Research in support of policy: an interesting case study for teaching

The link below is for a 30-minute BBC podcast that would make an excellent teaching case study.  It’s called Unsure about Sure Start and examines the 10-year history of this early childhood development intervention in the UK. 

Fascinating issues are raised around the problems of implementing equity-oriented programmes that have diverse impacts, whether these are useful when underlying structural problems remain, how policy champions struggle to promote change when researchers cannot generate evidence quickly enough or in useful formats, and issues of study design when implementing large-scale, multi-impact interventions. 

The journalist does a really good job of tracing the history of the intervention and attempts to evaluate it.  She raises all the pertinent issues and her conclusion is very challenging:  all good stuff to get students debating!

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