Unveiling the Science of Teaching: A Journey into Evidence-Based Education

Unveiling the Science of Teaching: A Journey into Evidence-Based Education

In the second part of the podcast series “Evidence-Based Teaching, What Is It?,” Misty Adoniou, an expert in education, delves into the intricacies of evidence-based teaching. She sheds light on misconceptions surrounding ready-made materials for teachers and emphasises the importance of understanding the historical context and scientific principles behind teaching methodologies.

Dispelling Misconceptions: Misty challenges the notion that teachers primarily seek ready-made materials due to time constraints. She argues that time poverty is more a result of administrative burdens than lesson planning. Simply providing pre-made lessons does not align with scientific teaching practices, as it neglects the dynamic nature of learning.

Adapting to Evidence: Drawing from personal experiences, Misty highlights the essence of evidence-based teaching, where educators adjust their approaches based on real-time observations of student progress. She contrasts this with rigid, structured ‘one size fits all’ programs that fail to account for individual student needs.

Historical Perspectives: Misty provides a historical overview of language teaching theories, spanning behaviourism, nativism, and social interactionism. She emphasises the enduring influence of Lev Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory on Australian education, particularly in literacy instruction.

Role of Teachers as Scientists: The conversation pivots to the role of teachers as scientists in the classroom. Misty encourages educators to trust their expertise and engage in systematic inquiry to evaluate teaching strategies’ effectiveness. She underscores the importance of teacher led data collection and critical analysis in refining instructional practices.

Challenges in Education Systems: Misty laments the decline of expert-led curriculum development within education systems, attributing it to budgetary constraints and commercialisation. She warns against the pitfalls of commodifying education, stressing the need for equitable access to evidence-based teaching resources, especially professional development for teachers.

Navigating Standardised Testing: While acknowledging the potential value of standardised tests like NAPLAN, Misty critiques their unintended consequences, such as teaching to the test and overlooking holistic learning outcomes. She advocates for a more nuanced approach to assessment that aligns with scientific inquiry.

Promoting Teacher Autonomy: Reflecting on successful education models, Misty highlights Victoria’s decentralised approach to professional development, which empowers principals to tailor interventions to their schools’ specific needs. She urges educators to resist external pressures and trust their professional judgment.

Closing Thoughts: In conclusion, Misty reaffirms teachers’ invaluable role as scientists in shaping students’ learning journeys. She encourages educators to embrace their expertise, challenge conventional wisdom, and advocate for evidence-based practices in education.

The dialogue between Misty and Phil underscores the complexity of evidence-based teaching and the need for a nuanced understanding of educational principles. Through thoughtful reflection and dialogue, educators can navigate the challenges of modern education systems while staying true to the science of teaching.


  • Evidence Based Teaching, What Is It? – Part 1, Ep 107 with Misty Adoniou



  • Understanding and Using the Science of Reading – Part 1, Part 2




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Thank you to Misty for her dedication to education, and support for the teaching profession.


Tune in to “Teacher’s Tool Kit For Literacy,” a free podcast where accomplished literacy educator Sharon Callen and her team share valuable insights and tips. With over 30 years of experience, they provide strategic learning solutions to empower teachers and leaders worldwide.  Subscribe on your favourite platform for exclusive literacy learning content.  AppleSpotify,  GoogleYouTube

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