Predictors of teachers' appreciation of evidence-based practice and educational research findings

Eva Thomm, Christine Sälzer, Manfred Prenzel, Johannes Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Teachers' reception of educational research is considered important for improving teaching and student learning. Yet, it is a challenging task requiring teachers to have access to scientific sources, the skill and time to find and exhaust such resources, and the capacity to interpret retrieved information. If such essential conditions are not met, teachers have hardly any chance to engage in research reception and, consequently, may question the value and relevance of research findings to their practice. Prior research has suggested that teachers are indeed critical of educational research findings and rarely refer to them. Based on data from the field trial (N = 674) and main study (N = 2,549) of a national extension study of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 in Germany, this study explored the role of (a) teachers' access to scientific sources, (b) perceived lack of skill and time to search for research findings, and (c) their familiarity with research methods / statistics as potential predictors of their appreciation of evidence-based practice, and perceived irrelevance of educational research findings. Structural equation models demonstrated that perceived lack of skill and time to find research findings, in particular, substantially affected participants' irrelevance perceptions. The more participants assessed their sourcing skill and time to be too constrained to engage in research reception, the more they judged research findings to be irrelevant to their practice. Though source access and familiarity with research methods / statistics indicated only small or even no effects, they strongly correlated with participants' perceived lack of sourcing skill and time. Better source access and greater familiarity were associated with less concern about one's skill and time resources to search for relevant research findings. These findings potentially underline the relevance of strengthening both teachers' access to scientific sources and individual capacities to understanding research contents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-184
Number of pages12
JournalZeitschrift fur Padagogische Psychologie
Volume35
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Appreciation of educational research findings
  • Irrelevance of research findings
  • Research reception
  • Source access
  • Teacher education

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