Evidence-based practice: why number-crunching tells only part of the story

IOE LONDON BLOG

Rebecca Allen

As a quantitative researcher in education I am delighted that Ben Goldacre – whose report  Building Evidence into Education was published today – has lent his very public voice to the call for greater use of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to inform educational policy-making and teaching practice.

I admit that I am a direct beneficiary of this groundswell of support. I am part of an international team running a large RCT to study motivation and engagement in 16-year-old students, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. And we are at the design stage for a new RCT testing a programme to improve secondary school departmental practice.

The research design in each of these studies will give us a high degree of confidence in the policy recommendations we are able to make.

Government funding for RCTs is very welcome, but with all this support why is there a…

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