01 SES 07 C, Effects of Educational Research on Teaching
There is renewed interest internationally, in the use of research evidence to improve public policy and practice, including in education (e.g. Goldacre 2013; Levin 2013; Nelson & O’Beirne 2014; Cooper & Levin 2010; Muller & Hoadley 2010; Holm 2011). For instance in England, the government has established the What Works Network in order to improve the use of evidence in decisions about public services. This innovation assumes that, if research can demonstrate what works best, schools will implement the research findings and the education of all students will be improved. However, significant doubts have been expressed about the extent to which educational research can inform teaching. Eighty five years ago, Dewey (1929) argued that, although teachers wanted research to provide recipes or rules for teaching, research findings should not be seen in this way because such findings acquire meaning only when they are linked to other findings and integrated into a coherent educational theory, and because education is always a more wide-ranging and complex endeavour than research, which is necessarily focused on relatively narrow questions. For Dewey, research should be seen as providing intellectual tools or principles (Dewey called them ‘laws’) which, once embedded in the minds, hearts and hands of educators, generate hypotheses that inform their ideas, plannings, observations and judgments, so as to make the educational process, ‘more enlightened, more humane, more truly educational than it was before’ (Dewey 1929, p. 76).
Contemporary writing tends to echo Dewey (1929). Hammersley (2005) argues that at best, research can provide only information to practitioners, who must also rely on their experience and judgment, informed by their own values, to make decisions as teachers. He also argues that research findings are fallible and that, what researchers consider to be well-founded knowledge (accumulated slowly and logically, with an attitude of principled scepticism) is quite different from practitioners’ views of well-founded knowledge (up to date and practical, capable of being implemented instantly).
Biesta (2007) draws on Dewey (1929), arguing that the evidence-based movement is underpinned by an inadequate worldview that sees education as a technical matter of achieving given ends. This view, he claims, underrates the importance of values, so research that shows only ‘what works’ is therefore an inadequate basis for understanding educational practice, which is fundamentally moral, not merely technical. He stresses that research can have a ‘cultural’ role by providing theoretical lenses that enable practitioners to understand problems and ‘to see problems where we did not see them before’ Biesta (2007, p. 19).
Subsequently, Biesta (2010) identified three problems with the view that research can be incorporated into practice. First, a transactional epistemology, through which we gain knowledge of the world by acting on it, can only show what has happened in the past, not what might happen in the future, which means that, ‘there is always – structurally, not pragmatically – a gap between the knowledge we have and the situations in which we have to act’ (p. 496). Second, the ontological worldview that assumes causal relationships between teachers’ acts and students’ responses is too simplistic because education rests on the possibility of students and teachers interpreting each other’s words and actions, within an ‘open system’ that interacts with its contextual environment. Finally, that research is not simply incorporated into schools without the schools themselves making changes to accommodate the research. Biesta (2010) calls these ‘deficits’ and suggests that they raise ‘serious doubts’ about the research-into-practice notion.
Berlin, J. E. (2009). It's all a matter of perspective: Student perceptions on the impact of being labeled gifted and talented. Roeper Review, 31(4), 217-223. Biesta, G. (2007). Why “what works” won’t work: Evidence‐based practice and the democratic deficit in educational research. Educational theory, 57(1), 1-22. Biesta, G. J. (2010). Why ‘what works’ still won’t work: From evidence-based education to value-based education. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 29(5), 491-503. Cooper, A. & Levin, B. (2010) Some Canadian contributions to understanding knowledge mobilization. Evidence and Policy, 6(3), 351-369. Dewey, J. (1929). The sources of a science of education. NY: Liveright. Hammersley (2005) The Myth of Research‐based Practice: The Critical Case of Educational Inquiry, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8:4, 317-330. Holm, C. (2011). Mobilizing knowledge in Denmark. Online: http://forskningsbasen.deff.dk/Share.external?sp=Sef8d1742-8af2-4bd8-9245-b10af4b69937&sp=Sau McIntyre, D. (2005). Bridging the gap between research and practice. Cambridge Journal of Education, 35(3), 357-382. Muller, J., & Hoadley, U. (2010). Knowledge mobilisation in education in South Africa. Online: www.oise.utoronto.ca/rspe/UserFiles/File/IALEI_2011_National_Report.SouthAfrica.pdf Rogers, K. B. (2007). Lessons Learned About Educating the Gifted and Talented A Synthesis of the Research on Educational Practice. Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(4), 382-396. Tomlinson, C. A. (2005). Quality curriculum and instruction for highly able students. Theory into practice, 44(2), 160-166.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.