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Who Cares about Using Education Research in Policy and Practice?

Strengthening Research Engagement

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Across the OECD, enormous effort and investment has been made to reinforce the quality, production and use of education research in policy and practice. Despite this, using research in education remains a challenge for many countries and systems. The OECD launched the Strengthening the Impact of Education Research project to respond to this challenge.

This publication reports on the first phase of the project. It maps the various structures, processes, actors and relationships that reinforce the quality, production and use of education research in policy and practice. The publication brings together leading experts who provide insights into recent research and international experience gathered from both policy and practice, including from other sectors such as health, agriculture and environment.

The publication provides a first set of analyses of data collected from over 30 systems through an OECD survey. It describes the mechanisms used to facilitate research use in education policy and practice, and the levels of engagement of various actors in these processes. By mapping the drivers of, and barriers to, using research systematically and at scale, the publication sets out an agenda for future inquiry. It can be a resource for policy makers, educational leaders, teachers and the research community.

English

Foreword

Policy makers like immediate answers but education research moves at a snail’s pace: It sometimes takes decades before a longitudinal survey yields policy-relevant insights to the burning questions we have right now. Education research also does not always focus on the questions that are most relevant to policy makers and practitioners. Nor are research results always available in a form intelligible to them. And even when they are, research will have insufficient impact if it is not used to challenge conventional wisdom or long-held beliefs in what works. Sometimes policy makers and practitioners forget that data are not the plural of anecdote, and often they are simply too busy to look for research-based answers. On top of that, education systems often lack adequate infrastructure and mechanisms to support them in using research in their daily decisions.

English

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