Sheffield academics visit White House for education summit

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Sheffield academics swapped the Steel City for the residence of US President Barack Obama as part of an education summit.

Mike Coldwell and Dr Bronwen Maxwell, from the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University, were invited to the iconic White House in Washington DC as part of a delegation of international expert researchers to speak to educational policymakers.

White House officials from the Vice President’s office and US Department of Education heard from Dr Maxwell and Mr Coldwell on two different studies in the meeting, which focused on how research can be used to inform policy and practice in education and was organised by the William T Grant Foundation.

Mr Coldwell said: “We were very fortunate to be asked to share what we are doing in the UK and have the opportunity to learn about the key policy issues faced by the US about this crucial issue.

“We have built lots of new relationships across the Atlantic with policymakers and researchers - brought together by the William T Grant Foundation - and we are delighted to be at the forefront of this international effort to make sure what we do as educational researchers makes a real difference.”

Dr Maxwell leads the project focusing on the ‘Scale Up Campaign for Deployment of Teaching Assistants’, which looks at how schools are implementing the best evidence on using teaching assistants to support the learning of children in all schools, and is focused on schools in West and South Yorkshire.

Mr Coldwell’s ‘Evidence-based Teaching Project’ looks at how schools are making use of research in their teaching.