Desk research, by Terry Freedman

Desk research, by Terry Freedman

Educational research: could do better

An over-emphasis on (spurious) statistical precision has meant that much educational research  has proven to be less than useful for schools wishing to base their practice on research evidence, according to this article.

"There has been a notable unwillingness in the broader educational research community to tackle the challenge of discriminating between high quality research and quackery for educators and other non-specialists."

Well worth a read, not least because it contains a link to the 'What works' website. I have to say, I do find the current tendency to wish to look at the evidence very reassuring. To borrow an expression coined by Malcolm Kendrick in his excellent book, Doctoring Data (Amazon affiliate link), we need to move from eminence-based education to evidence-based education.


Look out for the launch of a new book:"Enhancing Learning and Teaching with Technology: What the research says”, edited by Rose Luckin and published by UCL, it contains a chapter written by me which looks at why educational research is often reported so badly by the mainstream media.

For the full list of articles featured in our 2017 Retrospective, please visit:

2017 Retrospective: Index of featured articles