Our vision is to become an International Centre of Excellence for Autism Education, Research and Development
Research isn’t telling us what to do. It can’t. However, it can inform our decisions. Our evidence-informed practice includes the following elements:
Being aware of some key findings from the range of research that exists including its limits and boundaries. We’re not plunging into our practice based solely on our hunches or some ancient CPD session- we’re aware of the ever-evolving evidence background that might give us additional guidance and insight.
Engaging with a reasonably coherent and communicable model for learning that explains what you’re doing and how learning then happens in your context. We can give a logical rationale for why our students are likely to learn from the activities we engage them in and the resources we provide, without resorting to folk science and reliance on assertions of our powers of intuition.
Approaching the process of teaching with some intentionality, harnessing ideas from cognitive science and other forms of research, taking limitations into account, to eliminate or emphasise practices according to those ideas – supported by the underpinning model or evidence from studies or both.
Being conscious that no part of the matrix of ideas and factors we’re engaging with exists in isolation. Ecology suggests an understanding that we’re continually and responsively blending inter-connected elements – the students’ motivation, prior knowledge; their degree of success; their responses to set-backs; the complexity of the material; the intensity and frequency of specific practice tasks; the extent to which we chunk ideas; the precise sequence of instructional elements.
At all times, we embrace an a underlying spirit of enquiry such that we’re asking whether all of our students are learning in the way that we’d hope and, if not, why not. We’re not merely delivering a strategy – we’re always checking to see if it’s working to the extent that that is possible to do. Importantly – some students learning something isn’t good enough. We need them all learning so let’s work hard to find out.
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