Staff CPD Zone

A common problem facing many classroom teachers is the often gaping chasm between research and practise. We have learnt more about how students learn in the last 30 years than we have in the past 300 yet we still struggle to translate that research into practical uses in the classroom. In a sense, teachers have been given answers to questions they didn't ask and solutions to problems that never existed. For example, planning a lesson with individual learning styles in mind and this has now been proven to be ineffective yet numerous strategies were introduced with this at the forefront of teachers minds. Educational research often exists in obscure journals or inaccessible research papers using unnecessary complex vocabulary. For education research to have an impact where it matters most it should be accessible, practical and above all practical.

Another issue with educational research is that its very difficult to translate into practise. A strategy that worked in controlled trials at a university can’t be replicated on P5 of a wet, snowy Friday. However, what we are finding is that children are more similar than they are different in terms of how they learn, retain and use knowledge. These ‘best bets’ should be part of the arsenal of every teacher in how they plan effective teaching so they can adapt their practise according to the needs of their students.


The Winifred Holtby staff CPD Zone is an attempt to make sense of the vast array of complex educational research whilst reducing teacher workload by summarising the key pieces of educational research in one teaching and learning hub. It also offers to give classroom teachers practical strategies that they can use in their classrooms immediately. Use the links below to navigate to the research summaries of each topic. Each topic has been condensed down to give the highlights. Within each topic contains a summary of the research, practical strategies and further reading. Further research can be located in the Staff CPD library within the LRC.