Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 39, No. 5, 534–549, 2016
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This paper explores the interaction between educational research and practice in school systems, through a bi-dimensional framework.
The author reviewed and analyzed 44 papers. The papers were grouped based on their pertinence to the categories: system level (macro – meso – micro) and locus of need (state – university – practitioner).
The author found that a synthesis of the main themes in the articles has led to a schema that can be useful in getting a more systemic view on school improvement processes based on educational research (ER).
The findings reveal that politicians usually like to adopt research which is consonant with their objectives. When there is dissonance, their enthusiasm for ER decreases.
The author suggests that politicians and researchers should acknowledge their respective competencies.
The author also refers to the role of principals in facilitating the access and use of ER inside schools. He argues that they should promote extended collaboration between the communities present inside their schools, work actively for the establishment of a positive ethos and provide the necessary resources and support for the development of planned action research.
Finally, he argues that a significant change in teachers’ practices can be a really strong point in favour of the real effectiveness of ER. The author suggests that in future they will need to take part more actively in ER.
The author concludes that ER can and actually does in some cases play an effective role in the development of innovative practices in schools, in structuring schools as professional learning communities and in working on wide school systems, coupling top-down, bottom-up and lateral processes.
He recommends that more integration and coordination between research carried out by faculties of education and school improvement/school change actions conducted by teachers, principals, consultants, change agents, inspectors, School Improvement Advisor/ researchers is necessary.