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The impact of research in education

The impact of research in education: An international perspective

Ben Levin
Jie Qi
Hilary Edelstein
Jacqueline Sohn
Foreword by Andreas Schleicher
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  • Book Info
    The impact of research in education
    Book Description:

    Research by universities plays an increasingly important role in shaping education policy around the world yet there is much dissatisfaction with the ways that they share that work. This much-needed, original book analyses efforts and systems in nine countries to mobilize research knowledge, describing the various factors that support or inhibit that work. Beginning and concluding chapters offer analytical lenses for understanding these various elements across the cases. Together, this collection from a wide range of experienced contributors, provides an unprecedented international view of the way education research is produced and shared, and provides excellent signposts for improvement for researchers and those interested in more impact from research in education.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0621-4
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. List of figures and tables
    (pp. iv-v)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. x-xii)
    Andreas Schleicher

    Much has been written about educational research and knowledge production in universities. Much has also been said about the lack of rigour or theoretical incoherence of educational research, or its failure to produce cumulative findings. What makes this book unique is the emphasis it places on the relationship between knowledge production and knowledge utilisation. This book is not about improving the educational research enterprise itself, but about mobilising its findings to improve educational practice.

    That emphasis is much needed. Of course, the limited scope of educational research is in itself striking – on average, the industrialised world devotes roughly 15...

  3. ONE Introduction and overview
    (pp. 1-22)
    Jie Qi and Ben Levin

    This book is an examination of the role of universities around the world in mobilising research knowledge in education. The idea of ‘mobilising’ research knowledge is explained more fully in the next chapter, but essentially is about building stronger connections between research, policy and practice so that, to the extent possible, education practice can be based on reliable evidence rather than belief, ideology or whim.

    The ability of universities to be effective mobilisers of research knowledge depends on several factors. One is the overall organisation of research in a country – how much is done, how it is funded, and...

  4. TWO Knowledge mobilisation and utilisation
    (pp. 23-40)
    Robyn Read, Amanda Cooper, Hilary Edelstein, Jacqueline Sohn and Ben Levin

    This chapter aims to provide insight into what is meant by ‘knowledge mobilisation’ (KM) in the field of research and how we might think about the work and role of universities in sharing research knowledge. To this end, we discuss ideas about mobilising research knowledge generally, and then report on a study that explored the KM efforts of faculties of education, showing how the findings illuminate the way that universities approach this work.

    Studies on the links between research, policy and practice are by no means new to the academic community, and in fact can be traced back to the...

  5. THREE Knowledge mobilisation and utilisation in the Singapore education system: the nexus between researchers, policy makers and practitioners
    (pp. 41-64)
    Laikwoon Teh, David Hogan and Clive Dimmock

    This chapter outlines how knowledge is mobilised – produced, mediated and applied – to improve education practice and policy in Singapore. It pays specific attention to the distinctive institutional relationships that link the National Institute of Education (NIE), the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore’s school system and their respective roles in the development of a unique nexus between research, policy and practice in Singapore’s education system.

    The chapter begins with an introduction to Singapore and Singapore’s education system, highlighting the constraints faced by Singapore as a small economy with limited human capital, research expertise and research funding. It then...

  6. FOUR Knowledge mobilisation in education in England
    (pp. 65-84)
    David Gough

    This chapter provides an overview of knowledge mobilisation by universities in England. It first provides an introduction to the capacity of the education systems and the research structures, capacity and quality measures in the UK more generally. It then describes knowledge mobilisation issues in education in England, as one part of the UK – first in terms of recent historical developments since the 1990s, then in relation to new methods to enable accessing of research evidence, then new initiatives for using research, and finally describing new schemes to encourage the impact of research.

    The UK has undergone considerable change in...

  7. FIVE Knowledge mobilisation in Australian education research
    (pp. 85-108)
    John Polesel

    This chapter examines the role of the objective of knowledge mobilisation – framed in much of the Australian literature in terms of ‘engagement’ and ‘dialogue’ – in Australian education faculties and the research activities they manage. It is based on a review of the relevant, though scarce, Australian literature, administrative data relating to the funding of education research through the Australian Research Council (ARC) competitive grants scheme, a search and analysis of the websites of all education faculties in Australian higher education institutions and data collected by a survey targeting research managers and associate deans (or equivalent) of research in...

  8. SIX Knowledge mobilisation in the Republic of Korea: linkages with economic, political and social development
    (pp. 109-130)
    Lynn Ilon

    The influence of research on educational policy within Korea¹ is as much a history of economic, democratic and social development as it is about the interplay of policy and research. Korea has moved rapidly from the 1950s until today to develop an educational system that has become the backbone of social progress.

    Today’s researchers are only part of the picture of policy development. The impetus for policy development and change arises as much from an ongoing policy dialogue within the media and among the general public as it does from researchers per se. With a highly educated population that values...

  9. SEVEN Mobilising knowledge in higher education in Denmark
    (pp. 131-146)
    Claus Holm

    ‘Knowledge mobilisation’ is not only a new expression in a Danish context, it is also an interesting concept to introduce and discuss. For doesn’t modern knowledge mobilisation have to do with a new political will to mobilise the population by creating a connection between educational research and education (R&E)? On the basis of this chapter on the Danish efforts with respect to ‘knowledge mobilisation’, these questions can be answered affirmatively. The extent of knowledge mobilisation in relation to educational research depends on the political will for it. To what extent is it present in Denmark? On the one hand, it...

  10. EIGHT Knowledge mobilisation in education in Canada and the role of universities
    (pp. 147-164)
    Jie Qi and Ben Levin

    This chapter is organised around different dimensions related to research mobilisation in Canada, with a focus on the field of education and the role of universities. Major features of Canada as a country are described first to serve as a background to the chapter. The next section introduces the role of government, including current research funding agencies in Canada and issues of research quality indicators and research capacity building. Next, the chapter focuses on the strategies and mechanisms currently used by universities to share their research. The chapter concludes with a discussion about the key debates and considerations around education...

  11. NINE Knowledge mobilisation in education in South Africa
    (pp. 165-182)
    Johan Muller and Ursula Hoadley

    In this chapter we consider both the notion of knowledge mobilisation and practices associated with it in the South African context. The chapter begins by providing an overview of the education system in South Africa, including the higher education policy and funding context. We then go on to trace the evolution of the concept of community engagement (the more common term denoting knowledge mobilisation in South Africa). We argue that the multiple sources from which the current term is derived have left some confusion as to what ‘engagement’ entails and what constitutes the ‘community’. Surveying some examples of local practices...

  12. TEN Knowledge mobilisation and education policy making in China
    (pp. 183-208)
    Chengwen Hong, Leiyu Mo, Yan Meng, Yipeng Tang, Xianming Xia and Yijuan He

    This chapter uses the lens of knowledge mobilisation (KM) to look at issues in education in the People’s Republic of China. The authors try to answer the following questions. What is the current state of KM work in China? What are the characteristics of education policy making in China and how does KM relate to it? The chapter is divided into five sections. The first part provides some background about the Chinese education system, research capacity and the major achievements of recent education reforms. The second part examines education research institutes to see how they have been influencing policy, especially...

  13. ELEVEN The federal challenge to university-based education research in the United States: turning research into policy and practice
    (pp. 209-242)
    Sarah A. Mason

    This chapter explores the current environment for education research in the United States (US) and the ways in which recent changes in the national policy framework, resources, infrastructure, and roles have introduced both new options and key challenges for university-based education researchers in developing, disseminating, and transferring research knowledge. The chapter begins by describing the federal government’s recent role in defining the education research environment and framing the research agenda. This federal influence has been exercised through building and funding research capacity, infrastructure, and resources and federalising policy and national education priorities established under the No Child Left Behind legislation...

  14. TWELVE Reflections on the mobilisation of education research
    (pp. 243-262)
    Sandra Nutley

    National governments around the world are concerned about the effectiveness and efficiency of their education systems and this inevitably leads them to question how they can improve or at least maintain their comparative performance, particularly as measured by international studies of student performance such as PIRLS, TIMSS and PISA.¹ Delivering high-quality education requires knowledge about the scale, source and structuring of educational problems and what might work in addressing these. Education research can provide some of the knowledge needed to tackle these issues, so it is not surprising that there is a growing demand for education research that is useful...