We know that educators and education systems at large face countless decisions every day. We also know that grounding educational decisions in research can improve the likelihood of desirable teaching and learning outcomes, as well as reduce the likelihood of unintended consequences.
Research is just one among many types of evidence used in educational decision-making, however. So being 'evidence informed' is as much about engaging with research evidence as it is engaging with practice-based evidence (e.g., professional judgment) and data-based evidence (e.g., school performance data).
How can educators become evidence-informed? In our view, the best approach is to learn from examples from experts of how research can be integrated with these other types of evidence, and so regularly inform our own everyday practice.
With that in mind, this practical handbook offers 16 illuminating chapters that provide a wealth of advice and perspectives on the subject written by North American educators who are striving to realize the idea of research-informed practice.
Key themes – reflective practitioners, networks and collaboration, trust -emerge to help teachers formalize, prioritize and mobilize the use of research-evidence in schools.
About the Editors
Chris Brown is Professor in Education at Durham University’s School of Education. With a longstanding interest in how evidence can aid education policy and practice, this is Chris’s ninth book in this area (and his 16th overall). Chris has also presented and keynoted on the subject at a number of international conferences stretching the globe, from Africa to South America, and has extensive experience leading a range of funded projects, many of which seek to help teachers identify and scale up best practice. In 2018 Chris was awarded a Siftung Mercator Foundation Senior Fellowship.
Jane Flood has been an elementary school teacher for more than 20 years, working in a variety of schools in various roles. In 2018, she became a Founding Fellow of England’s Chartered College of Teaching. Throughout her career, Jane has engaged in school-based research designed to raise pupil outcomes and involving the dissemination of this learning to colleagues. Jane is studying part time for a PhD at Durham University, focusing on ways to manage the competing priorities of teacher researchers and informal leaders in research learning networks. She has presented this work at national and international conferences. She is currently head/principal at Netley Marsh CE Infant School in the south of England.
Stephen MacGregor is an Ontario Certified Teacher and a PhD candidate at Queen’s University, Canada. His doctoral research considers how multi-stakeholder networks, in education and other public service sectors, can mobilize research evidence to achieve societal impacts. A specific focus in his research is the role of higher education institutions and how they can build capacity in knowledge mobilization: a range of activities to connect research producers, users, and mediators. Stephen will soon begin a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, where his research will explore knowledge brokering in research-intensive universities.