Teacher Choices Pilot Trial - A Winning Start

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Trial protocol

The Teacher Choices project is exploring the feasibility of running robust evaluations of teachers’ everyday choices in the classroom. In every lesson, teachers choose how to approach teaching and learning such as how to start a lesson, how to engage pupils or how to manage behaviour. The Teacher Choices project aims to find out how everyday choices are implemented and how they affect outcomes in the classroom, exploring if a randomised controlled trial (RCT) methodology and teacher tests can be used to do this. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has commissioned and funded this study. The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is conducting the evaluation.

‘A Winning Start’ is the first trial in the Teacher Choices project. It will evaluate two different approaches to starting lessons to examine how teacher choices impact pupils’ learning in science via a Randomised Control Trial (RCT). The study will compare two popular forms of lesson starters: quizzes and discussions. Year 8 teachers in science departments in schools in England will take part. The trial will recruit from September 2019, and the choices will be implemented in school in the Spring term (Jan-March 2020). Year 8 teachers from the participating schools will be given a short teacher guide to enable them to implement both approaches. The teachers will experience both types of lesson starters - one in the first half of Spring term and the other in the second half of Spring term. The type of lesson starter for each topic will be randomly allocated to teachers by researchers at the NFER. The end of topic test scores from schools will be collected to assess whether quiz or discussion approaches are more effective.

If you're a school that would like to find out more about the trial, please visit this page.