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There is an Evidence Crisis in Science Educational Policy

Abstract

There is a considerable gap between many of the findings from educational psychology research and educational practice. This gap is especially notable in the field of science education. In this article, the implications of three categories of research and their findings for science educational policy in the USA and other jurisdictions were reviewed. We indicate that a particular category of research that we call “Program-Based Studies,” has dominated the formulation of educational standards while a large number of critical findings from randomized, controlled studies and correlational studies that overwhelmingly show minimal support for the suggested policy have been marked as irrelevant and excluded. The current blanket-emphasis on program-based studies at the expense of the other types of research is misplaced. Educational standards should represent a balanced view of the available data including findings from controlled and correlational studies. Finally, we indicate how these different forms of research might inform each other and provide coherent and consistent implications for educational procedures.

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Zhang, L., Kirschner, P.A., Cobern, W.W. et al. There is an Evidence Crisis in Science Educational Policy. Educ Psychol Rev 34, 1157–1176 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-021-09646-1

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Keywords

  • Methodology
  • Educational practice
  • Educational policy
  • Controlled studies
  • Correlational studies
  • Program-based studies
  • Science education