October 09, 2006

Policy and research

The relationship between policy and research seems to be an unhappy one. A politician from what I once heard has admited that they use research as long as it supports what they intend to do. As with teachers who want to change things and want to change children, research aims to get things better. An research can be carried out by practitioners and policy makers.

There are also many kinds of researcher, there is one who is totally detached from their object of study and only want to deliver something, whatever and doesnt care what. There is also the other researcher who cares about what their findings will be and for this reason cannot be uninterested in what will be delivered.

There is also a new trend in educational research whereby the research is more experimental or treated as pure science. As in science, in education you can never control all the variables, so the idea is to set experiments ramdonly to avoid a group being more predominant than the others.

However, even like there is no perfect research, there is always weaknesses so what we have to do is to admit to them and see how they make the conclusions different, in other words, how they affect the results if they do and then attempt to generalise.

Although this may sound quite obvious, a research should deliver results, even the more abstract topics of interest, can be taken to one step further in which they can change things by producing something new. A researcher now should be interested in having a say, it is not the end to have delivered results but also to make sure he is listened in the next stage of the project.

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