01 SES 16 C, Evidence-informed Practice: International Perspectives, Problems and Opportunities for Teacher Development
In the process of research utilisation, many agents are involved (in the production process but also in the use of research findings), and their alignment and implications have been investigated. This investigation brings the focus of discussion on the configuration of explanatory models encapsulating the extensive variety of elements involved in these processes (Landry et al, 2001, Levin, 2013, Brown, 2012 among others) and the role of human resources in supporting them. However, the complexity and the nature of the relationship between research producers and users fails to offer a full understanding of the process. While a significant body of literature explores the role of research production context (Cherney, et al, 2012 among others) and the use of research in practice (Mincu, 2016, Ostelini, 2017 among others), studies exploring the complex context of policymakers are still underdeveloped in the educational field (Cain, 2016 among others). For this reason, our research aims to contribute to the understanding of the factors involved in the adoption of research by educational policymakers, namely, those involved in central public administration. Therefore, we first analyse the most common models explaining the factors influencing research utilisation. Second, we explore how these factors are shaped by professionals in administration in education in order to explore the emergence of other factors and propose suggestions for how research adoption processes might be more effectively supported by both researchers and policymakers. The method consists of a survey administered to a selected sample of 54 public servants in central administration who are charged with the planning, evaluation and implementation of public policies in the field of education. The survey covered topics related to the institutional inner-mechanisms of research uptake and utilization and aspects more aligned with the perceived relationship between researchers and policymakers. The findings demonstrated that, despite the weak presence of national regulations regarding the support of decisions in education based on evidence, public servants highly value – or at least claim to value – the research foundations for their decisions. While the uptake of research is mainly due to individual factors, our research paves the way for an in-depth analysis of organizational factors likely to affect research utilization: research culture and engagement with researchers, interpreted as the attitude of organizations and their members towards research; the political and managerial context likely to promote and favour research transfer; and the financial context needed to foster quality results.
Brown, Chris. 2012. “The ‘policy-Preferences Model’: A New Perspective on How Researchers Can Facilitate the Take-up of Evidence by Educational Policy Makers.” The Policy Press 8 (4): 455–72 Cain, Tim. 2015. “Teachers’ Engagement with Research Texts: Beyond Instrumental, Conceptual or Strategic Use.” Journal of Education for Teaching 41 (5): 478–92. doi:10.1080/02607476.2015.1105536. Cherney, Adrian, Jenny Povey, Brian Head, Paul Boreham, and Michele Ferguson. 2012. “What Influences the Utilisation of Educational Research by Policy-Makers and Practitioners ?: The Perspectives of Academic Educational Researchers.” International Journal of Educational Research. Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.ijer.2012.08.001. Landry, Réjean, Nabil Amara, and Moktar Lamari. 2001a. “Climbing the Ladder of Research Utilization: Evidence from Social Science Research.” Science Communication. doi:10.1177/1075547001022004003. Levin, Ken. 2013. “To Know Is Not Enough: Research Knowledge and Its Use.” Review of Education 1 (1): 2–31. doi:10.1002/rev3.3001. Mincu, Monica. 2014. “Building Collective Capacity for Improvement at a School and System Level.” In British Educational Research Association, 5:1–36. http://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv60343 Ostinelli, Giorgio. 2017. “Between University and School: The School Improvement Advisor/researcher (SIA).” International Journal of Leadership in Education 3124 (August). Routledge: 1–17. doi:10.1080/13603124.2017.1321784.
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