need some background knowledge to make sense of what they read. The intervention involves combining explicit teaching of synthetic phonics (reading and writing), grammar and spelling with the use of non-fiction and content-based read aloud books. This programme has been trialled in the US, and reported promising gains in reading tests (Woodcock-Johnson III) especially in kindergarten, although the differences decreased by the third year. There is some evidence of effectiveness but not yet in England with this age group.

Evaluation of Aggregated trial of Fresh Start

The evaluation is of an intervention called Fresh Start, intended to be used with Year 6 and 7 pupils not making expected progress in reading. It is a structured approach, based on the use of synthetic phonics, training teachers in the principles, lesson plans and reading resources. It has been widely used in the UK, but has not been rigorously tested for impact. The precise way in which schools will implement the intervention can be allowed to vary – in intensity, frequency and duration for example. This is standard for a pragmatic trial of teaching resources used by professionals. The evaluation may give some clue as to which version if preferable but the overall trial is of the intervention as a template.

Evaluation of Aggregated trial of Accelerated Reader

The project to be evaluated is a controlled trial of an intervention called Accelerated Reader, a web-based programme to encourage reading for pleasure. The intervention matches pupils to possible books that will stretch and test them, and is already widely used in the UK. However, it has not been rigorously evaluated in the UK and the results from the US are mixed. The precise way in which schools will implement the intervention can be allowed to vary – in intensity, frequency and duration for example. This is standard for a pragmatic trial of teaching resources used by professionals. The evaluation may give some clue as to which version if preferable but the overall trial is of the intervention as a template.

Evaluation of Future Foundations Summer School 2013

The project to be evaluated is a randomised controlled trial of a 4-week summer school programme from 29th July to 30th August 2013 on three sites. The programme is loosely based on the US BELL Summer School and BELL Accelerated Learning programmes, and is more closely associated with a pilot study of a programme conducted by Future Foundation in the UK in 2012. All three have evaluated their work as a success, and there are indeed many indicators of success in terms of satisfaction and attitudinal measures. However, none has yet convincingly demonstrated a beneficial impact on student learning for the year 5 and 6 age group, as assessed by formal testing. It is therefore appropriate to conduct a definitive test order to determine whether there is merit in such programmes.

 

 

Evaluation of International Ford Foundation Programme: a case study of India

 

The planned pilot research investigates the outcomes of the International Ford Fellowship Programme (IFP). This programme has recently completed its planned 10 years in 22 developing countries. The project aimed to select people from disadvantaged communities in the developing countries and provide them with training and higher education in advanced countries mainly in the western regions. The Ford Foundation claims that providing this opportunity to people has positive impacts on the under-developed communities of the developing countries. It is believed that the selected members of the communities are talented individuals and they act as prospective leaders who return to their communities to initiate the process of social change at a grass roots level. The current project is an independent evaluation. From 22 developing countries, India is selected as a pilot study. The effectiveness of IFP programme will be measured against factors before and after attending the fellowship.

Annual Data Observatory (Castle Vale)

This aim of this project is to produce an annual report that captures data which will inform the Vale Education Trust about where children and young people in the area are educated and how well they are doing in absolute terms, in comparison to the region, and in terms of the institutions they attend. This will involve analyses of data taken from a range of sources such as the DfE National Pupil Database (NPD), Individualised Learner Records of the Data Service, UCAS and HESA.  These data will be supplemented by information from institutions themselves, including the 5 on-site schools, Birmingham Metropolitan College and the LEA.

Evaluation of CUREE and Achievement for All: Response to Intervention

The project to be evaluated is a controlled trial of an intervention called Response to Intervention (RTI), which has shown some promise. RTI is a school-wide multi-tier programme that measures pupils’ response to research-based instruction. The model works in two ways. One is problem-solving by identifying the reasons for underachievement via a case-by-case analysis and tailoring instruction based on these reasons. Another way is the use of a standard treatment protocol which is administered to struggling pupils to prevent failure. RTI is delivered in three tiers of increasingly intense instruction. Here RTI is being offered to Year 6 pupils eligible for the pupil premium who do not achieve Level 4 English at Key Stage 2 (KS2). The treatment will take place in the last few weeks of the summer term 2013 at primary school.

Evaluation of Switch On: Tailored literacy

The project to be evaluated is a randomised controlled trial of an intervention called Switch On which has adapted a long-standing New Zealand intervention called Reading Recovery for use with Year 7. The intervention involves daily short individual sessions for 12 weeks. Here Switch On is being offered to Year 7 pupils eligible for the pupil premium who do not achieve Level 4 English at Key Stage 2 (KS2). It will take place for one group in Spring term 2012, and for a waiting-list group in Summer term 2012. Randomisation is at the individual pupil level.

Evaluation of SAPERE: Philosophy for Children

This is a randomised controlled trial without placebo of Philosophy for Children used in 20 primary schools. The short term outcomes are CATs gain scores and KS2 results. There is also a process evaluation component to assess fidelity to treatment and to try and observe changes in teacher and pupil interaction more generally. ‘Philosophy for Children’ (P4C) aims to improve children’s reasoning, social skills, and overall academic performance, through the training and development of teachers. The programme is intended to influence children’s ability to construct an argument, leading to cognitive improvement and so to higher levels of recorded attainment.

Evaluation of Anglican Schools’ Partnership: Teachers’ Use of Feedback

This is a process evaluation of a one-year pilottrial to encourage teachers to use John Hattie’s model of effective feedback in practice. One aim of the pilot is to provide an estimated effect size for the intervention that could be used in future scaled up trials. The focus of the evaluation will be on 9 primary schools as the intervention schools, using further matched schools as comparators (allocation to treatment was pre-determined and made up of all the schools in the Anglican School Partnership).

Evaluation of the Future Foundations Summer School 2012

This is a 4 week summer school set in one school in Edmonton, based loosely on the BELL approach. The evaluation is a process one, arranged at very short notice and after many decisions about implementation had already been made. In addition to observations and interviews, we also aim to have an estimated effect size of the gain in teacher assessed and other scores based on those attending and not attending the summer school.

Replication of Banerjee et al. 2007 (3ie)

The aim of this study is to replicate the work reported in ‘Remedying education: evidence from two randomized experiments in India’ by Banerjee et al. (2007), Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 122, Issue 3, pp. 1235-1264. Baneree et al.’s work is  important  because it addresses an issue of concern to all governments – identifying the potential for literacy and numeracy ‘catch-up’ among young students living in disadvantage or otherwise under threat of not reaching expected levels of attainment. The scale, design and analytic plan of the study reported in Banerjee et al. (2007) are all commendable. Around 15,000 young students in grades 3 and 4 are involved, in two areas, and with interventions affecting different sub-sets of students. All students receiving the interventions were reported as falling behind. The first phase of this new project will be a direct or ‘pure’ replication, involving re-running the analyses presented in Banerjee et al. (2007) and elsewhere using the same data and techniques as far as possible. The overall results will show to what extent developing countries might wish to use their resources for either intervention, and at what grade and learning level each intervention is most cost-effective. The final report will transform the results into clear recommendations for policy and practice.

Developing Parental Involvement Interventions

This is a systematic review of parental involvement intervention studies worldwide that have an impact on the academic achievement of children from pre-school to secondary. The aim is to identify strategies that schools or government can employ to engage parents in such a way that would make a difference to the outcomes of children from disadvantaged background. It will only seek evidence relevant to creating effective interventions to improve parental involvement that will have a direct and measurable impact on children’s attainment.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>