In this interview with Tom Sherrington, author of Rosenshine’s Principles in Action and a contributor to The researchED Guide to Education Myths (John Catt Educational), hear why it’s beneficial for teachers to understand the connection between research and classroom practice, why it’s a myth to believe that teacher-led and student-centered instruction are opposites, and more.

Sherrington, who presents his ideas to educators around the globe, uses easy-to-follow analogies to explain his key ideas pertaining to teaching and learning. As you listen to the interview, consider the following questions and what they reveal about your practice:

 As a teacher, how familiar are you with the research basis for your go-to instructional strategies? How much do you believe it would (or would not) help your practice if you knew more about the underlying research?

 If you’re an administrator, do you create opportunities for your teachers to become familiar with research-based instructional strategies? If not, how might you integrate such professional learning opportunities?

 Sherrington describes his thoughts on guided practice, as well as the proper use of scaffolding. As he says, the purpose is for these supports to be temporary, to get students to the point of independence. Are there times when you guided students for too long, or over-scaffolded, and ended up with a situation where students didn’t have the foundation to “stand on their own?” How might you adjust your strategies to improve student outcomes in this regard?

 Do you use social media or other digital tools to connect with educators outside your school or district? If so, how does this virtual PLC help your practice?

Learn more about Tom Sherrington’s books and other great John Catt Educational publications by visiting

About Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has worked in schools as a teacher and leader for 30 years. He is now a consultant specializing in teacher development and curriculum and assessment planning. Through his consultancy – teacherhead consulting – he is interested in working with teachers and school leaders to explore and implement contemporary educational ideas that help deliver an excellent all-round education for all young people.

His books include Rosenshine’s Principles in Action and The Learning Rainforest Fieldbook.  Tom is a regular contributor to ResearchEd events and other conferences for teachers and policymakers. He regularly contributes to conferences and CPD sessions locally and nationally and is busy working in schools and colleges across the UK and around the world.

Follow Tom on Twitter @teacherhead