ERIC Number: ED206074
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Social Science and Educational Reform: The Political Uses of Social Research.
Wirt, Frederick M.; Mitchell, Douglas E.
Focusing on whether and how research actually contributes to the formation of public policy, this paper explores the critical problems in the linkage between science production and the systems that formulate educational policy. The authors suggest that the utilization of social research is limited more by problems of integrating research into the policy process than by any inadequacy in the quality of contemporary research efforts. They argue that science not only can, but does, contribute significantly to the formation of educational policy. Policy issues are viewed as passing through stages of issue definition, deliberation of options, assignment of values and resources, and review of implementation and outcomes. The basic types of policy relevant research are defined as descriptive, explanatory, critical, and forecasting. Each research type emphasizes a different social science process and contributes to different aspects of policy making. The authors conclude by drawing together these conceptual components of the policy process and different types of knowledge into a larger model that attempts to encompass the needs of the academic and the policy maker, as well as the imperatives of action manifest in decision-making. (Author/MLF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).