The Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research (TIER) is an inter-university Top Institute that conducts research in the field of evidence based education. The Top Institute knows three partners: the University of Amsterdam, Maastricht University and the University of Groningen
'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').
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. As a partner in the evidence-based education research network, Maastricht University will contribute towards the development of a Teacher Academy, to which end the university will draft a separate business plan. The role of the research network will for the time being be confined to that of social mediator, transferring research findings to education practice within context of the Teacher Academy.