We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Bridging the gap between research and practice : predicting what will work locally.

Cartwright, N. and Joyce, K. (2020) 'Bridging the gap between research and practice : predicting what will work locally.', American educational research journal., 57 (3). pp. 1045-1082.


This essay addresses the gap between what works in research and what works in practice. Currently, research in evidence-based education policy and practice focuses on RCTs. These can support causal ascriptions (‘It worked’) but provide little basis for local effectiveness predictions (‘It will work here’) which are what matter for practice. We argue that moving from ascription to prediction by way of causal generalization (‘It works’) is unrealistic and urge focusing research efforts directly on how to build local effectiveness predictions. We outline various kinds of information that can improve predictions and encourage using methods better-equipped for acquiring that information. We compare our proposal with others advocating a better mix of methods, like ‘implementation science’, ‘improvement science’, and ‘practice-based evidence’.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Cartwright, N & Joyce, K (2020). Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice: Predicting What Will Work Locally. American Educational Research Journal 57(3): 1045-1082. Copyright 2019 AERA. DOI: 10.3102/0002831219866687
Date accepted:01 July 2019
Date deposited:24 July 2019
Date of first online publication:01 August 2019
Date first made open access:24 July 2019

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar