Harry asks us for evidence ...

As the policy director at Evidence Matters I am getting out there and encouraging people to ask for evidence, in an effort to promote the accountable use of evidence in public policy. "Ask," I say, "it's the best way to hold people to account and show you care about evidence."

So it was great to see Harry Fletcher-Wood ask me for evidence behind my claims. 

The context? A talk I gave at the awesome ResearchEd conference back in September, about the importance of teachers seeking evidence behind teaching methods, products and policies they come across. I'd raised the issue of neuromyths in the classroom and why they persist, and Harry wanted to know about the stats I'd mentioned on where teachers source their information when it comes to applying brain science in the classroom.

I was able to send him the relevant evidence - I directed him to a Wellcome Trust survey of teachers. This survey asked where teachers came across four different supposedly brain-based teaching techniques - on average 42% said from their institution and 33% from colleagues, 29% from external training providers, and far fewer from conferences and academic journals (both 11%), popular science magazines (7%) or scientific journals (6%).

So now I know what it's like to be asked for evidence - it's an opportunity to show you're evidence-based. It certainly gives me more confidence in asking others for their evidence!

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