Previous issues

Issue 16 – Personalized learning, Autumn 2014

This issue includes a range of perspectives on the opportunities and Personalized learningchallenges of personalized learning. Research into the effectiveness of technology in education has shown that it is often less transformative than we might hope, but in personalized learning there is great potential that technology can make a crucial difference. Technology can automate much of the hard work involved in personalization – assessing, setting new activities, and monitoring progress – leaving the teacher free to work on more in-depth issues with their students. Technology is sophisticated enough to do this, and we know the teaching processes that are needed to support this. The challenge is to bring the two together in a way that improves outcomes for children.

Issue 15 – Parents and schools, Spring 2014

BetterSpring14 pp01 Cover.indd

Ending child poverty and improving child mental health is “everybody’s business”, as is a child’s education. This edition of Better presents perspectives and research frameworks on school-parent partnership working, discusses the importance of exploring longitudinal studies from birth through to school life, and describes two evidence-based programmes which acknowledge the importance of parents and schools working together in the success of improving child outcomes.

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Issue 14 – Mathematics, Winter 2014Better: Evidence-based Education - Winter 2014 - Mathematics

Mathematics is a vital subject for all children, but many struggle with it, and leave school with insufficient skills to cope with modern life. Yet, we know a great deal about what works (and what doesn’t) in teaching mathematics at all levels. There are successful methods of supporting children who are struggling, either by making changes to existing classroom teaching, or through targeted interventions. In this issue of Better, researchers around the world write about their work in this field.

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Issue 13 – Special education, Autumn 2013 BetterAut13 pp01 Cover.indd

Because of the wide variety of problems children face, special education is particularly susceptible to faddism. Yet, there are proven, effective strategies as well. Special educators who know and use proven methods can make enormous differences to the lives of the children they teach. In this issue of Better, we have articles from researchers who are at the forefront of creating and evaluating practical approaches for a wide variety of special needs. This includes the use of data in special education, understanding who needs more time on tests, and how to make online learning accessible.

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Issue 12 – Literacy, Spring 2013BetterSpring13cover_website

An important next step in the process of evidence-based reform is the presentation of the lessons of research in a way that makes it accessible to practitioners. Supporting practitioners in finding more about what research tells us, and then applying it effectively in their own schools, is the vital next step. We hope that Better continues to be an important tool for this. In this issue, we look at some exciting developments in literacy research. Authors from the US and UK look at issues as diverse as technology, conversation, the impact of the summer break, and the use of volunteers or peers as tutors.

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Issue 11 – Classroom management – Autumn 2012 better_uk_issue_11

Classroom management can be defined as providing an effective learning environment. This definition, however, suggests that the learning environment needs to be effective for all pupils within a particular class. How can this difficult task be achieved? This edition of Better presents a wide range of views and evidence about classroom management from international experts, providing both practical insights and evidence to ultimately enhance our children’s learning experience, their contribution to their own learning and their own long-term outcomes.

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Issue 10 – Healthy bodies, healthy minds – Spring 2012 Healthy bodies, healthy minds - UK Better, Spring 2012

As this issue of Better explains, physical and mental health can make a difference to pupil test scores. Physical exercise gets us fit, produces endorphins, encourages mastery, and helps us to work in teams. Yoga may help pupils to be more mindful, getting them to reflect on immediate choices about what they eat, hear, and do. School curricula such as LifeSkills Training can boost young people’s ability to resist doing what they should not do, like taking drugs. A tired and satisfied child will sleep through the night and wake up ready for school.

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Issue 9 – Evidence-based policy and practice – Winter 2012 Better - Evidence-based policy and practice

The best argument for emphasising evidence in educational policy and practice is what happens when evidence plays no role: practice and policy swing like a pendulum from one enthusiasm to the opposite, and then back again, but no progress is made. The solution is to have a wide array of research going on at all times to create and evaluate promising solutions to longstanding problems. In this issue we have a wide array of articles looking at how to get the most from evidence in both policy and practice.

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Issue 8 – Struggling Readers, Autumn 2011

Better UK - Struggling ReadersIf teachers can identify struggling readers early, they can provide a broad array of effective interventions, from one-to-one and small group tutoring to co-operative learning to comprehensive school reform. This issue presents articles on proven solutions to reading failure in both primary and secondary schools. These solutions vary in many ways, but collectively they tell us something very important: ultimately, virtually all children can succeed in reading.

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Issue 7 – Assessment, Spring 2011 Better UK - Assessment

This issue looks at the various assessment practices that can help to improve student achievement. It includes articles on the importance of how feedback is given, how you can get the most from self-assessment, and the value of formative assessment to both teachers and pupils. There is also a look at whether all the assessment tools that are currently used are necessary, and some suggestions as to how high-stakes assessments can be improved.

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Issue 6 – English/Language Arts - Winter 2011

Better UK - English In this issue of Better, some of the world’s leading researchers review the evidence of what works in teaching English/language arts. The articles cover a range of issues, including the importance of vocabulary, the best ways of teaching writing, and the importance of grammar. There are also features on the use of multimedia to support the teaching of writing and the additional help that is needed for EAL pupils.

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Issue 5 – Effective Uses of Technology – Autumn 2010 Better UK - Effective Uses of Technology

The articles in this issue give a range of perspectives on the various uses of technology and their effectiveness. Among the issues considered are safety on the internet, the use of interactive whiteboards and embedding multimedia, or old-fashioned video, into lessons. There are also thought-provoking pieces on the use of technology to improve testing, and the importance of professional development to help teachers use technology effectively.

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Issue 4 – Science – Spring 2010Sample article by Mary Ratcliffe

The fourth issue of Better looks at science. It includes articles from researchers around the world, including a report on a professional development programme in Germany, and the story of how one Canadian province designed an evidence-based program. Sir John Holman from the National Science Learning Centre writes about putting theory into practice.

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Issue 3 – Social and Emotional Learning – Winter 2010

The third issue focuses on social and emotional learning. Students who can work productively with others, solve interpersonal problems in peaceful ways, and maintain motivation in the face of challenge and disappointment, are likely to be successful in whatever they do and to contribute to society. This issue provides well-founded suggestions for ways teachers and other educators can create classrooms in which pro-social behaviours and emotional regulation are likely to be developed.

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Issue 2 – Maths – Autumn 2009

The second issue focuses on maths. Everyone agrees that maths is a critical subject for all school pupils. But how can teachers best ensure that all pupils reach their full potential? Although there is a good deal of evidence on what works (and what doesn’t) at both both primary and secondary level, it is not always easy to find this information. We are very pleased to have contributions from some of the world’s leading researchers on the subject, and we hope that their articles prove interesting, and help you make informed decisions.

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Issue 1 – Reading – Spring 2009

This first issue focuses on literacy in primary and secondary schools. It has articles from some of the top reading researchers in the world. The articles do not always agree with each other, because research continues to evolve. But they are all rooted in rigorous research on what works in the teaching of reading.

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