The two-way conversation
Learning – as any teacher engaged in professional development knows – is not just for pupils. In fact, the NIoT aims to embody this: our research and best practice team ensures that we continue to learn what makes the best professional-development programmes for teachers and leaders.
We're always looking to improve the courses we offer, using evidence generated through rigorous research. We will use the evidence we gather to inform and enhance our programmes.
For example, we know that many schools are struggling to identify appropriate mentors and to provide them with sufficient time and support. This is particularly true in smaller schools.
We are conducting an evidence review, looking at what makes an effective mentoring programme – including what support and training mentors should be given. We will feed those insights back into our own programmes, to ensure that the mentoring experience is as positive and effective as possible.
But our evidence will be available to all schools and providers, not just those working with us. The aim is that our programmes should become an exemplar for the wider education sector.
What we want is a two-way conversation. There are plenty of gaps in the existing research. But we only want to spend our time and energy looking into the areas that will be most useful to you, the training providers, teachers and school leaders.
We want to make your priorities ours too. We want to map all our audiences, including teachers, leaders, training providers and our programme participants, and consult with them in a way that is transparent and won’t add to their workload.
In effect, we want teachers and leaders to design our learning agenda. Then we will design our research so that it answers precisely the questions they most care about.
We are aware that there’s no point reinventing the wheel. Organisations such as the Education Endowment Foundation and the Chartered College of Teaching are doing so much excellent work already. Our aim is to build on what’s come before, for the benefit of teachers and leaders everywhere – and, most importantly, through them to the ultimate benefit of their pupils.