Evidence-based publications on upper secondary education in Iceland, 2003–2012

Guðrún Ragnarsdóttir, Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson, Jón Torfi Jónasson, Brynja E. Halldórsdóttir


Globally, there is a demand for basing education policy decisions and practice on solid evidence. While the same applies in Iceland, some have claimed that there is a dearth of evidence-based publications targeted at education. This article considers this claim by examining the availability and nature of evidencebased publications with a focus on upper secondary education in Iceland. In total, the main characteristics of 316 publications were studied over the period 2003–2012. These publications included peer-reviewed articles, non-reviewed scholarly work (articles and reports), master’s and doctoral theses, external evaluation reports, and innovation reports. The findings reveal a hidden treasure of a number of publications targeted at upper secondary education in Iceland. Some educational fields are still weakly represented in the evidence spectrum, such as vocational studies, and the data collection methods are relatively few. Furthermore, the main stakeholders are isolated from one another to a degree. Such isolation is problematic, as evidence-based publications are intended to inform both policy and practice. Thus, the study suggests an increased need for cooperation among the main stakeholders in upper secondary education.


Upper secondary education; evidence-based publications; university-based publications; evaluation reports; innovation reports.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2020.16.1.3


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