How Small a Part Research Plays in Making and Implementing Educational Policy
Thanks to Alan Fekete for this link from one of my favorite educational historians, Larry Cuban. I’ve posted here about how how education research is mostly ignored by CS teachers (see link here). Cuban is pointing out that policy makers don’t consider education research (or maybe research at all). On the other hand, mathematics and science education policy leaders have told us that the research evidence base is important in gaining consensus for standards (see link here). Maybe this is just as we might expect — the politicians don’t necessarily know the research, but they get advice from people who do.
Keep in mind that none of the above critiques of limited influence of research on policy is restricted to public schooling. Making policy in systems of criminal justice, environmental improvement–think climate change–and health improvement and clinical medicine–think of TV ads for drugs–are subject to similar political factors and personal beliefs rather than what research has found. Calls for more collaboration between university researchers and policymakers have also been heard and ignored for decades. Critics have pointed out many times that the academic culture and its rewards overlap little with the world that decision-makers face every week.