What we want, why we want it: K-12 educators' evidence use to support their grant proposals

Joel Malin, Christopher David Brown, Andrew Saultz

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This study analyzed educators’ requests for grant funding to purchase desired educational resources, professional development, or other services. Specifically, we examined to what extent, and how, educators utilized research as well as other forms of evidence to support their decisionmaking. References to research were sparse, though applicants referred to local data or pilot-like processes with some frequency. It is also likely that conceptual research use lurked beneath some of the unsourced, authoritative and belief statements that were made. Applicant educators also showed special concern for certain topics, including student engagement/motivation and enhancing the cultural relevance of programming. Applicants varied considerably relative to the robustness of underlying theories of action related to their proposals. This line of inquiry contributes to understandings both regarding (a) educators’ use of research and other knowledge sources to support their professional decision-making; and (b) the nature of evidence use, more broadly, in education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Education Policy and Leadership
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2019


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