Evidence-based practice is the process of applying existing research findings that has shown to work when considering a chosen strategy. It is based on analysing the collection of data that has contributed towards a specific knowledge base, which has been shared amongst fellow practitioners within a specific field, with the aim to inform current practice within a profession. It encourages practitioners to guide their practice by drawing on existing research and applying it. The use of evidence-based practice within the medical profession, mostly in its use of objective testing such as RCTs and double-blinded testing, has led to some educationalists putting forward a case on how similar techniques can be utilised within the education sector that would lead to overall school improvement. Hargreaves (1996) and Ravitch (1998) justify their advocacy of evidence-based practice in education by comparing it with the successes that have occurred in the medical world.
Hargreaves’ and Ravitch’s argument hinges on drawing comparisons between the medical and educational professions. In medicine, both refer to the fact that research is largely conducted by medical practitioners themselves, who are able to utilise and build upon previous findings. Hargreaves and Ravitch praise the medical profession for its accumulation of research that focuses on what treatments work for specific illnesses. Hargreaves argues that advancements in medicine can be largely attributed to the constant and consistent accessing and contributing to research by practitioners. Due to the common language and the readily available literature which is understandable within the medical world, much progress has been made. The nature of medicine is informed around fact, which is based on a combination of observation and scientific method.
According to Hargreaves, education, on the other hand, has relied upon psychology, sociology, philosophy and history as its knowledge base. Its reliance on the...
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