LINCS Research

LINCS includes research resources that support evidence-based education. Evidence-based education is described by Grover Whitehurst, the Director of the Institute for Educational Sciences, as "the integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction" where professional wisdom is "the judgment individuals acquire through experience" and empirical evidence is "scientifically-based research" and "empirical data on performance used to compare, evaluate and monitor progress" (Whitehurst, 2002). In support of evidence-based education, this page provides access to three guides for understanding and using research and four places to look for new research in adult education and literacy.

Three useful guides to understanding and using research:

Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported By Rigorous Evidence: A User Friendly Guide (2003) is a document that provides excellent assistance to educational practitioners in evaluating whether an educational intervention is backed by rigorous evidence of effectiveness, and in implementing evidence-based interventions in their schools or classrooms. A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research (2004) is a joint effort of Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) and the Education Commission of the States (ECS) to help make education research more accessible to policymakers. Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (2002), a report of the Reading Research Working Group, reviews and draws conclusions about practice from the research on adult reading instruction available as of 2001.

Professional wisdom grows and changes in response to the melding of continued experience and new research. Four places to look for new research in adult education and literacy are:

The What Works Clearinghouse was established in 2002 by the Department of Education to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central, independent, and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. There is currently a much greater quantity of empirical evidence available in K-12 instruction than in adult instruction. Programs for Increasing Adult Literacy is one of the topic areas for year one of the What Works Clearinghouse (see http://www.w-w-c.org/topic4.html ). National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL): Through rigorous, high quality research, NCSALL seeks to increase knowledge and give those teaching, managing, and setting policy in adult literacy education a sound basis for making decisions. NCSALL is also a leader in designing innovative professional development programs and in building support for research use (see Establishing an Evidence-based Adult Education System ) . The quarterly publication of NCSALL, Focus on Basics , is a source of research and shared professional wisdom written for the practitioner.
NCAL's Current Research and Development Projects aim to improve understanding of youth and adult learning, foster innovation and increase effectiveness in youth and adult basic education and literacy work, and expand access to information and build capacity for literacy and basic skills service provision.

Adult Literacy Research Network , using $18.5 million in grants from the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL), Office of Vocational and Adult Education of the US Department of Education, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, will fund six individual research projects focused on adult literacy instruction. All six of the funded studies will employ experimental or quasi-experimental designs, one including a neuroimaging component.

Additional research publications and reports may be found from Western/Pacific LINCS or the various LINCS Special Collections.