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Bridging the research-practice gap in education

When: Wednesday, 25 July 2018 - Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Where: Parktown Education Campus
Tommy Motswai Seminar Room, Thembalethu Building (former old student union building upstairs seminar room at the REAL Centre and Deaf Studies offices
Start time:13:15


The Centre for Researching Education and Labour (REAL) will host Kathryn Joyce to deliver this talk.

The gap between research and practice is one of the most significant problems for evidence-based policy and practice in education. The challenge is how to get what works according to the ‘best’ educational research to work for educators in practice. Despite efforts to bridge the gap, primarily by more effective dissemination of ‘high quality’ research results, interventions that produce positive effects in studies often fail to be similarly effective in practice. I argue that this failure issues in part from a methodological problem. Currently, the research central to evidence-based policy and practice in the U.S. and U.K. focuses on randomised controlled trials (RCTs). These can support causal ascriptions but provide little basis for local effectiveness predictions – which are what matters to practice. In this talk, Joyce will argue that the hope to move from ascription to prediction by way of causal generalisation is unrealistic and will urge that research effort should be devoted directly to how to build better local effectiveness predictions. She will outline a variety of kinds of information that can make local predictions more reliable and more useful and call for the acceptance of a broader range of methods more geared to learning those kinds of information.

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