Fifty years after Stanley Kubrick introduced cinemagoers to HAL9000, the prospect of a robot-infused world still feels more science fiction than social fact. Yet robots are steadily beginning to impact on the nature of contemporary work.... [...]
Educational Research and Educational Policy-making
For various historical, political and epistemological reasons (which are well-documented in a range of sources), ‘evidence-based policy’ is not a neutral descriptor but instead seems to have become a highly-charged and polarising idea in educational research, with different factions in the educational research community taking contrasting or even oppositional stances, These stances have been based to some degree on pre-existing ideological and rhetorical positions and have resulted in certain theoretical and methodological stand-offs. This SIG, in taking a wider view of the relationship between research and policy, seeks to create an environment for robust and constructive engagement on how and under what circumstances educational research can or should be seeking to inform the processes of policy-making at different levels. The SIG draws upon a range of philosophical, conceptual and empirical understandings – including in the field of research utilisation and ‘impact’ – in order to (i) establish more nuanced and conducive ‘professional conversations’ and (ii) explore a variety of institutional arrangements, as a basis for developing and influencing research-informed policy-making. The SIG takes special care to include colleagues working in practice and policy, as well as from research institutions; also linking up with other initiatives in this field, such as the Thematic Seminar Group funded as part of the ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme, the ESRC-funded Evidence Network, and various Social Research Association initiatives. Aims and objectives of the group To identify and enhance the various ways in which, and the supporting conditions under which, scholarly research efforts in education can have a stronger influence on policy-making processes by, for example:
- identifying key areas of policy which may be particularly supported – or contradicted – by current research evidence;
- identifying processes, environments and institutional arrangements for the mediation and ‘translation’ of research knowledge for decision-making;
- de-constructing barriers to the use of scholarly research in decision-making;
- exploring a range of methodologies for synthesising research knowledge;
- identifying new substantive areas, new research models and modes, and/or insufficiently understood issues for policy-relevant research.
Latest SIG Content
Closing the gap in access to free ‘universal’ early education: What affects participation among low-income families?
For over a decade, all children in England have been entitled to free government-funded early education and care from the term after they turn three. One of the aims of this policy is to close the developmental gap between higher-income and... [...]
In a recent, very well-written blog, Professor Alice Sullivan argues that it is high time for UK education journals to abandon the practice of viewing the fact that a paper has been circulated as a working paper as an impediment to publication in... [...]
A baseline without basis: The validity and utility of the proposed reception baseline assessment in England
This report sets out the case against the government’s proposal to use a baseline assessment test of pupils in reception to hold schools in England to account for the progress that those pupils have made by the end of key stage 2. Report... [...]
‘Evidence-based teaching’ is one of those feelgood phrases (think ‘school improvement’, ‘leadership’, ‘standards’) that it seems churlish to oppose. All the more important, then, to consider what such phrases signify and entail in... [...]
Dave and I met in 2004 when we both moved from teaching to become senior lecturers. We also embarked on our doctorates at the same time, and ended up keeping close company during our studies. The day Dave told me that he had passed his viva he... [...]