Presentation on theme: "Meta-analysis, Education Research & the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit Professor Steve Higgins School of Education, Durham University"— Presentation transcript:
Meta-analysis, Education Research & the Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit Professor Steve Higgins School of Education, Durham
Carol Fitz-Gibbon’s vision for education research “that we might eventually have a clearer idea of the conditions under which research findings can be generalised” Meta-analysis provides the means to judge: "the substantive as opposed to statistical significance” of the findings from educational research (Fitzgibbon, 1985, p 45)
Development of meta-analysis 1904 – Karl Pearson aggregates typhoid inoculation studies 1940 – Pratt & Rhine – 145 ESP experiments 1976 – Gene Glass – does psychotherapy work? 1984/5 – Carol Fitzgibbon – advocates Glass’ “meta- analysis” in the British Educational Research Journal 1999 – first QUOROM guidelines 2009 – first PRISMA statement
Rapid growth of meta-analysis in medicine and psychology Schulze, R. (2007) The state and the art of meta-analysis Zeitschrift fur Psychologie/ Journal of Psychology, 215 pp
Evidence – what do we need? Evidence from trials and their synthesis (cumulative, comparative aggregation) is necessary, but not sufficient What worked, for whom, in what circumstances? What was the causal mechanism? How consistent is the effect (replication)? How great is the variation? How do we best use findings (re-create the cause) ? What is the probability of impact?
Influential ‘super-syntheses’ 1984Bloom The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring 1992Hattie Measuring the effects of schooling 1996Hattie, Biggs & Purdie Effects of learning skills interventions on student learning 1997Sipe & Curlette A Meta-Synthesis Of Factors Related To Educational Achievement 1998Marzano A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction 2009Hattie Visible Learning
Current limitations Quality of underlying studies and data Scale of studies Aggregation loses variation Assumes even bias in distribution of studies Limited long term follow up – relies on post-test Provides a large-scale map – hard to see the detail
The Education Endowment Foundation Building evidence for what’s worked in schools by identifying and rigorously evaluating innovative and promising approaches Sharing evidence with schools by providing independent and accessible information through the ST-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit Promoting the use of evidence-based practice through projects, events and resources (e.g. DIY Evaluation Guide)
Sutton Trust-EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit Comparative meta-analysis Provides a large-scale ‘map’ of intervention research Uses effect size to identify cost/benefit - – best bets
The EEF approach
The EEF after 3 years (of 15) 87 projects funded to date 4,500 schools participating in projects 34 topics in the Toolkit 15 independent evaluation teams 500,000 pupils involved in EEF projects 11 funding rounds to date £220 m estimated spend over lifetime of the EEF 4,000 heads presented to since launch
‘Data warehouse’ of EEF findings Database of projects and intervention data Designed to be matched with national test results 2014 – first 5 projects as a pilot – exploratory analysis In 3 years, results from up to 100 interventions and over 500,000 pupils By 2027, about 500 interventions, over 1 million pupils, post-test and follow up data?
EEF database potential Identify comparative impact Assess variation in impact (on individuals/ sub-groups, etc.) Track impact of interventions over time Estimate number/ extent of interventions needed to ‘close the gap’ Explore methodological issues (e.g. different methods of calculation, ICC, impact of attrition)
‘It may encourage readers who feel grave misgivings about social science qua science to know that Glass, the main proponent of meta-analysis is no thoughtless naïve or dogmatic positivist. … Of meta- analysis, Glass et al. concluded cautiously, “The approach we call meta-analysis seems to be too plainly reasonable to be false in any simple sense. Whether it will be useful is a different matter”.’ (Fitzgibbon, 1985, p 48-9)
References Bloom, B. S. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13(6), Dillon, J.T., (1982). Superanalysis. American Journal of Evaluation 3(4) pp Fitz‐Gibbon, C. T. (1984). Meta‐analysis: an explication. British Educational Research Journal, 10(2), Fitz‐Gibbon, C. T. (1985). The implications of meta‐analysis for educational research. British Educational Research Journal, 11(1), Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). A meta-analysis of writing instruction for adolescent students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 445. Glass, G. V. (1976). Primary, secondary, and meta-analysis of research. Educational Researcher, 5(10), 3-8. Hattie, J.A. (1992). Measuring the effects of schooling. Australian Journal of Education, 36, Hattie, J.A. (2008). Visible Learning. London: Routledge. Hattie, J., Biggs, J., & Purdie, N. (1996). Effects of learning skills interventions on student learning: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 66(2), Higgins, S., Katsipataki, M., Kokotsaki, D., Coleman, R., Major, L.E., & Coe, R. (2014). The Sutton Trust-Education Endowment Foundation Teaching and Learning Toolkit. London: Education Endowment Foundation. Available at: Kazrin, A., Durac, J., & Agteros, T. (1979). Meta-meta analysis: A new method for evaluating therapy outcome. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 17(4), Liberati A, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, Mulrow C, Gotzsche PC, Ioannidis JP et al. (2009) The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. PLoS Med 6:e Marzano, R.J. (1998). A Theory-Based Meta-Analysis of Research on Instruction. Aurora, Colorado, Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory. Available at: (viewed 31/05/11). Moher D, Cook DJ, Eastwood S, Olkin I, Rennie D, Stroup DF (1999) Improving the quality of reports of meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials: the QUOROM statement. Quality of Reporting of Meta-analyses. Lancet 354:1896–900 Pearson, K. (1904) Report of certain enteric fever inoculation statistics, British Medical Journal, 1, pp. 1243–1246. Sipe, T. & Curlette, W.L. (1997). A Meta-Synthesis Of Factors Related To Educational Achievement: A Methodological Approach To Summarizing And Synthesizing Meta- Analyses. International Journal of Educational Research pp