Dissemination of Best Practice Research in Teaching and Learning in NI

A study on behalf of the Department of Education.

A study on behalf of the Department of Education

The Department of Education (DE) commissioned the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) to conduct research into the dissemination of best practice in teaching and learning in Northern Ireland. The objectives of the research are to:

  • Identify and assess the effectiveness of current methods of disseminating best practice in teaching and learning by and with schools

  • Identify alternative methods of disseminating best practice in other education systems and assess their applicability for use in Northern Ireland

The results will be used to inform a wide range of activity aimed at ensuring effective programmes have a legacy and that there is a high level of awareness of good practice in relation to raising standards and increasing equity.

Trends suggest that the performance of post primary pupils in Northern Ireland, relative to other OECD countries, has declined over time, highlighting the need to disseminate best practice to help support schools and improved educational outcomes. Whilst good practice is evident and positive outcomes have been achieved by effective programmes, there is inconsistency with regard to the extent to which best practice is reaching all schools. Consequently, there is a need for improved dissemination approaches of best practice to tackle educational underachievement and to raise standards.

This research used a mixed-method approach and included the following: a literature review, key stakeholder consultations with representatives from the statutory and voluntary sectors, an online survey of schools, school visits and a stakeholder workshop. The project was overseen by a Steering Group comprised of representatives from DE School Improvement Branch, DE Statistics Branch, ETI, CCMS and the Education Authority, who provided strategic direction to the research team and will have a key role to play in critically examining the research findings and implications in terms of potential recommendations.

Read the key findings

Read the full report