22 SES 05 B, Interactive Poster Session
The paper aims to analyse the relationship between educational research and its use in the policy-making process in the Romanian educational system.
The paper derives from a research project funded by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-1605.
We examine the factors influencing research utilization from the academics’ point of view.
The data is derived from a study carried out in Romania between 2015 and 2016 in five universities intensive research oriented. The study is justified by the previous studies in the area of research utilization and research mobilization both at international and national level and the concrete particularities of the Romanian educational system, especially regarding the research policy and research use.
In the educational field, the link between research and policy making was intensely debated and literature concluded that academic research rarely has a policy impact and often fails to meet the decision-makers’ needs (Coburn & Talbert, 2006; Hess, 2008; Levin & Edelstein, 2010; Cherney, Povey, Head, Boreham, & Ferguson, 2012). This gap was explained by communication problems between policymakers and researchers, drawing on the argument that they live in different contexts, sharing differing languages, values and professional cultures (Bell, Cordingley, Isham, & Davis, 2010; Levin, 2011; and Ion and Iucu, 2015). Research is seen as lacking relevance and quality (Scott, 2000), “stability and quality” (Teichler, 2000), as being “weakly institutionalized” (Scott 2000) or having a low influence on policy making (Locke, 2009). On the other hand, policy-makers are considered to have little interest in research and its applicability (Ion and Iucu, 2015) and they claim it is difficult to access research results (Ungerleider, 2012).
The process of research utilization involves different actors and contexts. Levin (2013) employs a model based on 3 contexts: the producers of research, the users of research and the intermediaries. Individuals and organisations could be involved in each of these contexts. For the author production, mediation and use are functions and not necessarily structures, so individuals and groups sometimes operate in more than one context.
Research production is linked to the university or higher education institutions. Literature identifies the problems research in education face, problems that make the use of research more difficult.
Important amount of literature is dedicated to the researchers’ activities in research production, how research is organised and managed at university level and the strategies used by academics in order to enhance the research transfer and utilization.
Amo (2007) using a grounded theory approach has identified five interdependent stages in the research impact process: Conducting the Research, Sharing the Findings, Disseminating the Knowledge, Short-term Impact, and Long-term Impact.
HonerødHoveid (2012) identifies 4 stages for the research mobilization: production, dissemination, reception and implementation.
Cherney et al. (2012) found that academics recognize a need to engage with end-users through meetings and dissemination processes and, contrary to some of the literature, recognise that non-academic end-users have different priorities and perceptions when it comes to judging the relevance and use of research evidence.
In spite of the diversity of strategies researchers use in order to promote the research dissemination and utilization, research utilisation is difficult to measure. Following Estabrooks et al. (2011), Bédard (2015) argues that the conceptual confusion commonly found in the field can be, at least in part, resulting from the relative absence of reliable measures and indicators of the phenomenon of interest. Our study intents to bring more insights on these factors that influence the research utilization at policy making process.
Amo, C. (2007). Conceptualizing Research Impact: The Case of Education Research. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 22(1), 75. Bell, M., Cordingley,P., Isham.,C., &Davis.,R.(2010). Report of professional practitioner use of research review: Practitionerengagementinand/orwithresearch.Coventry: CUREE, GTCE, LSIS, & NTRP. Available at: http://www.curee—paccts.com/node/2303 Brew, A. (2001). Conceptions of Research: a phenomenographic study. Studies in Higher Education, 26(3), 271-285. DOI: 10.1080/0307507012007625 5 Cherney, A., Povey, J., Head, B., Boreham, P., & Ferguson, M. (2012). What influences the utilisation of educational research by policy-makers and practitioners?: The perspectives of academic educational researchers. International Journal of Educational Research, 56, 23-34. Coburn, C., & Talbert, J. (2006). Conceptions of evidence use in school districts: Mapping the terrain. American Journal of Education, 112, 469–495. Hess, F.M. (2008). When research matters: How scholarship influences education policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. HonerødHoveid, M. (2012) Educational Research and Useful Knowledge:production, dissemination, reception, implementation. European Educational Research Journal, 11 (1), 59-61 Ion, G &Iucu, R. (2015) DoesResearchInfluenceEducationalPolicy? ThePerspective of Researchers and Policy- Makers in Romania. In: Curaj, A., Matei, L., Pricopie, R., Salmi, J. & Scott, P. (eds) The European Higher Education Area: Between Critical Reflections and Future Policies. Springer, pp.873-889 Knott, J. and A. Wildavsky (1980) If Dissemination Is the Solution, What Is the Problem?, Science Communication 1(4): 537–78. Landry,R.,Amara,N.,&Lamari,M.(2001a).Climbingtheladderofresearchutilization–Evidencefromsocialscienceresearch. Science Communication,22(4), 396– 422. Levin, B. (2011).Mobilising research knowledge in education. London Review of Education,9(1), 15–26. Levin, B., & Edelstein, H. (2010).Research, policy and practice in education. Education Canada, 50(2), 29–30. Locke, W. (2009). Reconnecting the research—policy-practice nexus in higher education: “Evidence-Based Policy” in practice in national and international contexts. Higher Education Policy, 22, 119–140. Scott, P. (2000). Higher education research in the light of a dialogue between policy-makers and practitioners. In U. Teichler& J. Sadlak (Eds.), Higher education research: its relationship to policy and practice(pp. 43–54). Oxford: Pergamon and IAU Press. Teichler, U. (2000). The relationships between higher education research and higher education policy and practice: The researchers’ perspective. In U. Teichler& J. Sadlak (Eds.), Higher education research: Its relationship to policy and practice (pp. 104–135). Oxford: Pergamon/IAU Press Ungerleider, C. (2012). Affairs of the smart. In T. Fenwick & L. Farrell (Eds.), Knowledge mobilization and educational research(pp. 89–120). London: Routledge.
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