ERIC Number: EJ877413
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Whose Evidence Is It Anyway?
Adults Learning, v20 n2 p12-14 Oct 2008
When governments and pressure groups attend only to research that suits their political purposes, it makes a mockery of the idea of evidence-informed policy and practice. In this article, the author cites examples of research that picked up weak and misleading evidence for political purposes. The author argues that researchers are tied in to the corrupting influence of a culture that does not respect evidence because they are increasingly judged by their research income, and so are motivated by government-controlled inspection regimes like the "Research Excellence Framework" to do what funders want. The author stresses that evidence is generally used uncritically. If it supports a prior position it is accepted and if not, it is rejected. As a result, those who pay for the creation of the evidence and its use suffer because their money is often wasted, but more importantly because the money could have been spent on something evidence-informed that might have a better chance of success.
Descriptors: Politics of Education, Educational Policy, Evidence, Theory Practice Relationship, Political Influences, Experimenter Characteristics, Robustness (Statistics), Foreign Countries, Research Methodology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom