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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren

Renewed perspectives on research use in education (REPOSE)

Alternative title: Nye perspektiver på bruk av forskning i utdanningsfeltet

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Renewed perspectives on research use in education (REPOSE) is a research project that aims to provide new analytical and methodological perspectives that will support researchers and practitioners in meeting the challenge of making productive use of research in education. We will perform a philosophical inquiry of to what extent teachers' professional knowledge base and agency can and should be informed by research evidence, a historical analysis of the development of Norwegian society?s expectations about the practical relevance of 'pedagogical research' from the 1930s onwards, and we will conduct several empirical analyses of contemporary structures and practices of research use. REPOSE is an important project as research use in education is a highly contested and debated question, and where contested knowledge claims tend to blur fundamental questions about the characteristics of the knowledge base of education, including questions about how and to what extent research can inform professional practice for it to best meet the needs and rights of students. A recurring problem in current research is for example that many studies fail to acknowledge both how practitioners use of research is often implicit and how practitioners integrate different knowledge sources in their work and decision-making. Not least, it is an ambiguous term difficult to operationalize for researchers. There is also a frequent failure of mutual understanding concerning what research use ?is? among different actors in the education sector. In REPOSE, we therefore ask questions such as: What kind of knowledge can and should teachers use in their work? What role does research play in combination with other knowledge sources, and how does this vary in different national and local contexts? What about actors such as school leaders and municipal administrators? How has policy initiatives and established structures affected the use of research over time? Preliminary results from a survey among teacher educators show, among other things, that teacher educators place more emphasis on various forms of research-based education in 2021 than in 2008. Document analysis also show that there are different discourses about the type of knowledge that develops 'professionalism' in teacher education. Reviews of existing research shed light on, among other things, the importance of a more differentiated understanding of relationships between research and 'practice', both in teacher education and teacher work.

Renewed perspectives on research use in education (REPOSE) is a combined basic research project and applied project with an ambitious and sophisticated design aimed at providing new analytical and methodological perspectives that will support researchers and practitioners in meeting the challenge of making productive use of research in education. REPOSE combines (1) a philosophical inquiry of to what extent teachers' professional knowledge base and agency can and should be informed by research evidence; (2) a historical analysis of the development of Norwegian society’s expectations about the practical relevance of 'pedagogical research' from the 1930s onwards; and (3) empirical analyses of contemporary structures and practices of research use through three strongly integrated work packages, combining (i) longitudinal survey data, public registers and vignette studies, (ii) comparative analyses of collaborative research development and research use, and (iii) comparative, qualitative analyses of practitioner decision-making. The project is important as this is currently an issue in which contested knowledge claims tend to blur fundamental epistemological questions about the characteristics of the knowledge base of education, including questions about how and to what extent research can or should inform professional practice for it to best meet the needs and rights of students. A recurring problem is also that many studies fail to acknowledge both how practitioners’ use of research is often implicit and how practitioners integrate different knowledge sources in their work and decision-making. Also, there is a frequent failure of mutual understanding concerning what research use ‘is’ among different actors in the sector, and moreover, it is an ambiguous term difficult to operationalise for researchers. To unpack such relations, there is a need for renewed perspectives that can bring research, practice and policy-making on research use in education further.

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FINNUT-Forskning og innovasjon i utdanningssektoren