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Evidence in Practice: A Framing of the Terrain


by James P. Spillane & David B. Miele — 2007

While much of the recent educational literature has been devoted to explaining how investigators can produce high quality, practical research evidence (e.g., Cook, 2002; Feuer, Towne, & Shavelson, 2002; Shavelson & Towne, 2002; Slavin, 2002; Towne, Wise, & Winters, 2005), little attention has been paid to how evidence can and should be used by teachers and school leaders. Our goal is not to review the empirical literature on teachers’ and school leaders’ use of evidence, but rather to identify the conceptual tools that frame our thinking about this work. Policymakers often work on the assumption that evidence-based practice should be a simple and straightforward process for school practitioners; that is, practitioners need only follow the guidance offered by evidence—typically equated with qualitative research findings and trends in student achievement data—when deciding what they should do and how they should do it. However, this belief is based on several questionable assumptions.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 106. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 13, 2007, p. 46-73
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18482, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 9:56:50 PM

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About the Author
  • James Spillane
    Northwestern University
    E-mail Author
    JAMES P. SPILLANE is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, Kellogg School of Management and Institute for Policy Research.
  • David Miele
    Northwestern University
    E-mail Author
    DAVID B. MIELE is a doctoral student in social psychology at Northwestern University.
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