Evidence-Based Policy and Decision-Making at Liberal Arts Colleges: How Are They Measuring Up?
In the increasingly diverse and global world where young people and families struggle to find themselves optimal educational opportunities in schools, homes, and communities, researchers and practitioners have been hard-pressed to offer “evidence-based policy and decision-making” for accountability and efficacy of educational outcomes (e.g., National Institute for Educational Policy Research, 2012; Pascarella, Wolniak, Seifert, Cruce, & Blaich, 2005; Wandersman, Alia, Cook, Hsu, & Ramaswamy, 2016). In addition, the cultural landscape of our society has been constantly changing because of globalization and sociopolitical climates in the past decade or so. Much of the impetus for evidence-based practice and policy in education reflects our societal or governmental pressures, as well as the long tradition of objectivism in educational research (cf. Campbell, & Stanley, 1966), the preeminence of randomized controlled trials (RCT) in medicine, the age-old intuition, or the Divine truth (Bridges, Meyers, & Smith, 2009).
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