Skip to main content

Understanding and Applying Research in the Classroom: A Guide for Today's Educators

This course is based on the publication "What is Scientifically Based Research? Using Research and Reason in Education."
Paula J. Stanovich
Keith E. Stanovich
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
University of Toronto
The Partnership for Reading
Resource Type: 
Product Type: 

More than ever, educators are expected to make decisions that guarantee quality instruction. As knowledge emerges, so do philosophies, opinions, and rhetoric about definitions of instructional excellence. From policy makers to classroom teachers, educators need ways to separate misinformation from genuine knowledge and to distinguish scientific research from poorly supported claims.

Effective teachers use scientific thinking in their classrooms all the time. They assess and evaluate student performance, develop Individual Education Plans, reflect on their practice, and engage in action research. Teachers use experimental logic when they plan for instruction: they evaluate their students' previous knowledge, construct hypotheses about the best methods for teaching, develop teaching plans based on those hypotheses, observe the results, and base further instruction on the evidence collected.

In short, teachers use the concepts of rigorous research and evaluation in profoundly practical ways.

Teachers can further strengthen their instruction and protect their students' valuable time in school by scientifically evaluating claims about teaching methods and recognizing quality research when they see it. 

Benefits and Uses: 

Teachers make important decisions about what and how to teach.  Educators have the responsibility to determine the credibility of claims associated with educational strategies and programs and must contantly assess and reassess teh value of programs and their impact on students. 

The purpose of this course is to provide educators with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions that will positively affect their students. 

This site includes links to information created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites.

Please note that privacy policies on non-ED sites may differ from ED’s privacy policy. When you visit, no personal information is collected unless you choose to provide that information to us. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of non-ED websites that you visit. We invite you to read our privacy policy.