From evidence-based practice to practice-based evidence: the idea of situated generalisation

Simons, Helen, Kushner, Saville, Jones, Keith and James, David (2003) From evidence-based practice to practice-based evidence: the idea of situated generalisation Research Papers in Education, 18, (4), pp. 347-364. (doi:10.1080/0267152032000176855).


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Governments across the world are seeking improvements in school performance. One avenue to improvement that has been widely promulgated is the reform of teaching through the development of evidence-based practice. This paper reports evaluation data from a national programme in England that sought to put teachers at the heart of the search for evidence on which improvements in practice could be based. The analysis indicates that in each stage of the process of generating and using evidence, practices came to be refined or adopted- whether for the individual teacher, peers or schools- only if they connected closely with the situation in which the evidence for improving practice arose. The paper suggests that the concept 'situated generalisation' contributes to our understanding of how teachers generate, validate and use research knowledge to improve professional practice.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/0267152032000176855
Additional Information: The paper is also relevant for understanding the kind of evidence base that may be useful to inform policy making in other professional practice areas such as social work, nursing and the health professions.
ISSNs: 0267-1522 (print)
Keywords: practice-based evidence, situated generalisation, teacher research, professional practice, evidence-based practice, teaching, learning, pedagogy
Organisations: Mathematics, Science & Health Education
ePrint ID: 12681
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 23:51
Further Information:Google Scholar

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