Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7523

Appears in Collections:School of Education Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Why "What Works" Won't Work: Evidence-Based Practice and the Democratic Deficit in Educational Research
Authors: Biesta, G J J
Contact Email: gert.biesta@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: analysis
Attention
Control
DECISION
Decision making
decision-making
Education
educational
educational practice
educational research
Effectiveness
epistemology
ESSAY
evidence
Evidence based
Evidence Based Practice
evidence-based practice
Expectations
FIELD
knowledge
Medicine
outcome
outcomes
participation
policies
Policy
Practice
practices
professional
Professional Practice
Research
Role
understanding
VIEW
views
work
Issue Date: Feb-2007
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Biesta GJJ (2007) Why "What Works" Won't Work: Evidence-Based Practice and the Democratic Deficit in Educational Research, Educational Theory, 57 (1), pp. 1- 22.
Abstract: In this essay, Gert Biesta provides a critical analysis of the idea of evidence- based practice and the ways in which it has been promoted and implemented in the field of education, focusing on the tension between scientific and democratic control over educational practice and research. Biesta examines three key assumptions of evidence-based education: first, the extent to which educational practice can be compared to the practice of medicine, the field in which evidence-based practice was first developed; second, the role of knowledge in professional actions, with special attention to what kind of epistemology is appropriate for professional practices that wish to be informed by the outcomes of research; and third, the expectations about the practical role of research implicit in the idea of evidence-based education. Biesta concludes that evidence-based practice provides a framework for understanding the role of research in educational practice that not only restricts the scope of decision making to questions about effectivity and effectiveness, but that also restricts the opportunities for participation in educational decision making. He argues that we must expand our views about the interrelations among research, policy, and practice to keep in view education as a thoroughly moral and political practice that requires continuous democratic contestation and deliberation.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/7523
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-5446.2006.00241.x
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Education Management and Support

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