Getting Better: What Education Systems in Less Developed Countries Can Learn from Evidence-based Medicine

Fiennes, CarolineLiora, WulfGiving Evidence2014

This Getting Better project aims to help improve education in less economically developed countries (LEDCs). It grew from the observations that medicine has made marked performance improvements in many areas in recent decades, and that is has a strong culture of producing evidence, critiquing it and basing decisions on it. This evidence-based practice contrasts starkly with the norm in education in LEDCs, where attainment standards are generally flat or sometimes declining.

The purpose of producing evidence is to influence behavior - of practicioners, policy-makers, communities and others. So this is not at root a behvaior change exercise. Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, "gather of behavioral economics" and co-author of Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness cites two"mantras essential for evidence-based policy and practice:

  • "You can't make evidence-based policy decisions without evidence."
  • "If you want to encourage some activity, make it easy."

 

The activity Getting Better seeks to encourage is finding and heeding evidence about education in LEDCs.

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