Improving Subject Teaching

Lessons from Research in Science Education

By Robin Millar, John Leach, Jonathan Osborne, Mary Ratcliffe

© 2006 – Routledge

210 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415362108
pub: 2006-09-14
US Dollars$55.95
Hardback: 9780415362092
pub: 2006-09-14
US Dollars$180.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

In many countries, questions are being raised about the quality and value of educational research. This book explores the relationship between research and practice in education. It looks at the extent to which current practice could be said to be informed by knowledge or ideas generated by research and at the extent to which the use of current practices or the adoption of new ones are, or could be, supported by research evidence. Science education is used as a case study but the issues considered apply to the teaching and learning of any curriculum subject.

The book draws on the findings of four inter-related research studies and considers:

  • how research might be used to establish greater consensus about curriculum;
  • how research can inform the design of assessment tools and teaching interventions;
  • teachers’ and other science educators’ perceptions of the influence of research on their teaching practices and their students’ learning;
  • the extent to which evidence can show that an educational practice ‘works’.


'The book makes the point that new and old teaching interventions cannot be directly compared as they do not have the same objectives—and it argues against randomised clinical trials as being the best approach in the educational sector.'

- Diana Battersby, Associate Tutor, Edge Hill University, Liverpool

Table of Contents

Part 1: What is the Issue? 1. Research and Practice in Science Education Part 2: What Does Research Tell Us? 2. Using Research to Clarify Curriculum Objectives 3. Issues in Designing Evidence-Informed Teaching 4. Drawing on Research to Focus Teaching and Monitor Progress 5. Issues in Implementing and Evaluating Evidence-Informed Teaching 6. Teaching 'Ideas-About-Science' 7. Outcome Measures - A Necessary Precondition for Evidence-Based Practice Part 3: Research into Practice 8. Practitioners' Views of Research and its Impact on Practice 9. Evidence-Based Science Education: Is it Possible, Desirable, Essential?

About the Series

Improving Learning

The Improving Learning series showcases findings from projects within ESRC’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) – the UK’s largest ever coordinated educational research initiative. Each book is explicitly designed to support ‘evidence-informed’ decisions in educational practice and policy-making. In particular, they combine rigorous social and educational science with high awareness of the significance of the issues being researched.



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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology
EDUCATION / Professional Development