Recap: School based research is a powerful way to build knowledge, enhance student outcomes and contribute to a broader body of educator generated evidence. The initial three articles in this series identified:

  • why schools undertake school based research
  • benefits of school based research
  • factors that contribute to successful school based research.

Part 4 of the series points to ways in which The Evidence Institute at the Association of Independent Schools NSW supports schools and their staff to use high-quality evidence to bridge the research to practice gap. Grounding education in evidence-informed practice is an essential feature of assuring and enhancing educational excellence. The effective use of student data can be the impetus for educators to improve learning and wellbeing outcomes, and/or student social and emotional learning. As a result, understanding what evidence is, how to collect it, how to identify evidence of high quality, and how to use it to enhance classroom practice has never been more important.

The Evidence Institute has a commitment to supporting the school based research of teachers across all Independent schools. Initiatives are informed using a variety of frameworks and research methodologies including Spiral of Inquiry, Action Research and Design Thinking. They draw on principles underpinning effective data informed practice to ensure the question an educator asks aligns with the type of evidence being gathered. This is more likely to lead to sustainable change and enhanced outcomes for students.

Understanding what evidence is, how to collect it, how to identify evidence of high quality, and how to use it to enhance classroom practice has never been more important.

Support is provided by the Institute in a variety of ways, including:

Kinross Wolaroi School - Collaborative approaches to programming and teaching primary science: 
Opportunities and impacts (2016)

Spotlight on Professional Learning

The Evidence Institute recognises the busyness of educators, while understanding the inherent culture of lifelong learning that exists within schools. To support educator research skill development, a range of targeted face to face, virtual and online accredited professional learning opportunities are offered to independent schools. Collectively these help create momentum to empower educators and school leaders, inform practice, lead to enhanced student outcomes, and support sustainable change.

Evidence informed teaching: Bridging the research to practice gap

Evidence is the new buzz word for educators. This new one day course provides practical tools to enhance the way educators use evidence to inform classroom practice. It explores different types of purposeful evidence, and ultimately seeks to explore how these can be effectively used to improve learner outcomes. Key questions considered include:

  • What is evidence?
  • What makes evidence of good quality and relevant?
  • Which tools are most effective for gathering evidence?
  • How can evidence effectively enhance classroom practice?

To register for the first course running on 1 April, please see the course page. For more information, please contact The Evidence Institute – This course will be repeated on 24 November 2020.

Applying for a School Based Research Project (webinar)

School Based Research Projects are undertaken over a two year period by teachers and/or school leaders. The aim is to improve the work, first of the educators involved in the specific projects, and ultimately the work of teachers generally in the independent schools sector. School Based Research Projects focus on areas of education which will ultimately impact student outcomes, and make a substantial contribution to new insights, in and beyond individual schools.

This webinar will provide detailed information about the School Based Research Project initiative, and guide potential applicants for 2020 through the structure and application process. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage directly with the team from The Evidence Institute, ask questions of them and past participants, and hear first-hand tips and expectations.

The webinar will be held on 28 May 2020 from 4-5pm. To register please see the course page. For more information, please contact The Evidence Institute –

For more information on the range of projects supported by AISNSW since 2014 please visit the School Based Research Project site.

Online research focused courses

The Evidence Institute recognises the importance of developing research skills and communities to support educators and teachers working to use evidence in their daily practice. In recognition of the time pressures experienced by educators, but desire to build new skills, six online modules are offered in 2020.

These self-paced courses vary in duration from 3 to 6 hours and are provided free for member schools. For more information or to register please click on the course titles above or contact The Evidence Institute –

The team at The Evidence Institute undertakes research and shares evidence focusing on a range of areas impacting the education sector. We aim to generate high-quality evidence to transform educational futures for independent school students, staff, and communities. Through a range of initiatives and tailored supports, the team also partners with schools to bridge the research to practice gap, build school-based research capacity, and enhance the evidence-informed nature of the teaching profession. For further information, contact Tiffany Roos, Director: The Evidence Institute.