Bedford Way Papers Series 46

Research and Policy in Education

Evidence, Ideology and Impact

April 2016
More details
  • Publisher
    UCL IOE Press
  • Published
    8th April 2016
  • ISBN 9781782770848
  • Language English
  • Pages 134 pp.
  • Size 6.625" x 9.5"

The OECD tells us that 90 percent of education reforms are not properly evaluated. So it seems that governments have not lived up to their own ideals of evidence-informed policymaking.

Research and Policy in Education argues that education policy is as often driven by political ideologies as by solid research evidence. It explores this claim with case studies of:

• the Coalition government’s reform of teacher training towards a school-led approach;
• the use of evidence in international policy borrowing and the rhetoric of "what works";
• the deployment of policies that aim to narrow the social class achievement and participation gap.

The book concludes with a plea for more discipline-based research on education, and a reassertion of the importance of the sociology of education as an essential resource for making sense of contemporary education policy.

"In this book, Geoff Whitty again demonstrates why he is among the most insightful analysts of education policy and of its assumptions and politics. And once again he shows that it is possible to write about these things in clear and compelling ways. This books is a fine addition to his many other contributions."

Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“This is a timely and hugely significant book.”

Hugh Lauder, Professor of Education and Political Economy, University of Bath

“[A] ‘must-read’ for all those interested in social justice and the role of education in achieving it.”

Professor Sir Tim Brighouse, Norham Fellow, University of Oxford, and formerly Commissioner for London Schools

1) Education(al) research and education policy in an imperfect world

2) Ideology and evidence in English teacher education

3) The (mis)use of evidence in policy borrowing: A trans-Atlantic case study

4) "Closing the achievement gap": Rhetoric or reality?

5) "Knowing the ropes?" Access to higher education in England

6) The continuing importance of the sociology of education

Geoff Whitty

No information

Jake Anders

Jake Anders is a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Annette Hayton

Annette Hayton is Head of Widening Participation at the University of Bath.

Sarah Tang

Sarah Tang is a Research Associate at Education Datalab and is studying towards a PhD from the UCL Institute of Education.

Emma Wisby

Emma Wisby is Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the UCL Institute of Education.