Evidence-Based Education Policy: Lip Service or Common Practice? Empirical Findings from Germany

Dec. 25, 2009

Source: European Educational Research Journal, Volume 8 Number 4 (2009), pages 484‑496.

Since the late 1990s, it has been the practice in Germany that decisions in educational policy and educational administration should primarily be subject to evidence in terms of reliable empirical data. However, little research has been conducted so far as to the question of how actors in charge receive and process the existing data, and how they use them in decision-making processes.

This article presents new empirical findings concerning the way in which the reception and processing of educational scientific evidence is currently carried out.
Moreover, differences in the use of data within the last decade are revealed.

Relating to an explorative study that consists of 12 qualitative interviews with ministerial personnel in four German school ministries, the findings generally indicate that evidence-based educational policy in Germany is less a matter of paying lip service, but rather increasingly becoming common practice.

On the whole, the findings indicate an increasing routine and a more professional treatment of the demands for processing data. All of the school ministries reveal approaches towards systematising the use of data.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010