Teacher Choices Pilot Trial - The Story Time Trial

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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.

‘The Story Time Trial’ is the second trial in the Teacher Choices project. It will evaluate two different approaches to class teachers reading aloud to the whole class in Primary schools. The trial examines how teacher choices impact pupils’ learning in, and attitudes to, primary reading via an RCT – this means schools will be randomly allocated to one of two groups, each of which will be assigned a different way of reading to their classes.

The study will compare two popular ways that teachers read in their classroom: a sustained reading – GO! approach; and reading with pauses to ask questions – a STOP! approach. Year 4 and Year 5 teachers in primary schools in England can take part. The trial was disrupted by school closures and we will be approaching schools again in June 2021. The choices will be implemented in school during the second half of the autumn term 2021 (November-December). Year 4 and Year 5 teachers from the participating schools will be given a short teacher guide to enable them to implement the reading approach that their school is randomised to- either a GO! approach or a STOP! approach. The teachers will experience one reading approach for approximately three weeks. After this, the teachers will be asked to administer a survey and an assessment for all participating pupils in order for NFER to assess which one of the two reading approaches was more effective.

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

See the protocol for this trial on the Education Endowment Foundation project page by clicking here.