Book: What Works? by: Lee Elliot Major, Steve Higgins via @BloomsburyEd

Published by Bloomsbury Education

What Works? Research and evidence for successful teaching













  • This book is crammed with successful and effective pedagogical strategies that should be evident in all schools.
  • Each strategy highlighted is supported by evidence and research, with accessible teaching tips on offer to support implementation.
  • The brevity of each strategy is to be applauded, allowing easy access to teachers to help them develop classroom practice.
  • Each strategy highlighted showcases the potential attainment gain that can be achieved when consistently applied.
  • The book is not just aimed at teachers, but also for leaders who are looking to positively and supportively develop pedagogy within schools.

Review & Ratings compiled by Colin HillSupported by Bloomsbury Education

An underlying question that most teachers will consider every now and then is: What Works? It is quite natural to be swayed by fads, initiatives and directions from leaders in how to teach, but when faced with so many individuals, offering so many variables and backgrounds, finding an answer to the ‘what works?’ question can seem very far off. Because of so many variables, environmental differences and attitudes, even exploring pedagogical research can seem far-fetched and time-consuming, so having a toolkit of different classroom strategies can be beneficial to help inform practice.

Condensed into 21 strands, this book from Lee Elliot Major and Steve Higgins (the authors of The Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit) offers teachers and school leaders considerations that (if managed carefully) can show attainment gains, learning benefits and teaching tips. In the introduction, the authors highlight how the book encourages teachers to think for themselves rather than submit to the latest fads, programmes or political edicts.

Admirably, the 21 strands highlighted throughout the book offer a taste to the strategy being advocated, allowing teachers to easily access the pedagogical approach and inviting further reading (if required) to explore more. The accessibility, tips and succinct nature of each strand make exploration into each realm simple for time-stressed professionals, and for those who are wanting to make an impact with their teaching. Topics covered include: effective feedback for learning; one-to-one tuition; phonics; homework; individualised learning; collaborative learning; digital technologies, and; sports for health and wider outcomes. Each topic concludes with teaching tips, and leadership tips highlighting bullet points to help progression.

In a positively strongly worded conclusion, the authors highlight that many of the strands highlighted within the book all work towards promoting equity and evidence in teaching, arguing for the adoption of an expertise model of teaching, allowing space for professional judgements. To reach this goal, a broad and balanced curriculum is important for individual pupils, but also for the developing society of which they will grow and thrive.

By its own admission, this book does not promise a magic medicine that will create perfect teaching – no book could – but it will help you navigate the uncertain world, improving the likelihood your pupils will achieve their potential.

This book is ideal for teachers at all stages of education.

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About @digicoled 447 Articles
Colin Hill - Founder, researcher and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.

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