ERIC Number: ED421593
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Laying the Groundwork for a New Generation of Policy Research: Commentary on "Knowledge Utilization in Educational Policy and Politics." Spotlight on Student Success No. 303.
Wong, Kenneth K.
This research digest reports that the field of educational policy is faced with an interrelated set of challenges for the future: producing high quality work while ensuring that paradigmatic ideas are useful for operational purposes. Scholarship in educational policy faces two kinds of institutional problems. The first is the retrenchment in the higher education sector. Education as a graduate field of study is becoming vulnerable as universities downsize. A second problem is that educational policy is a field with a high degree of permeability, one that does not often export paradigmatic ideas to the broader social science and policy community. Fostering a close connection between conceptual work and intervention design is made complicated in the educational community by institutional inertia, competing paradigms, and political influences. Nevertheless, the research community is beginning to take a more active policy role. This action has politicized the manner in which large-scale research is organized, and has put the research community under great public pressure to get involved in school reform. These two constraints lead to long term challenges that call for these renewal efforts: (1) being fiscally autonomous with university educational studies programs while maintaining programmatic connection to the liberal arts; (2) creating incentives for researchers to collaborate in an effort to link conceptual knowledge to operational concerns; and (3) earning the reputation that the educational policy field is intellectually exciting and methodologically robust. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mid-Atlantic Lab. for Student Success, Philadelphia, PA.
Note: A complete version of the article can be found in "Educational Administration Quarterly," v34 n1 p141-46 Feb 1998.