From September 2014 Wellington College will enter a two year partnership with Research Schools International led by Harvard Graduate School of Education Faculty to explore the broader topic of independent learning, specifically the areas of Growth Mindsets, Grit and Resilience. We will also be working closely alongside partner schools St. Crispin’s, Bulmershe and Waingels College from our Teaching School Alliance in this process.
The initial direction of the project was decided in the Summer term 2014 through consultation with all staff at the College by a survey conducted by Harvard.
The project has three broad stages:
1. A comprehensive literature review of main areas and dissemination to staff.
- This will be presented by Harvard GSE faculty to all staff and will provide the starting point for our enquiry. Strands and emerging themes from this review will be used to facilitate discussion at both a school and network level. Engaging with the wider evidence base is a vital part of this process and means examining not only what has been written in the field to date promoting independent learning but also examining its criticism, and alternative perspectives.
2. Collection of baseline data from all students, detailing exactly where students are in terms of the four areas outlined above.
- This will be in the form of a quantitative and qualitative survey designed by Harvard to capture students attitudes and mindsets to independent learning. The survey will be trialled with a group of student research fellows to test efficacy and appropriateness.
- It is important that we have a big enough sample size so we will collect baseline data from three additional school from our Teaching School Alliance.
- The findings of this research will be analysed by Harvard GSE and delivered to schools in Summer 2015 to inform choice of interventions in year 2.
3. Trial and evaluate interventions.
- Based on the baseline data and what we have learned about independent learning, we will decide in consultation with Harvard GSE and our partner schools what interventions we might trial in year 2 to facilitate independent learning, to inform teaching practice and to improve student outcomes. These interventions will be then trialled and evaluated for impact and efficacy. It is planned to use multiple approaches including a randomised controlled trial.
There will be a launch event for this partnership on September 10th at Wellington College with a presentation from Harvard GSE faculty including Christina Hinton and Bruno Della Chiesa. All are welcome.