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Making the most of the evidence : evidence-based policy in the classroom.

Cartwright, N. and Cowen, N. and Virk, B. and Mascarenhas-Keyes, S. (2015) 'Making the most of the evidence : evidence-based policy in the classroom.', Working Paper. Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS), Durham.


What allows research evidence to contribute to successful social policy and improve practice in public services? The establishment of the What Works Network, a group of evidence ‘clearing houses’, that summarise academic research evidence for practitioners in different policy areas, heralds a resurgence of evidence-based approaches in British policymaking. This report outlines the existing literature analysing the process of implementing evidence-informed policy, with a particular focus on the field of primary and secondary education. New data, based on interviews with teachers in primary and secondary schools, along with the analysis of existing literature, suggest that understanding the rationale for a particular policy approach and recognising relevant contextual factors are crucial for selecting and implementing successful policies. This suggests that local knowledge, as well as professional judgement and expertise, are critical contributors to policymaking alongside formal scientific research evidence.

Item Type:Monograph (Working Paper)
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:29 September 2015
Date of first online publication:July 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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