Randomized Controlled Trials: How Can We Know “What Works”?

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ABSTRACT“Evidence-based” methods, which most prominently include randomized controlled trials, have gained increasing purchase as the “gold standard” for assessing the effect of public policies. But the enthusiasm for evidence-based research overlooks questions about the reliability and applicability of experimental findings to diverse real-world settings. Perhaps surprisingly, a qualitative study of British educators suggests that they are aware of these limitations and therefore take evidence-based findings with a much larger grain of salt than do policy makers. Their experience suggests that the real world is more heterogeneous than the world imagined by evidence-based policy enthusiasts.
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First archival date: 2017-11-21
Latest version: 2 (2019-07-29)
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