23 SES 13 B, Research(-ers) and Policy Making
The paper aims to analyze the perception of policymakers of the educational research use in policymaking in Romania. The main focus is set on describing policymaker’s needs and expectations regarding the process of research production and on identifying the factors which influence transfer from research to policy with an emphasize on policymakers’ role within this process.
The context of research production is dominated by the role of universities and research institutions in generating knowledge based on evidences (Ion & Castro, 2016). In this context, research production literature generally focuses on research funding, on research management and on the strategies used by academics in order to enhance the research transfer and utilization (Cummings et al., 2007; Kwiek, 2015; Honerød, 2012). In what concerns educational research, the domain is considered ‘too small, not well organized, and the results are not effectively communicated or shared’ (Levin, 2013, p. 15). It is considered to have little impact in society and often fails to meet the decision-makers’ needs (Coburn & Talbert, 2006; Hess, 2008; Levin & Edelstein, 2010; Cherney, Povey, Head, Boreham, & Ferguson, 2012). Locke, 2009, also mentions policymakers’ perception of research described as irrelevant, lacking quality, untimely and poorly presented.
Looking from a national perspective, the research production in educational field in Romania is influencing the research utilization in policymaking and its quality, funding and relevant are key elements to consider (Ion and Iucu, 2014). One particular mention could be made with regard to financing and financial sustainability of educational research. Another more specific challenge for Romanian research is underlined by Popa (2012), who argues that the highly bureaucratic system might play a significant role in the way of knowledge transfer and mobilization, while Ion and Iucu (2014) reveal both the significant role of bureaucracy, but it also brings into discussion individual factors, which limit practitioners’ ability to engage in genuine and sustainable research-based practices. Given the current state of research in Romania, and of educational research in particular, the paper aims to identify other potential factors influencing its evolution, but from a policymakers’ perspective, an approach which appears to be slightly underrepresented in the existing literature reviewed thus far.
1. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory. A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: SAGE. 2. Cherney, A., Head, B., Boreham, P., Povey, J., & Ferguson, M. (2012). Perspectives of academic social scientists on knowledge transfer and research collaborations: a cross-sectional survey of Australian academics. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 8(4), 433-453 3. Coburn, C., & Talbert, J. (2006). Conceptions of evidence use in school districts: Mapping the terrain. American Journal of Education, 112, 469–495. 4. Cummings, GG, Estabrooks, CA, Midodzi, WK, Wallin, L & Hayduk L. (2007) Influence of organizational characteristics and context on research utilization. Nurs Res. 56(4 Suppl), 24-39 5. Hess, F.M. (2008). When research matters: How scholarship influences education policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. 6. Honerød, M. (2012) Educational Research and Useful Knowledge: production, dissemination, reception, implementation. European Educational Research Journal, 11(1), 56-61 7. Ion, G. & Castro, D. (2016) Transitions in the manifestations of the research culture of Spanish Universities. Higher Education Research & Development. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2016.1208153 8. Ion, G., & Iucu, R. (2014). Professionals' perceptions about the use of research in educational practice. European Journal of Higher Education, 4(4), 334-347. 9. Kwiek, M. (2015) Academic generations and academic work: patterns of attitudes, behaviors, and research productivity of Polish academics after 1989, Studies in Higher Education, 40:8, 1354-1376 10. Levin, B. (2013). To know is not enough: Research knowledge and its use. Review of Education, 1(1), 2-31. 11. Levin, B., & Edelstein, H. (2010). Research, policy and practice in education. Education Canada, 50(2), 29–30. 12. Locke, W. (2009). Reconnecting the Research – Policy – Practice Nexus in Higher Education : “Evidence-Based Policy” in Practice in National and International Contexts, 119–140. http://doi.org/10.1057/hep.2008.3 13. Popa, V. (2012). Cercetarea ştiinţifică şi transferul tehnologic (Scientific research and technology transfer), 1(4), 327–332.
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