Advertisement

Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 10, Issue 2–3, pp 159–171 | Cite as

The growing (but still limited) importance of evidence in education policy and practice

  • Amanda CooperEmail author
  • Ben Levin
  • Carol Campbell
Article

Abstract

The last decade of education change has been characterized by the rise of evidence-based policy and practice agendas. Internationally, we are witnessing efforts to increase and incorporate research use in public services. This article examines efforts in education to address the research–practice gap through an emerging field we term knowledge mobilization (KM). We explore some of the controversy surrounding the use of ‘evidence’, outline national and international KM initiatives and consider some of the issues and challenges that arise from the increased interest in evidence and research use in education. We also assess the current state and desirable future directions of efforts to strengthen the role of research and evidence in education.

Keywords

Education Evidence Evidence-based decision making Knowledge mobilization Research use Research impact 

References

  1. Biddle, B., & Saha, L. (2002). The untested accusation: Principals, research knowledge, and policy making in schools. Westport, CT: Ablex.Google Scholar
  2. Boaz, A., Grayson, L., Levitt, R., & Solesbury, W. (2008). Does evidence-based policy work? Learning from the UK experience. Evidence and Policy, 4(2), 233–255.Google Scholar
  3. Cabinet Office. (1999). Modernising government (Chap 2, para. 6. Cm 4310). Stationery Office: London. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/moderngov/whtpaper/index.htm.
  4. CHSRF. (n.d.). Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://www.chsrf.ca/keys/glossary_e.php.
  5. Datnow, A., & Honig, M. (2008). Introduction to the special issue on scaling up teaching and learning improvement in urban districts: The promises and pitfalls of external assistance providers. Peabody Journal of Education, 83(3), 323–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davies, P. (2004, February). Is evidence-based government possible? (Jerry Lee lecture to Campbell Collaboration Colloquium, Washington, DC). Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://www.policyhub.gov.uk/downloads/JerryLeeLecture1202041.pdf#page=1.
  7. Davies, H., Nutley, S., & Smith, P. (2000). What works? Evidence-based policy and practice in public services. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  8. Davies, H., Nutley, S., & Walter, I. (2008). Why ‘knowledge transfer’ is misconceived for applied social research. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 13(3), 188–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA). (2000). The impact of educational research. Canberra: DETYA. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://www.dest.gov.au/.
  10. Earl, L. M., & Katz, S. (2006). Leading schools in a data-rich world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  11. Graham, I. D., Logan, J., Harrison, M. B., Straus, S. E., Tetroe, J., Caswell, W., et al. (2006). Lost in knowledge translation: Time for a map? The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26, 13–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Greenhalgh, T., Robert, T., MacFarlane, F., Bate, P., & Kyriakidow, O. (2004). Diffusion of innovations in service organizations: Systematic review and recommendations. The Milbank Quarterly, 82(4), 581–629.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Honig, M. (2004). The new middle management: Intermediary organizations in education policy implementation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 26(1), 65–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Honig, M., & Coburn, C. (2008). Evidence-based decision making in school district central offices: Toward a policy and research agenda. Educational Policy, 22(4), 578–608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Landry, R., Amara, N., & Lamari, M. (2001). Utilization of social science research knowledge in Canada. Research Policy, 30(2), 333–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lavis, J., Ross, S., McLeod, C., & Gildiner, A. (2003a). Measuring the impact of health research. Journal of Health Services and Research and Policy, 8(3), 165–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lavis, J. N., Robertson, D., Woodside, J., Mcleod, C., & Abelson, J. (2003b). How can research organizations more effectively transfer research knowledge to decision makers? The Milbank Quarterly, 81(2), 221–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lemieux-Charles, L., & Champagne, F. (2004). Using knowledge and evidence in health care: Multidisciplinary perspectives. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  19. Levesque, P., Davidson, S., & Kidder, K. (2007). Knowledge exchange for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder research: An integrated evidence and knowledge exchange framework leading to more effective research dissemination practices. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 16(2), 51–56.Google Scholar
  20. Levin, B. (2004). Making research matter more. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12(56). Retrieved November 15, 2008, from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v12n56/.
  21. Levin, B. (2008, May). Thinking about knowledge mobilization. Paper prepared for an invitational symposium sponsored by the Canadian Council on Learning and the Social Sciences and Humanities research Council of Canada, Vancouver.Google Scholar
  22. National College of School Leadership (NCSL). (2005a). International perspectives on networked learning: Key messages emerging from Phase 1 of the external evaluation of the NCSL Networked Learning Communities. Nottingham: NCSL.Google Scholar
  23. National College of School Leadership (NCSL). (2005b). Evaluating the NCSL Networked Learning Communities Programme: Summary of the overall approaches to the evaluation. Nottingham: NCSL.Google Scholar
  24. Neylan, J. (2008). Social policy and the authority of evidence. The Australian Journal of Public Administration, 67(1), 12–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nutley, S., Walter, I., & Davies, H. (2007). Using evidence: How research can inform public services. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  26. Oakley, A. (2004). The researcher’s agenda for evidence. Evaluation and Research in Education, 18(1&2), 12–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. (2000). The knowing-doing gap: How smart companies turn knowledge into action. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  28. Roger, E. M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  29. Seashore Louis, K. (1992). Comparative perspectives on dissemination and knowledge use policies: Supporting school improvement. Science Communication, 13(3), 287–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Seashore Louis, K. (2005). Reconnecting knowledge utilization and school improvement: Two steps forward, one step back. In D. Hopkins (Ed.), The practice and theory of school improvement (pp. 40–61). The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sebba, J. (2004). Developing an evidence-based approach to policy and practice in education. Discussion paper number 5. Higher Education Academy. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from www.heacademy.ac.uk/embedded_object.asp?id=21593&filename=QE006D.
  32. Sebba, J. (2007). Enhancing impact on policy-making through increasing user engagement in research. In L. Saunders (Ed.), Educational research and policy-making: Exploring the border country between research and policy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Sin, C. H. (2008). The role of intermediaries in getting evidence into policy and practice: Some useful lessons from examining consultancy-client relationships. Evidence & Policy, 4(1), 85–103.Google Scholar
  34. Solesbury, W. (2001). Evidence based policy: Whence it came and where it’s going. Retrieved November 1, 2008, from www.evidencenetwork.org/Documents/wp1.pdf.
  35. Stone, D. (2002). Policy paradox: The art of political decision making. New York: WW Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  36. Susawad, P. (2007). Knowledge translation: Introduction to models, strategies and measures. National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://wwwncddr.org/.
  37. Syed-Ihksan, S., & Rowland, F. (2004). Knowledge management in a public organization. Journal of Knowledge Management, 8(2), 95–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Weiss, C. H. (1979). The many meanings of research utilization. Public Administration Review, 39(5), 426–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TPS DepartmentTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Ontario Ministry of EducationTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations