Workshop #4 (March 2017)

by Fraser

Literature Review: Evidence-based Policy-making in Education
Larry Forde (

Larry’s presentation will outline his literature review, undertaken on the broad theme of evidence-based policy-making in education. The current working title is:

“Mapping the ‘what works’ discourse:  policy analysis and education research perspectives on evidence-based education policy-making”

In addition to his own findings, he will detail the process he used to carry out the task. The aim of his review was to explore and map the continuing debate about the relationship between academic research and education policy-making.  Four more specific questions were devised to help guide the process.

  • How are the terms ‘what works’ and ‘evidence-based policy-making’ (EBPM) defined or understood in the literature?
  • What influences underscored the resurgence of ‘what works’ and evidence based approaches to policy-making?
  • What are the education research and political science arguments for and against the use of ‘what works’ and evidence-based approaches to policy making?
  • What theoretical perspectives are used or developed in the literature to support ‘what works’ and EBPM research?

Unstructured discussion

The format of the workshop will be open for discussion at the end of the session. Topics for future sessions and other suggestions are encouraged.

Fraser is particularly interested in participants’ opinions on using the workshop as a peer “clinic” for various research challenges. Research presentations will continue to be the main purpose of the workshop, but it may also be useful if portions are reserved for less formal discussion of individuals’ specific difficulties.