01 SES 12 B, Evidence Based School Practice as an Area of Tension – Approaches and Ideas to Close the Gap Between Practice and Research
Educational research aims at providing practitioners with evidence-based information and guidance for improving their educational work (Broekkamp & van Hout-Wolters, 2007). However, educational research results do not easily find their way into schools. For example, Hetmanek et al. (2015) found that teachers hardly considered research findings in their everyday practice. Why has evidence-based school practice so far been rather a wish than reality, making it an area of tension for both - teachers and researchers? The answer to this question probably is the existing “gap” between educational research and practice (e.g., Broekkamp & van Hout-Wolters, 2007; Farley-Ripple, May, Karpyn, Tilley, & McDonough, 2018). One possible reason for the gap is that research findings do have limited practical use or are not meaningful enough for teachers (e.g., Broekkamp & van Hout-Wolters, 2007; Farley-Ripple et al., 2018; Steffens et al., 2019). Related to that the constantly growing number of qualitatively heterogeneous studies in education research in combination with a lack of overviews and few easily accessible results is often regarded as problematic (e.g., Farley-Ripple et al., 2018; Seidel, Mok, Hetmanek, & Knogler, 2017; Steffens et al., 2019). Teachers have to decide which evidence is important and decisive, which meets quality standards and they have to interpret and “translate” the findings into action by themselves (Seidel et al., 2017; Shavelson, 2018). Finally, a further possible issue is that although there might be a diffusion of new and evidence-based knowledge, the corresponding knowledge is not used and thus no changes in school practice take place. In other words, findings are simply taken note of, but far too often, a sustainable transfer to day-to-day school practice, is missing (Coburn, 2003; Gräsel, 2010).
This symposium introduces four projects that aim at reducing the gap between educational research and practice by addressing the discussed issues (a lack of practical use, a lack of overviews, a lack of real transfer) in different ways.
The authors of the first contribution introduce a project designed to provide teacher education with latest scientific findings on effective teaching (“Clearing House Unterricht”). Within this project, a scientific service platform was developed, which offers synthesized findings in sense of critical and short reviews of carefully selected meta-analyses in easy-to-access language.
The authors of the second contribution present a project which is dealing with an existing theoretical model regarding six dimensions that describe activities to increase the probability that research can meaningfully inform educational decisions. Based on semi-structured interviews, the authors try to answer the question how research projects (Basic Research, Assessment Tools and Evaluations) address these dimensions and facilitate the uptake of educational research findings by school practice.
The authors of the third contribution present a project, which is part of a broad initiative in the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany and aims to promote teaching quality through classroom observation and feedback. To reach this goal, a new and innovative observation tool was developed and evaluated.
In the fourth contribution, the author refines an existing theoretical model to explain the success and failure of improving classroom instruction using feedback data. An empirical study using data of teachers in Switzerland was conducted to validate this refined model. Results of this study will be applied to improve an existing feedback program for teachers to reflect and improve their teaching.
The contributions from Switzerland and Germany will be discussed by an international expert in the area of research-practice-transfer, Prof. Dr. Richard Shavelson from the Standford University in the U.S..
Broekkamp, H., & van Hout-Wolters, B. (2007). The gap between educational research and practice: A literature review, symposium and questionnaire. Educational Research and Evaluation, 13(3), 203-220. doi:10.1080/13803610701626127 Coburn, C. E. (2003). Rethinking Scale: Moving Beyond Numbers to Deep and Lasting Change. Educational Researcher, 32(6), 3–12. doi: 10.3102/0013189X032006003 Farley-Ripple, E., May, H., Karpyn, A., Tilley, K., & McDonough, K. (2018). Rethinking Connections Between Research and Practice in Education: A Conceptual Framework. Educational Researcher, 47(4), 235–245. doi:10.3102/0013189X18761042 Gräsel, C. (2010). Stichwort: Transfer und Transferforschung im Bildungsbereich. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 13(1), 7-20. doi:10.1007/s11618-010-0109-8 Hetmanek, A., Wecker, C., Kiesewetter, J., Trempler, K., Fischer, M., Gräsel, C., & Fischer, F. (2015). Wozu nutzen Lehrkräfte welche Ressourcen? Eine Interviewstudie zur Schnittstelle zwischen bildungswissenschaftlicher Forschung und professionellem Handeln im Bildungsbereich. Unterrichtswissenschaft, 43(3), 194-210. Seidel, T., Mok, S. Y., Hetmanek, A., & Knogler, M. (2017). Meta-Analysen zur Unterrichtsforschung und ihr Beitrag für die Realisierung eines Clearing House Unterrichts für die Lehrerbildung. Zeitschrift für Bildungsforschung, 7(3), 311-325. doi:10.1007/s35834-017-0191-6 Shavelson, R. J. (2018). Role of scientific education research in professional action: A personal odyssey. Paper presented at the 6th Annual GEBF Conference, Basel – Switzerland. Steffens, U., Heinrich, M., & Dobbelstein, P. (2019). Praxistransfer Schul-und Unterrichtsforschung – eine Problemskizze. Praxistransfer Schul-und Unterrichtsentwicklung, 11-26.
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