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Towards Evidence-Based Practice in Science Education

Grant reference: L139251003

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Conference paper/presentation details

TLRP: Evidence-based Practice in Science Education: The researcher-user interface
One of the four projects in the EPSE (Evidence-based practice in Science Education) network aimed to obtain a better understanding of the extent to which practitioners in science education recognise and make use of research findings in the course of their normal practice; and to explore the factors which promote and inhibit the impact of research in science education on practice. This paper presents some of the findings from the interview and focus-group study of views of the research-practice interface. The sample included primary and secondary science teachers (including a subset with direct experience of research), curriculum policy makers, inset providers and authors of science textbooks and teaching materials. Questions explored perceptions of the nature, actual use and potential of research in science education. At a general level, teachers and other practitioners characterised educational research, variously, as: purposeful; carried out in a systematic manner; useful in informing action and large scale. Research evidence that was viewed as convincing was seen as transferable, had resonance with teachers’ experience and beliefs and showed a rigorous methodology. Widespread use of research evidence in the classroom seems to depend on at least two factors: translation of research findings into tangible and useful outcomes, such as teaching materials resulting from research projects; the presence of a professional culture which encourages both exploration of research and changes to practice. By exploring findings from this study in conjunction with outcomes from the other three EPSE projects, we hope to identify some possible models for effective use of research evidence.
Original Document

Primary contributor

Author M Ratcliffe

Additional details

No