Becoming an Evidence Based Practitioner: A framework for teachers-researchers

Editor(s) McNamara, O
Publisher London: RoutledgeFalmer
Published 2002
ISBN 041525244X
Reviewed by Sandra McWilliams
Stranmillis University College
Review published 1 December 2004

This book is opportune in several ways. Firstly, the state of our knowledge in relation to school effectiveness is currently telling us that genuine improvement in learning will only come about through improving classroom practice. Secondly, but linked to the first, was the exhortation from the TTA in 1996 for teachers to become involved in doing research and using knowledge from a wider evidence base. This has led to an increasing number of partnerships between combinations of stakeholders such as researchers from higher education and local education authority School Improvement Officers and teachers. There are also those involved in their own school based continuing professional development and lastly the small but growing number of students in Masters of Teaching degrees. This is the audience and they will find here a lucid and readable account of how a 'vision' of a community of researchers and teachers in a particular geographical area was translated into reality through addressing genuine classroom issues ranging from helping weaker readers through researching the teaching of mental arithmetic and primary science. The reader will find the grounding of this work firmly set in government initiatives supporting evidence-based practice (EBP), through a clear exposition of what EBP is, followed by the accounts of the various projects which, though different, do tell in qualitative and quantitative terms of teachers bringing about effective change in their classrooms. In conclusion, the chapters covering emerging issues in teacher research are authoritative and convincing and the accounts of teachers class based work will give fellow teachers and researchers meaningful insights and will prompt their own efforts to improve teaching and learning.