The Rise and Fall of Evidence-Based Research

Bev Rogers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The idea that teaching practices should at least, be informed by evidence, continues to capture the imagination of many politicians and policy makers. Most recently, in Australia, the report - Through Growth to Achievement (Gonski 2.0) - recommends the formation of a National Evidence and Research Institute. Despite the body of work that has raised questions about the feasibility of the idea of evidence-based practice in education (Biesta, Studies in Philosophy and Education 29:491-503, 2010b), there is growing acceptance of the discourse of neoliberalism making further in-roads into the classroom as well as narrowing what is viewed as “good” educational research. This chapter argues for a strengthening of the case for teacher judgment and the role that research can play for professional action in the ambiguous circumstances of teaching. Research can only indicate what has worked, not what will work, which means that the outcomes of research cannot be translated instrumentally into rules for action. Teachers can build an investigative stance to teaching, which involves reflecting on, and theorizing what is happening in their classrooms, schools, and neighborhoods. It takes up the question of local differences as well as a realistic approach to what constitutes actual school improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Educational Leadership and Management Discourse
EditorsFenwick W. English
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783030990978
ISBN (Print)9783030990961
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Engineering model
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Judgment
  • Teacher professionalism


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