Evidence-based Educational Policy Research: Some Questions

  • Nick Zepke


Hotly contested debates about evidence-based educational research, policy development and practice have become a feature of the educational landscape in New Zealand as elsewhere. Advocates argue that applying scientifically established research evidence of what works is the way to improve educational quality and student outcomes. Governments in the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand support the development of scientific evidence-based policy and practice that shows what works. Doubters are not questioning the importance of scientific research evidence. Indeed it seems untenable to deny the centrality of evidence in decision-making about what works in education. Rather, sceptics and opponents question meanings of key terms like “science”, “evidence” and “quality”. They question the politics behind evidence-based research, assumptions about the nature of evidence, science and research methodology and whether research that aims to provide universal answers actually works. This article canvasses these questions. Written from a sceptical perspective, it draws on experiences from the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.


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Author Biography

Nick Zepke
How to Cite
ZEPKE, Nick. Evidence-based Educational Policy Research: Some Questions. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 17, july 2007. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/nzaroe/article/view/1521>. Date accessed: 28 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/nzaroe.v0i17.1521.


Educational Policy and Administration