The Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research (TIER) is research institute that conducts research in the field of evidence based education. TIER is based at Maastricht University and has close ties with the University of Amsterdam and LEER at Leuven University.
'Evidence based education' is the philosophy that educational policy and educational practice are to be based on the best evidence of 'what works'. This means that specific educational interventions, educational strategies and educational policies are to be evaluated scientifically before they are recommended or adopted on a large scale. Where this has not happened yet, these interventions are to be introduced on an experimental basis in such a way that the effects of the interventions can be evaluated scientifically. On the one hand 'evidence based education' refers to the collection of positively evaluated interventions, on the other hand it refers to the comportment or attitude of policy makers and people from the educational practice (working on the basis of 'evidence based education').
TIER was founded as an inter-univerity scientific research institute with partners at Maastricht University, University of Amsterdam and University of Groningen. Between 2008 and 2014 all three universities were involved in TIER-research and collaborated with one antoher. After the initial funds had ended, TIER Maastricht further developed as the main TIER department, still with close ties to the University of Amsterdam, and with a new partner: the institute LEER at Leuven University.
If evidence-based education is to gain general currency, teachers will have to know what it is and how to use it. This includes familiarity with research and research methods. Teachers must be able to gauge the value of research findings, have a degree of insight into research processes and be able to assess the methodological quality of research and the research set-up. The ‘evidence-based education academy’ focus area envisions developing and offering courses (including continuing education courses) for teachers in primary, secondary and higher education. Teacher training programmes will be assisted in developing curricula that pay specific attention to research organisation and execution and to working with evidence-based education. The research institute will seek links with existing initiatives (including the Dutch Teacher College) throughout the Netherlands.
To this end the Teachers Academy was developed, which offers several programmes for schoolboards and teachers, form short modules to full master programmes. It also contains a graduate program for PhD-students. More information can be found under 'Education'.