International Comparison of Education Research Policies

Yung Ming Shu


This is a comparative study of the education research policies in several countries and international organizations. The purpose of the comparison is to discover the trends in this field. Four dimensions are used for education research policy: the aims of education research, the promoted research methods, the priority areas in education research, and databases for education research. These dimensions need direction and support from government. The findings are that public interest is pursued by education research institutes. However, any research result that runs counter to current policies will be suppressed. Stakeholders, such as sponsors, researchers and journals, do not take public interest as their main concern. The most promoted method in education research is evidence-based research because it is thought to be more useful and reproducible. The priority area for education research, however, is not so evident. But basic research and new areas, like neuroscience and popular culture, are more common. There are databases for education research in many countries. PISA of OECD is the most conspicuous one in recent years. Education research and educational policy is interwoven together. Education research can contribute to educational policy, while educational policy many direct the orientation of education research. Each should have the other in mind.

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