“Good” choices vs “what really works”: a comparison of evidence-based practice in medicine and education

Lucinda McKnight, Andy Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence-based practice, in a form which draws predominantly on quantitative research and privileges randomised controlled trials as research methods, has been translated from medicine into education. It follows that combining understanding of both disciplines may contribute to insights into the costs and benefits of this project. This article shares findings from a small study initiated by a medical doctor and teacher educator to compare versions of practice and professionalism offered by two texts from our respective disciplines. These texts advocate evidence-based practice for patients and students with disability and/or special needs. We describe our methodology and methods for interdisciplinary comparative textual analysis and share how this comparison contributes to understanding ways evidence-based practice is performed in education. In particular, we compare the versions of professionalism imagined in these cases and ask questions for policy and practice about motivations for the choices made in the apparently neutral process of “translation”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-659
Number of pages17
JournalThe Australian Educational Researcher
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Disability
  • Evidence-based
  • Professional identity
  • Professionalism
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Special needs

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