Evidence-based teaching on the agenda at free public lecture
Carey Philpott will present his extensive research as part of his inaugural lecture as Professor of Teacher Education at Leeds Beckett. It will take place on Wednesday 9 December from 6pm in Lecture Theatre G at the University’s Rose Bowl.
Professor Philpott explained: “The inaugural lecture is about the rise – or re-rise – of evidence-based teaching as an idea in schools and teacher education. It is an idea that’s been around for a very long time and every now and then it makes a return to the agenda, either for academics, government or both.
“Among the most recent renewed calls for teachers and schools to engage in evidence-based teaching has been the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (DFE 2015) in England. However, a recent survey in Wales found that 100% of teachers surveyed reported that their teaching is already informed by research evidence.
“Does this mean that the battle is won and that these renewed calls are misguided? The answer to this question might lie in what teachers, or anyone else (including those calling for more evidence-based teaching), understand to be evidence-based teaching. It is clear that not everyone means the same thing.”
Professor Philpott’s lecture will examine the nature of the calls for evidence-based teaching in recent decades and what they might mean in practice. It will question what we might mean by evidence and how, once this has been agreed, we might base teaching on evidence. It will also consider some of the practices that have made, or are making, claims to being evidence-based teaching.
Professor Philpott added: “Another area that I’ve become increasingly interested in is ‘teacher agency’, which is thinking about the extent to which teachers have the ability to control their own work, make their own decisions, and govern their own behaviour. As part of my lecture, I will explore this idea and I will question whether the Carter Review’s call for evidence-based teaching will marginalise teachers’ expertise and replace it with the supposed expertise of others, or whether it provides an opportunity for a renewed assertion of the expertise of teachers.”
After training as a teacher in Derby and Nottingham, Professor Carey Philpott began his career in education as a secondary school English and drama teacher, first in Glasgow, then in London. He progressed to the role of Head of the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Education at the University of Strathclyde before joining Leeds Beckett University in 2015.
Professor Philpott has recently co-edited a book on school-based initial teacher education and written a book for teacher educators on theories of professional learning and how they relate to teacher education. He is currently researching teachers’ collaborative professional development and teacher agency and is in the process of setting up a two-year research project with colleagues at Leeds Beckett, exploring the factors that enable and inhibit initial teacher education students’ engagement with evidence-based teaching.