Shaping the future of learning through research

The GDST is a pioneer and shaper of girls-only education. Our commitment to research and innovation means that we are not simply staying up-to-date with developments and conversations on pedagogy, techniques and best practice, we are leading them.

We are proud to have been involved with setting up and piloting a first-of-its-kind action research program with the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS), that engages girls’ school educators from around the world in collaborative, disciplined and sustained action research.

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Emma Crocombe, Director of Drama at Putney High School, represented the GDST in the extremely successful 2020-2021 pilot programme of the Global Action Research Collaborative on Girls’ Education. Her research project looked at ‘Ways video recording can be embraced in a positive way to harness the self-critic for girls’ self-reflection’, and focused on developing practical tools to support students when completing self-assessment. Emma developed the ‘Self-Reflection Toolkit’ consisting of three different approaches to self-evaluation – speaking about self in the third person; the positive checklist; and peer feedback to scaffold self-feedback – and completed a research study with her Year 10 students to learn which of these approaches was the most effective for fostering growth.

“The research really highlighted how the whole process of self-reflection after watching themselves back is a very challenging but very effective exercise to improve students’ performance, and having the scaffolding techniques of the toolkit seemed to very much ground them in the exercise rather than specifically focusing on the superficial ‘I hate my voice’ comments. I feel this toolkit would be just as useful for the teachers as well as the students as a method for growth and self-reflection.”

Click here for a top-level summary of Emma’s research and findings.

A fascinating element to Emma’s project is that her findings can be developed and applied across all subjects and disciplines to provide practical ways of allowing students to effectively self-evaluate their performance in any task.

Emma will present her findings at the NCGS’s Global Forum of Education III happening in June 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts – the only conference of its kind dedicated solely to girls’ schools. Closer to home, she will be sharing her experience and learnings with colleagues across our family of schools and will be a key support for the nine GDST teacher-researchers belonging to the 2021-2022 programme cohort.