Reforming Educational Policy With Applied Social Research
David K. Cohen, Michael S. Garet
Policy researchers have traditionally assumed that applied research produces authoritative and socially relevant knowledge and affects policy by affecting discrete decisions. The authors investigate these assumptions in the light of case materials from educational policy research and find them lacking in explanatory force. They suggest that, since premises about the relationship between applied research and policy are faulty, the traditional rationale for social science in the service of the state may not be adequate. The authors propose an alternative conception of policy research based on a notion of the research process as a form of discourse about the nature of society and its problems.