Denial, opposition, rejection or dissent: why do teachers contest research evidence?

Tim Cain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


Internationally, efforts are being made for educational practice to be research-informed on the grounds that schoolteachers will implement what research shows will ‘work’. However, teachers do not necessarily accept research findings; sometimes they contest them. This article considers teachers’ contestation in two empirical studies, using the concepts of denial, opposition, rejection and dissent as a framework for understanding such contestation. It finds three reasons why teachers contest research evidence: within-research issues, issues around generalizing from research to practice, and non-congruence with personal values. These are explored with reference to the power differentials that are said to exist between research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-625
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Issue number5
Early online date31 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Aug 2016


  • Research into practice
  • knowledge mobilization
  • teachers
  • schools


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