Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Evidence-Based Practice in Science Education

  • Richard ShavelsonEmail author
  • Alice Fu
  • Amy Kurpius
  • Edward Wiley
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_158-1


Causal effect; Causal mechanism; Randomized experiment; Scientific research

The special task of the social scientist in each generation is to pin down the contemporary facts. Beyond that, he shares with the humanistic scholar and the artist in the effort to gain insight into contemporary relationships, and to align the culture’s view of man with present realities. (Cronbach 1975, p. 126)

Evidence-based practice in science education is the conscious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence to make and implement decisions. The best evidence comes from rigorous empirical research on the efficacy of interventions for improving students’ science learning.

Many science education reformers look to evidence-based practice in medicine as a model. Our definition is consistent with Sackett et al.’s (1996) definition of evidence-based medical practice, and there are similarities between the fields. For example, both medicine and education face considerable organizational...


Science Education Lesson Study Alternative Practice Science Education Practice Productive Player 
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  1. Cronbach LJ (1975) Beyond two disciplines of scientific psychology. Am Psychol 30:671–684Google Scholar
  2. Millar R, Osborne JO (2009) Research and practice: a complex relationship? Qual Res Literacy Sci Educ 11:41–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Sackett DL, Rosenberg WMC, Gray JAM, Haynes RB, Richardson WS (1996) Evidence based medicine: what it is and what it isn’t. BMJ 312(7023):71–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Shavelson RJ, Towne L (eds) (2002) Scientific research in education. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Shavelson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alice Fu
    • 2
  • Amy Kurpius
    • 2
  • Edward Wiley
    • 2
  1. 1.SK Partners and Stanford UniversityMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.SK PartnersMenlo ParkUSA