UK edition

Better is created in the UK by the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) at the University of York, which was established by a grant from the Bowland Trust to advance evidence-based practice. Better is a companion to the Best-Evidence Encyclopaedia (BEE-UK), a free web site that summarises evidence on educational programmes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Issue 6 – English – 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. 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.

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.

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

The fourth issue of Betterlooks 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.

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.

Issue 2 – Maths – Autumn 2009Read a sample article by Chris Kyriacou

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.

Issue 1 – Reading – Spring 2009Read a sample article by Margarita Calderon

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.

The next issue, published in June 2012, will be on healthy bodies and healthy minds.

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