Productive spaces for using research well within systems

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Over the past decade, the importance of thinking about and improving educational research use from a system perspective has gained greater attention. System perspectives are seen as particularly applicable to research use because of its inherent complexity as an endeavour. System perspectives also draw attention to the wider political and societal systems within which research use efforts are operating.

Yet, despite these potential benefits, there has been very little analytical work on the influence of different system-level enablers and barriers on research use in education. Further, what has been conducted has tended not to focus specifically on using research well, and therefore little is known about the system dimensions of quality research use.

This paper responds by seeking to identify the productive system spaces within which, and through which, using research well can be nurtured. It asks: What do we know about using research well at the system level, and how can system actors support the quality use of research by educators in schools? The paper draws on analysis of data collected through surveys, interviews and co-design workshops with educators (n=1,753) and system actors (n=179) during the Monash Q Project’s research phase to identify and elaborate six system enablers of using research well in educational practice.

Reflecting the Q Project’s primary focus on research use at the school rather than the system level, these six system enablers are articulated from the perspective of educators - that is, what support educators need from system actors to help them to improve their research use. The suggested enablers cut across three different system levels and include: (1) actions that support educators to improve their research use skills, and increase the professional recognition of research use; (2) actions that support schools to gain better access to multiple sources of appropriate research, and have sufficient dedicated time during school hours for educators to use research; and (3) actions that support system leadership through role-modelling quality research use practices to schools, and producing and disseminating ‘usable’ research for improved use by educators.

The paper concludes by suggesting that these six enablers provide clear starting points for system-level action, and calling on all system actors to consider what individual and collective action they can take. In particular, system actors are encouraged to consider what actions they can take as individual users of research, individual leaders of research use, and collective facilitators of research use in schools.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2023
EventInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2023: Voice, Truth, Place: Critical Junctures for Educational Research - University of Menbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 26 Nov 202330 Nov 2023


ConferenceInternational Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2023
Abbreviated titleAARE 2023
Internet address


  • Research use
  • Using research well
  • Using evidence well
  • Education systems
  • Productive spaces

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