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Description - Evidence-based Practice in Education by Gary Thomas

"Where does hunch end and evidence begin? Too much is written and said about school improvement - about improvements in teaching and learning -- with far too little attention to this question. This book provides vivid discussion from distinguished protagonists and antagonists about what gets called 'evidence-based practice'. Reading it, all involved in education - policymakers and practitioners alike - can proceed more confidently." - Professor Tim Brighouse, London Schools Commissioner The movement to evidence-based practice in education is as important as it is controversial, and this book explores the arguments of leading advocates and critics. The book begins with an explication of evidence-based practice. Some of the ideas of its proponents are discussed, including the Campbell Collaboration, and the application to education of Cochrane-style reviews and meta-analyses. The thinking behind evidence based practice has been the subject of much criticism, particularly in education, and this criticism is aired in the second part of the book. Questions have been raised about what we mean by evidence, about how particular kinds of evidence may be privileged over other kinds of evidence, about the transferability of research findings to practice, and about the consequences of a move to evidence-based practice for governance in education. Given that the origins of the interest in evidence-based practice come largely from its use in medicine, questions arise about the validity of the transposition, and contributors to the third part of the book address this transposition. The issues raised in the book, while primarily those raised by educators, are of relevance also to professionals in medicine, social work and psychology.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780335213344
ISBN-10: 0335213340
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 155mm x 15mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Open University Press
Publisher: Open University Press
Publish Date: 30-Nov-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Gary Thomas

Richard Andrews is Professor of Education at The University of York and Coordinator of the English Review Group for the EPPI-Centre. He is the author of Narrative and Argument and The Problem with Poetry (Open University Press), Teaching and Learning Argument (Cassell) and editor of The Impact of ICT on Literacy Education (RoutledgeFalmer). He is associate editor of Education, Communication and Information and sits on the editorial boards of Informal Logic and English in Australia. Philippa Cordingley is the founder and the Chief Executive of the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE). As adviser to the DfES, the National Union of Teachers, the National College for School Leadership, the GTC and as Chief Professional Adviser on research to the Teacher Training Agency from 1995-2001 she has instigated, designed and developed a range of strategies, policies and support programmes to increase teacher interest in, access to and use of research. She is a Board member of The Education Network (TEN), a member of the National Steering Group for the Networked Learning Communities Initiative and a school governor. Philip Davies is Director of Policy Evaluation in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, which is part of the Cabinet Office. Previously he was Director of Social Sciences in the Department for Continuing Education at Oxford University and a Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. Philip was responsible (with colleagues in the University of Oxford Medical School) for developing the University of Oxford Master's Programme in Evidence-Based Health Care. Philip is a founder member of the Campbell Collaboration and is on its international steering committee. He is also a Visiting Honorary Fellow of the UK Cochrane Centre. Michael Eraut is a Professor of Education at the University of Sussex. His research over the last decade has focused on the nature of professional knowledge and competence, the role of tacit knowledge in professional practice, how professionals and managers learn in the workplace and factors affecting learning in professional apprenticeships. His recent research projects have addressed the training of junior doctors, the development of competence and judgement in postgraduate medical education, the vocational training of clinical and biomedical scientists, and how nurses learn to use scientific knowledge. He is Editor in Chief of a new Blackwells journal, Learning in Health and Social Care. Deborah Gallagher is Professor of Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Her research interests centre on the philosophy of science as it pertains to research, pedagogy, and policy in education and special education. This work focuses on how choices of methodological and conceptual frameworks affect the possibilities of achieving equitable and inclusive schooling for students labelled as having disabilities. Among other recent publications, she is the lead author of a book entitled, Challenging Orthodoxy in Special Education: Dissenting Voices (Love Publishing Company, 2003) with co-authors: Lous Heshusius, Richard Iano, and Thomas Skrtic. David Gough is Reader in Social Science and Deputy Director of the Social Science Research Unit and its EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education, University of London. Previously he was Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow and Professor of Social Welfare at Japan Women's University, near Tokyo. His main areas of research interest are the implicit social policy of social interventions for children and families and methods of systematic research synthesis to address all policy, practice and community questions. He is editor of the journal Child Abuse Review. Martyn Hammersley is Professor of Educational and Social Research at The Open University. Much of his work has been concerned with the methodological issues surrounding social and educational research. He has written several books: (with Paul Atkinson) Ethnography: principles in practice (second edition Routledge 1995); The Dilemma of Qualitative Method (Routledge 1989); Classroom Ethnography (Open University Press 1990); Reading Ethnographic Research (Longman 1991); What's Wrong with Ethnography? (Routledge 1992); The Politics of Social Research (Sage 1995); (with Peter Foster and Roger Gomm) Constructing Educational Inequality (Falmer); Taking Sides in Research (Routledge, 1999); and Educational Research, Policymaking and Practice (Paul Chapman, 2002). John Elliott is Professor of Education within the Centre for Applied Research in Education, which he directed from 1996-99. He is well-known internationally for his work in developing action research and has directed a number of collaborative classroom research projects with teachers and schools. These include the Ford Teaching Project (1972-74) and, more recently, the TTA funded Norwich Area Schools Consortium (NASC) on the `curriculum and pedagogical dimensions of student disaffection' (1997-2001). He is currently an Advisory Professor to the Hong Kong Institute of Education and a consultant to the Hong Kong Government on the strategic development of its curriculum reform proposals. Phil Hodkinson is Professor of Lifelong Learning, at the University of Leeds. He was founder Director of the Lifelong Learning Institute, which works to interrelate research expertise with that of policy makers and practitioners. He has considerable experience of qualitative case study research, and has written about hermeneutical and interpretivist methodologies. He has regularly engaged with policy-related research in vocational education and training, workplace learning and career progression. In one major project (on-going at the time of writing) he is co-leader of a mixed team of university and practitioner researchers, exploring ways in which research can improve teaching and learning in further education. Ed Peile, a General Practitioner, started the Aston Clinton Surgery in 1983. He has been involved in postgraduate medical education for the past 16 years. Currently an Associate Advisor at Oxford Postgraduate Medical Deanery, he directs the Higher Professional Education programme as well as the New Teachers' Course in one-to-one teaching in Primary Care. In undergraduate education he is Associate Director of Clinical Studies at University of Oxford, where he is Hon Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Health Care. His research interests are in interprofessional education and in process and outcome in GP Registrar training, which formed the basis for his doctoral study at Oxford Brookes University. Richard Pring was Professor of Educational Studies at the University of Oxford from 1989 to 2003. He was previously Professor of Education at the University of Exeter, lecturer in Curriculum Studies at the University of London Institute of Education, a teacher in London comprehensive schools and Assistant Principal at the Department of Education and Science. His book Philosophy of Educational Research was published by Continuum in 2000. His main areas of academic and professional interest are the philosophy of education, especially in relation to vocational education and training, religious education and comprehensive schooling. He retired from being Director of the Department of Educational Studies at Oxford in May, 2003, and is now an Emeritus Fellow of Green College, Oxford. Judy Sebba is Senior Adviser (Research), Standards and Effectiveness Unit, Department for Education and Skills (DfES) - Judy is responsible for developing the research strategy and quality of research relating to schools. She supports the National Educational Research Forum which is developing a research strategy for education and manages the `Eppi centre' on behalf of DfES which is developing systematic reviews in education. She was previously at the University of Cambridge where she was involved in a number of projects on evaluating the use of School Effectiveness grants, post-inspection action planning in special and primary schools, school improvement and inspection and special needs. John K. Smith is Professor of Education at the University of Northern Iowa. Among his numerous publications are two books, The Nature of Social and Educational Inquiry: Empiricism versus Interpretation and After the Demise of Empiricism: The Problem of Judging Social and Educational Inquiry. Gary Thomas is a professor of education at Oxford Brookes University, having previously worked as a teacher and an educational psychologist. His interests are in inclusive education and research methodology and his books include The Making of the Inclusive School (Routledge, 1998) and Deconstructing Special Education and Constructing Inclusion (Open University Press, 2001). Harry Torrance is Professor of Education and Head of Research in the Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University. He was formerly Professor of Education at the University of Sussex where the research on which his chapter is based was carried out in collaboration with Dr. John Pryor.

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