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The evolution of evidence-informed policy and practice: An international perspective

In this paper, Tracey Burns, NCEE’s Chief Research Officer, presents a series of reflections on the evolution of evidence-informed policy and practice in education, and proposes future directions for improving evidence ecosystems. The paper draws upon international discussions, policy decisions, and literature, as well as interactions with key stakeholders and institutions over time. Its purpose is to stimulate discussion and reflection and to identify opportunities for action at both local and international levels.

Policy makers are increasingly interested in what education delivers—both immediately, in terms of student achievement, and in the longer term, in the form of later life outcomes. The challenge is in ensuring the quality and relevance current educational research.

This paper looks at:

  • Recent shifts in the discourse around evidence in education research—including changing notions of what counts as evidence
  • Opportunities to support better use of evidence in education policy and practice—such as a focus on explicit skill and capacity building, and
  • Ongoing challenges—including the reputation and respect for education and education research in general.