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Pring & Thomas

Pring, R. & Thomas, G. (2004). Evidence-based practice in education: Conducting educational research. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press.

Abstract by ERIC
The book begins with an explication of evidence-based practice. Some of the ideas of its proponents are discussed, including the Campbell Collaboration, and the application to education of Cochrane-style reviews and meta-analyses. The thinking behind evidence-based practice has been the subject of much criticism, particularly in education, and this criticism is aired in the second part of the book. Questions have been raised about what is meant by evidence, about how particular kinds of evidence may be privileged over other kinds of evidence, about the transferability of research findings to practice, and about the consequences of a move to evidence-based practice for governance in education. Given that the origins of the interest in evidence-based practice come largely from its use in medicine, questions arise about the validity of the transposition, and contributors to the third part of the book address this transposition. Following an introduction, the chapters in the book are organized as follows: (1) Research Evidence Should, but Often Does Not, Inform the Development of Policy and Practice in Education; (2) Developing Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice; (3) Teacher Research Evidence; (4) American Perspectives through the Campbell Collaboration; (5) Cochrane Style Reviews, Syntheses and Meta-Analyses; (6) Challenges in the Process; (7) Some Questions about Evidence-Based Practice in Education; (8) What Is Evidence?; (9) The Relationship between Research, Policy and Practice; (10) Evidence-Based Practice, Action Research and the Professional Development of Teachers; (11) Educational Research, Philosophical Orthodoxy, and Unfulfilled Promises; (12) Using Action Research to Generate Knowledge about Educational Practice; (13) Practice-Based Evidence; and (14) Reflections from Medical Practice. Following a conclusion, an index is also provided.