1st Edition

Understanding the Quality Use of Research Evidence in Education What It Means to Use Research Well

    230 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on the question of how to understand quality use of research evidence in education, or what it means to use research evidence well.

    Internationally there are widespread efforts to increase the use of research evidence within educational policy and practice. Such efforts raise important questions about how we understand not just the quality of evidence, but also the quality of its use. To date, there has been wide-ranging debate about the former, but very little dialogue about the latter. Based on a five-year study with schools and school systems in Australia, this book sheds new light on:


    • why clarity about quality of use is critical to educational improvement;
    • how quality use of research evidence can be framed in education;
    • what using research well involves and looks like in practice;
    • what quality research use means for individuals, organisations and systems; and
    • what aspects of using research well still need to be better understood.


    This book will be an invaluable resource for professionals within and beyond education who want to better understand what using research evidence well means and involves and how it can be supported.

    1. Introduction 2. Quality use of research as a gap 3. Quality use of research as an aspiration 4. Quality use of research as a capacity 5. Quality use of research as a culture 6. Quality use of research as a practice 7. Quality use of research as a system 8. Conclusion - quality use of research next steps


    Mark Rickinson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University in Australia. He currently leads the Monash Q Project, a five-year partnership with the Paul Ramsay Foundation to improve the use of research in Australian schools.

    Lucas Walsh is a Professor of Education Policy and Practice, Youth Studies, in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. He is currently a Chief Investigator on the Monash Q Project and Director of the Monash Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice.

    Joanne Gleeson is a Senior Research Fellow with the Monash Q Project in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Her research is focused on educational evidence use and improving adolescents’ career identity, employability and education-work transitions.

    Blake Cutler is a PhD Candidate and Research Assistant with the Monash Q Project in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Their doctoral study explores how educators’ social justice efforts to support queer young people are shaped and influenced by research use.

    Connie Cirkony is a Lecturer in Science Education at the University of Tasmania and was a Research Fellow with the Monash Q Project. Her research is focused on science, STEM and sustainability education as well as evidence-informed policy and practice.

    Mandy Salisbury is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Education at Monash University and was a Research Assistant with the Monash Q Project. Her doctoral study is focused on Early Childhood educators’ use of evidence.

    “This book heralds a new generation of knowledge about the use of research in schools. As such it is an indispensable guide to policymakers, practitioners and scholars who seek fresh perspectives and scalable examples. It goes beyond seemingly endless publications of why and how research is used, or not used, to inform us about how to use it well.”

    Professor Emeritus Brian Caldwell, University of Melbourne, Australia


    “We know, all too well, that research-informed practice can make a substantive difference to teaching and learning. But we often forget that research has to be used well if these differences are to materialise. And that is the beauty of this book. Based on the ground breaking, five-year, Monash Q Project, Mark Rickinson and colleagues do an amazing job of unearthing what it means to use research effectively and in doing so, signpost to educators how best to achieve effective research-informed practices within their schools, for the benefit of all.”

    Professor Chris Brown, University of Warwick, England


    “In an era where many countries still struggle to make good use of research evidence to guide education policy and practice, the Monash Q Project breathes new life into knowledge mobilisation. This book offers fresh insights into leveraging research evidence effectively, driving systemic change, and ultimately empowering schools and education systems to enhance quality and effectiveness. A must-read for educators, policymakers, researchers and knowledge brokers alike.”

    Dr Nóra Révai, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, France


    “Better evidence-based decision making and implementation of evidence-based practice are key clarion calls in education policy internationally. But what does it mean to use research well in education? Mark Rickinson and his colleagues interrogate this simple question with clarity, comprehensiveness and depth. They bring fresh conceptual and practical insights on quality use of research evidence that are of profound importance to the field.”

    Laureate Professor Jenny Gore, University of Newcastle, Australia


    “The movement to support better use of research evidence has been crying out for substantial studies exploring what it means to use evidence well in practice. The Monash Q Project was therefore a timely deep dive into evidence use in education. Focusing on the interesting question of not just promoting evidence use but quality evidence use, this wide ranging study makes an important contribution not just to education but other areas of practice. This book is a key text for anyone who wants to see better quality use of evidence in future practice. I have been recommending this study to everyone and now I can signpost this important text.”

    Professor Annette Boaz, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, England


    “It is not enough to have high quality research.  We need to understand what it takes to use research well.  Educators need strong practices, organizational cultures, and system supports to leverage research in the service of improved teaching and learning.  This book points the way forward.”

    Dr Vivian Tseng, Foundation for Child Development, USA


    “This book is a great contribution to the ‘science of using science’, by conceptualizing the quality use of research evidence and analyzing it in practice. Rickinson and his team provide practitioners and policymakers with a powerful tool to self-assess the actual use of research, and whether conditions for quality use are met.”

    Rien Rouw, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Netherlands