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Evidence and policy in education Tom Schuller University of Brno May 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Evidence and policy in education Tom Schuller University of Brno May 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evidence and policy in education Tom Schuller University of Brno May 2011

2 Aims Provide overview of OECD experience on evidence/policy interface Illustrate from UK Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning Offer a menu for reflection

3 “There is nothing a politician likes so little as to be well informed; it makes decision-making so complex and difficult.” John Maynard Keynes,

4 The context: a widening lens General questioning of outcome measures at different levels, eg on national economic performance Issue of trust in official statistics, and in the presentation of public policies Massive increase in public access to ‘information’

5 “ Measuring the size of these wider benefits of learning is an important research priority, where progress requires better measures of people’s characteristics in a range of domains and surveys that follow the same individual over time.” Stiglitz, Sen and Fitoussi 2009 Measuring Economic Performance and Social Progress, p47

6 Difference between trust in official statistics and trust in national governments BE – Belgium; BG – Bulgaria; CZ - Czech Republic; DK – Denmark; DE – Germany; EE – Estonia; EL – Greece; ES - Spain; FR – France; IE – Ireland; IT – Italy; CY - Cyprus; LT – Lithuania; LV – Latvia; LU – Luxembourg; HU – Hungary; MT – Malta; NL - The Netherlands; AT – Austria; PL – Poland; PT – Portugal; RO – Romania; SI – Slovenia; SK – Slovakia; FI – Finland; SE – Sweden; UK - The United Kingdom; HR – Croatia; TR – Turkey.

7 Lessons from OECD educational R&D reviews General conclusions : Low levels of investment Low capacity Weak research/policy/practice links

8 Government expenditure on ERD as a percentage of total (public and private, all levels) expenditure on education Source : OECD, 2009. Data on ERD are for 2007. Data on expenditure on education are for 2006.

9 Government expenditure on ERD as a percentage of the public expenditure on R&D Source : OECD, 2009.

10 Knowledge networks Strengths/weaknesses of each link? Policy-makersResearchers Practitioners

11 Lessons from OECD educational R&D reviews General conclusions : Low levels of investment Low capacity Weak research/policy/practice links Recommendations: Balancing the research portfolio Accumulation: building a knowledge base Dissemination and brokerage Capacity-building

12 Methodologies and capacities Methodological debate: Scientific ideal(s) vs. best available Warfare, mutual invisibility or complementarity Capacity building: – deepening vs. broadening – producers and consumers Questions: What forms of capacity are most in need of strengthening? How and by whom should this be done?

13 Brokerage agencies Issues/functions: Dissemination: publications, internet, presentations Promoting interactivity Legitimating rigour/quality Developing cooperation/trust Questions: Rationales: what are the different functions and of brokerage agencies? Effectiveness: what are their achievements to date?



16 Aims of the Inquiry The overall goal : an authoritative and coherent strategic framework for lifelong learning in the UK: Articulating a broad rationale for public and private investment in lifelong learning; A re-appraisal of the social and cultural value attached to it by policy-makers and the public; Developing new perspectives on policy and practice.

17 IFLL Final Report IFLL Strategic Framework for Lifelong Learning Interim Papers Thematic Stocktake Sectoral Public Value  Prosperity Employment & Work  Demography and Social Structure  Wellbeing and Happiness  Migration and Communities  Technological Change  Poverty Reduction  Citizenship and Belonging  Crime and Social Exclusion  Sustainable Development  Public Sector Investment  Private Sector Investment  Third Sector Investment  Individual Commitment  Participation, over 10 years  Early childhood  Schools  Further Education  Higher Education  Local Authorities  Voluntary Sector  Family learning  Cultural institutions  Private Training Providers  Poverty  Health  Crime  Wellbeing  Equality Horizon Scanning / Scenario Planning Outline of Inquiry Papers

18 Expenditure on costs of learning provision (£ billion), 2007-08

19 Proposed re-balancing of expenditure by 4 life stages

20 Base lifelong learning policy on a new model of the educational life course, with four key stages (up to 25, 25-50, 50-75, 75+) Rebalance resources fairly and sensibly across the different life stages Build a set of learning entitlements Engineer flexibility: a system of credit and encouraging part-timers Improve the quality of work Construct a curriculum framework for citizens’ capabilities Broaden and strengthen the capacity of the lifelong learning workforce Revive local responsibility…. …within national frameworks Make the system intelligent Ten Recommendations

21 Recommendation 10 Make the system intelligent State of Learning: 3-yearly stocktake Benchmark with other countries Benefit/cost analyses Experimentation

22 A ‘systemic’ approach to knowledge management A focus on how the stakeholders: -Generate good quality knowledge and information -Share that knowledge and information effectively -Work together to improve the knowledge base and its utilisation HERDIS/Tom Schuller22

23 Engineering a stronger knowledge base (from review of educational research in Hungary) Raising the aspirations of educational researchers, with clearer incentives for performance A clearly focused drive to take forward the training of doctoral students Reform of initial and in-service teacher training to make the profession more capable of absorbing research. Strengthening leadership within the sector. Reform HE management structures to promote a more strategic approach to knowledge management in the sector. More emphasis on experimentation and evaluation 23HERDIS/Tom Schuller

24 The nature of ‘evidence’ Precision vs ‘certainty’ Measurable now vs what should count Timeframes Political demand: narrative and decision

25 Future challenges Defining an ‘evaluation culture’ Selecting key capacities Building social capital into research strategies Complementarity/accumulation: promoting mixed methods to strengthen the knowledge base

26 References Evidence in Education: Linking Research and Policy (CERI/OECD 2007) New Challenges for Educational Research (CERI/OECD 2003)

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