Evidence-Based Practice: On the Function of Evidence in Practical Reasoning
There is a vast literature on evidence-based practice (EBP) in education. What function does evidence have in practical deliberations toward decisions about what to do? Most writers on EBP seem to think of evidence largely as quantitative data, serving as a foundation from which practice could and should be directly derived. In this paper I argue that we are better served by according a different and more indirect function to evidence in practical reasoning. To establish this claim I employ Toulmin’s model of argumentation. On this model the evidence-as-foundation view amounts to evidence as data/grounds. The model also offers a different function for evidence, as backing of the warrant, and I argue in this paper that this is a more adequate understanding of the function of evidence in practical reasoning
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