What We Want, Why We Want It: K-12 Educators' Evidence Use to Support their Grant Proposals


  • Joel R Malin Miami University-Oxford, Ohio
  • Chris Brown University of Portsmouth
  • Andrew Saultz Miami University-Oxford, Ohio




esearch use, Evidence, Knowledge, Learning, Persuasion


This study analyzed educators’ requests for grant funding to purchase desired educational resources or services. Specifically, it examined to what extent, and how, educators utilized research and other forms of evidence to support their decision-making. References to research were sparse, though applicants sometimes referred to local data or small-scale trials. Conceptual research use likely also lurked beneath certain statements. Applicant educators also showed special concern for certain
topics, including student engagement/motivation and enhancing the cultural relevance of programming. The proposals varied considerably in terms of the robustness of underlying theories of action. This line of inquiry contributes to understandings both regarding a) educators’ use of research and other knowledge sources to support their professional decision-making; and b) the nature of evidence use in education.

Author Biographies

Joel R Malin, Miami University-Oxford, Ohio

Joel R. Malin is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University-Oxford, Ohio and a faculty affiliate with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A former school psychologist and district-level administrator, his research interests include evidence use, career and college readiness policy and reform, and leadership knowledge and skill development. 

Chris Brown, University of Portsmouth

Chris Brown is a Professor of Education at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests center on how teachers’ use of research and how networks of teachers, academics, and others can lead to improved teaching practice, school improvement, and improved outcomes for children.




How to Cite

Malin, J. R., Brown, C., & Saultz, A. (2019). What We Want, Why We Want It: K-12 Educators’ Evidence Use to Support their Grant Proposals. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 15(3). https://doi.org/10.22230/ijepl.2019v15n3a837