32 SES 13 B, Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice: Four national perspectives
Research informed practice (RIP) is defined as the process of teachers and educators accessing, evaluating and applying the findings of academic research in order to improve both teaching and student outcomes (Walker, 2017). RIP is increasingly regarded by many as a prerequisite for effective teaching and learning (Furlong, 2014; See, Gorard, & Siddiqui, 2016; Walker, 2017) and this has led to numerous jurisdictions world turning their attention to making greater use of research evidence to improve education policy and practice (Hammersley-Fletcher and Lewin, 2015).
In part this focus is seemingly justified by the benefits attributable to research-informed practice. For example, correlational data reported by both Cordingley (2013) and Mincu (2014) suggests that where research is used as part of high quality initial teacher education and ongoing professional development, it is associated with higher teacher, school and system performance. More recently Rose and colleagues (2017), evaluating the Education Endowment Foundation funded research learning communities project (using a randomized control trial across a sample of 119 schools), showed that increased levels of collaborative research use by primary school teachers had a significant impact on primary school student’s exam results.
But this focus is also underpinned by a moral imperative: for instance Goldacre (2013) argues that teachers should engage in RIP since it would lead not only to improved outcomes for children but also increased professional independence (resulting in teaching experiencing an ‘enhanced’ level of professionalization akin to that of doctors). Likewise England’s Chartered College of Teaching recently suggested that teachers engagement with research should be viewed as the hall mark of an effective profession; while Wyse and Torgerson (2017) similarly contend that there is now a societal expectation that student learning should be enhanced through the use of effective, research-informed, teaching.
Despite these potential benefits and compelling arguments, there is much critique of the influence of education research on policy and practice. Caplan (1979), for instance, summarized the divide between researchers and policymakers as “two communities” that speak different languages, ask different questions, have different incentives, and operate on different time lines. In other words Caplan directs us to a bridge or a divide that must be crossed between these communities if RIP is to be realised. Part of the responsibility for crossing this divide lies with the audience for the message, who are required to seek out and engage with research rather than act as passive recipients for research. But If educational research is to be used to improve the field, we also need to turn our gaze inwards and explore the efforts we as researchers are also making and whether our focus is inclusive or exclusive in nature. With this symposium we therefore examine four international perspectives from both sides of the divide and use our discussant to draw out lessons for how to move forward in order to make RIP an international reality.
Caplan, N. (1979). The two-communities theory and knowledge utilization. American behavioral scientist, 22(3), 459-470. Cordingley, P. (2013) 'The contribution of research to teachers' professional learning and development', available at: https://www.bera.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BERA-Paper-5-Continuing- professional-development-and-learning Furlong, J. (2014). Research and the Teaching Profession: building capacity for a self improving education system. Final report of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Inquiry into the role of research in the teaching profession. London: BERA. Hammersley-Fletcher, L., & Lewin, C. (2015). Evidence-based teaching: Advancing capability and capacity for enquiry in schools. Interim report, Nottingham: National College for School Leadership. Mincu, M. (2013) Inquiry paper 6: teacher quality and school improvement - what is the role of research? In the British Educational Research Association/ The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (Eds) The Role Of Research In Teacher Education. See, B. H., Gorard, S., & Siddiqui, N. (2016). Teachers' use of research evidence in practice: a pilot study of feedback to enhance learning. Educational Research, 58(1), 56-72. Walker, M. (2017) Insights into the Role of Research and Development in Teaching Schools, (Slough, NfER). Wyse, D., & Torgerson, C. (2017). Experimental trials and 'what works?'in education: The case of grammar for writing. British Educational Research Journal, 43(6), 1019-1047.
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
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