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The use of research to improve professional practice: a systematic review of the literature

Hemsley-Brown, J The use of research to improve professional practice: a systematic review of the literature Oxford Review of Education, 29 (4).


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In a keynote address to the Teacher Training Agency Annual Conference, Professor David Hargreaves suggested that teaching could become an evidence-based profession if educational researchers were made more accountable to teachers. This systematic literature review set out to explore: how teachers use research; which features of research encourage teachers to use research findings in their own practice; whether medical practitioners make greater use of research findings than teachers; and approaches to dissemination. Two key ideas emerge from this review. First, there appear to be common barriers to research use in both medicine and in education. Findings suggest that there is a need to create a culture in the public sector which supports and values research. There are, however, a number of factors, which appear to be more specific to the education field. Key differences in the way that research knowledge is constructed in the social sciences has led to researchers being challenged about their findings, particularly in relation to the context, generalisability and validity of the research. For these reasons the development of communication networks, links between researchers and practitioners, and greater involvement of practitioners in the research process, have emerged as strategies for improving research impact.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law > Surrey Business School
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:09
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:28

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