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    Educational research and evidence-based policy: the mixed-method approach of the EPPE project

    Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Sammons, P. and Taggart, B. and Sylva, K. and Melhuish, Ted (2006) Educational research and evidence-based policy: the mixed-method approach of the EPPE project. Evaluation and Research in Education 19 (2), pp. 63-82. ISSN 0950-0790.

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    In a review of the challenges to progress in providing social research evidence that might usefully inform policy, Oakley (2004) argues strongly that the ‘paradigm divide’ between qualitative and quantitative research communities continues to constitute a major problem. Oakley refers to a number of recent critiques of what is seen as ‘misplaced positivism’ in educational research and Hammersley (1997, 2005) has suggested that educational research findings are now routinely being applied uncritically to inform educational policy and practice. Research in early childhood education has not been immune to these general criticisms and specific concerns have also been expressed regarding alleged technicism, and the reification of dominant conceptions of early educational quality. In this paper we test these theoretical claims against the realities of conducting one recent and influential early years study: the Effective Provision of Preschool Education (EPPE) Project. The paper provides an account of the EPPE research and also locates the study in terms of the contemporary literature on mixed-method research. It is argued that similar mixed-method approaches may be applied to escape many of the problems identified by critics. We conclude with a discussion of the wider implications for educational research.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 04 May 2020 12:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:59


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