Promoting Quality in Teacher Education

Engaging with research - the magic bullet?

5 March 2024

I begin with a confession. Before embarking on a career in teacher education, I never quite got round to reading any research articles. As a teacher, marking my year 9 books took priority. So how can we help teachers and student teachers to fulfil the increasing demand to ‘engage with research’ and ensure that their practice is ‘evidence-based’?

Here at the University of Bristol School of Education, we think we may have discovered something of a magic bullet in the form of two new toolkits. The first toolkit is based on key education policy and research education reports (general and subject-based). The second is based on the research underpinning the Core Content Framework for initial teacher education. The toolkits provide 2 page summaries of the reports accompanied by discussion sheets and suggestions for follow up activities. So, in effect, a ready-made session for your inset day or your session with your ITT students. Here at Bristol University’s School of Education, we have used the toolkits and piloted them in partnership schools with encouraging results.

The toolkits sit within our Education Policy and Research Service (EPRS), which provides subscribers with monthly summaries of education policy and research, weekly updates and an extensive database. If you would like to bite the magic bullet, you can check out the service here and request samples of the toolkits from

Helen Aberdeen

Senior lecturer

Director of the Education Policy and Research Service

Subject lead for PGCE MFL at the School of Education, University of Bristol