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Geoff Whitty (2006)

Educational research and education policy making: is conflict inevitable ?

British Journal of Educational Studies vol:32 n°2 : p. 159–176

The relationship between research and policy and practice in education is a long-standing issue in many countries.

Focusing on the UK Government, which is responsible for education in England, this paper looks at the criticisms of education research that have been made in recent years by government and related non-departmental public bodies and stakeholders.

It then looks in more detail at specific examples of the use that has, and has not, been made of research in developing policy. But rather than produce a balance sheet of pluses and minuses in policy makers' use of evidence, the paper emphasises the realities of the policy making process and the difficulties in establishing consistently and exclusively evidence-based policy.

At the same time, it argues that researchers should beware of allowing their work to be shaped entirely by the Government's call for research that is directly useful to policy by always prioritising applied or practice-based approaches. The paper concludes by highlighting the need for BERA to promote all types of education research "regardless of its utility for policy makers" and, as part of this, for the education research community to ensure that appropriate quality criteria are available for all approaches.

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by rey last modified 2009-07-16 15:07

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