It’s time to expand our thinking about what works in education reform

For decades, education reform around the world has been dominated by the rhetoric that we should use experimental research to figure out “what works.”

If we can just find the most effective solutions using science, the thinking goes, then the best policies can and should be widely used.

For example, the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse looks for solutions in education through systematic reviews of research and evidence. The World Bank identifies the gaps between practice and policy, aiming to help countries set efficient goals and priorities in education.

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