01 SES 12 B, Evidence Based School Practice as an Area of Tension – Approaches and Ideas to Close the Gap Between Practice and Research
The gap between educational research and school practice has been a matter of debate for the last decades (Burkhardt & Schoenfeld, 2003; Hammersley, 2007; Stark, 2017). Researchers, politicians and practitioners have problematized various aspects of this gap, mainly supported by case studies or rather anecdotal evidence, while a coherent framework seemed to be lacking. Quite recently, Farley-Ripple an colleagues have proposed a conceptual framework (Farley-Ripple, May, Karpyn, Tilley, & McDonough, 2018). They build up on Coburn's (2003) work that calls for deep and sustainable change in education. Farley-Ripple and colleagues further specify this notion of depth with regard to research use by educational practitioners and research production by educational researchers. The authors acknowledge that research-practice relationships are complex and multi-facetted, and that they can best be regarded through the lens of an offer-utilization model. They suggest six dimensions that describe activities to reduce gaps, and to increase the probability that research can meaningfully inform educational decisions. These dimensions are conceptualized as evidence, dissemination, interpretation, participation, frequency, and decision stage (Farley-Ripple et al., 2018). In our study, we address the side of research production of this theoretical model. We take a closer look at a meta-issue of working in research projects. We try to answer the question how research projects address the six dimensions proposed by Farley-Ripple et al. (2018) in their day-to-day work, and how they facilitate the uptake of educational research by school practice. Six projects from three different kinds of research (Basic Research, Assessment Tools, Evaluations) are included in this longitudinal interview study. All of these projects are being conducted at a large educational research institution (DIPF, Leibniz Association, Germany). We interviewed the project leaders following a semi-structured interview procedure (approx. 1 hour). We will first provide an overview of the research design and goals, showing how a theoretical framework can be applied to the contexts in which research projects operate, and by which means this might provide a starting point for a continuous reflection on the project’s impact for educational practice. Furthermore, we will present results from the first measurement point. Two independent researchers coded these responses using a deductive coding scheme which incorporates the six theoretical dimensions. Reliability was assured and cases of doubt were resolved by discussion. For each kind of research project, we will present profiles regarding the theoretical dimensions by Farley-Ripple et al. (2018), and provide excerpts and contextual information from the interviews.
Burkhardt, H., & Schoenfeld, A. H. (2003). Improving Educational Research: Toward a More Useful, More Influential, and Better-Funded Enterprise. Educational Researcher, 32(9), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189x032009003 Coburn, C. E. (2003). Rethinking Scale: Moving beyond numbers to deep and lasting change. Educational Researcher, 32(6), 3–12. 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. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X18761042 Hammersley, M. (Ed.). (2007). Educational Research and Evidence-Based Practice. London: SAGE. Stark, R. (2017). Probleme evidenzbasierter bzw. -orientierter pädagogischer Praxis. [Problems of evidence-based or rather evidence-oriented educational practice] Zeitschrift fuer Paedagogische Psychologie, 31(2), 99–110.
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