Research-based practice is critical to the ISTE Educator Standards. Learner 1c is “Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.”
So where to begin? You have a TON of options. I recommend starting with a topic that is in alignment with your professional learning goals. Check out some of the public Twitter chats (this list of chats recommended by ISTE is a great place to start). Then find topics that align to your professional goals. You might do a journal search and consider subscribing to one that fits your needs (also check with your school librarian to see if it is something that the school already subscribes to, or one they might consider adding to their library). Or you might find an expert on the topic and sign up for a webinar.
You may also want to look at websites that collect and report on research-based practices. There is John Hattie’s Ranking of Effect Sizes where he looks at over 200 influences that are related to learning outcomes. You will definitely want to do a deeper dive into individual practices to understand the nuances of each influence. Robert Marzano has spent the last 50 years researching instructional strategies and collecting them in a meta-analysis database. Lastly, there is the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, where research studies are reviewed for their effectiveness and shared.
Make sure that you too are moving “beyond the headline” to see what research went into a new practice – things like funding sources, sample sizes, and other implementation characteristics.
Lastly, consider connecting with a colleague who has similar interests. Together, you can support each other when you start thinking about what a practice looks like in your classroom. Your partner is in the work with you and in the learning too!
ISTE Educator Standards:
Learner 1c. Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
Collaborator 4a. Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.