What Leads to Positive Change in Teaching Practice?

Rebekah Wilson, David Teeman, Sarah Maughan

18 July 2012

Research summary

This report is one of a pair of studies that collectively consider creating change in schools through workforce development. It presents the findings of a study in which NFER maps the key research evidence about what leads to positive change in teaching practice in schools. A number of recent reports have emphasised effective teaching as a crucial element in securing positive outcomes for young people.

Our other report in this pair found that there is a huge amount of largely consistent evidence about what effective teaching looks like. This study aims to review the huge body of evidence that is available about the factors that lead to positive change in teaching practice.

Key Findings

  • the different forms of support that are most likely to encourage teachers to change their practice;
  • if there is evidence about how changes in practice impact on pupil outcomes; and
  • whether there are forms of support that represent particularly good value for money.

We also aim to highlight any inconsistencies or gaps in the evidence that may benefit from further research.

We found that a range of different factors impact on changing practice, and grouped these factors into four main themes: leadership; planning and preparation; practice development; and monitoring and evaluation.

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