Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

What Works? Developing a Scientific Agenda to Inform Teaching and Learning Policy and Practice

The widely promoted policy-oriented ‘what works?’ agenda aims to offer advice to teachers and schools based on a scientifically generated evidence base. It has been criticised by educational research for several decades but remains a preference for policy makers and reform advocates. One of the claims for this agenda made by its protagonists is that it is scientific – being based in methodologies such as the Randomised Control Trial (RCT) tried and tested in such fields as medicine. In this seminar/symposium we seek to explore what it might mean for educational research to be ‘scientific’ in the sense of a social science, how the ‘what works’ agenda in its various forms might meet of fail to meet scientific requirements, and what alternative or companion research programs might be pursued that can produce valid forms of evidence for both government policy framing and school or classroom practice.

Our aim is to develop a position paper advocating a more nuanced and useful approach to policy framing and practice for schools and classrooms, rather than simply critique current orthodoxy. Speakers will offer 20 minute ‘provocations’ followed by group discussion and debate.


Posted Jan 25, 2018

12 February 2018, 12:00am