Presentation - 2012 Symposium of Ontario Research Chairs in

Making Evidence-Based
Education Policy
Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy Symposium
Carol Campbell
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
E-mail: [email protected]
Research-Informed Policy?
• Rigor
• Relationships
• Relevance
• Reality
Building Capacities for Research Impact and
Educational Improvement
AWARENESS: being aware,
informed, cognizant,
conscious, know
that is done,
the process
or action of
Engaging in
and/or with
comprehend, apprehend
meaning, grasp the idea
Education Research & Evaluation Strategy
Main Types of Research, Evaluation and Data
Conducted and Used within Ontario Ministry
of Education
• Literature reviews on areas of policy and/or program
interests to inform priority goals
School-based action research to inform ministry about
locally contextualized initiatives implemented in Ontario
Research and evaluation with multiple schools and districts of
“successful practices” for priority initiatives to identify,
share and foster these practices more widely
Research on policy questions /issues/ areas of concern
Development of data, analytical tools and information
systems to support decisions
Large-scale policy and program evaluations
Examining When Ontario Ministry of Education
Uses Research, Evaluation and Data
• Emphasis in evidence-based literature on use of evidence at
point of decision and research to inform these decisions
• Importance and use of evidence also:
– throughout policy process
– throughout stages of program development,
implementation and review
– for evaluating policies once implemented
– in operational and strategic planning and development
– to foster, identify and support effective practices
throughout system
– to support professional capacity building
– in communications, reporting and issues management
Key Insights
• Leading: Policy-makers and researchers seeking to improve research use
need to pay attention to both an infrastructure and culture which values
and demands evidence. Combining dedicated and distributed leadership.
• Applying: A basic but vital starting point is conducting research designed
to contribute to policy and practice knowledge and ensuring that this
research is made accessible and communicated effectively
• Building Capacity: No matter how much research is available, it is futile if
accompanying attention is not also paid to building capacity to access,
understand, critique and apply such evidence.
• Networking: Opportunities for researchers, policy-makers and educators
to engage supports shared learning, awareness and knowledge for
connecting research/policy/practice, and trust for reciprocal relationships.
• Communicating: You can never pay enough attention to communication.
• Contributing: Commitment to research use involves enthusiasm to
contribute to inquiry, debate, scholarship, bodies of evidence and action.
Evidence-Informed Practice: Using Research to
Improve Services for Children and Young People
(Nutley, 2010)
7 Lessons:
1. Improve the supply of relevant, credible and accessible
research but don’t stop there
2. Shape – as well as respond to – the demand for research
in policy and practice settings
3. Develop coherent, multifaceted strategies and initiatives
that address the interface between the supply and demand
for research
4. Draw on guiding principles that are consistently
associated with successful strategies (translation, local
ownership, enthusiasm, context, credibility, leadership,
support, integration)
Evidence-Informed Practice: Using Research to
Improve Services for Children & Young People
(Nutley, 2010)
7 Lessons cont.:
5. Surface and question underlying assumptions about the
nature of evidence-based practice and how it is best achieved,
particularly the common assumption that frontline practitioners
are the main consumers of research
6. Recognize that dedicated intermediary knowledge broker
organizations or networks can play an important role in
promoting and facilitating research use
7. Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies and interventions to
improve research use and continue to learn from these
Academics and Government
• In…
• For…
• With…
• As an intermediary to…
• Against…

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