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Open Access Het evidence-beest en de normativiteit van opvoeding

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The Evidence ‘Beast’ and the Normativity of Child-Rearing

In 2008 Micha de Winter warned people to watch out for, what he coined, ‘the Evidence Beast’, referring to a too narrow focus within the Dutch youth care system on evidence and effectivity. This concern was also the main instigator for my PhD research conducted under his (and Prof. Koops’) supervision. In this article I address some of the ‘beasts’ of a strict evidence-based focus within the professional field of youth care. Some of these problems are related to the ways in which EBP is used in the Dutch youth care system (a strict focus on effectivity, a lack of professional reflection and a lack of professionals’ discretionary power). The most important and most Dewinterian issue however is the implicit normativity in child rearing in contrast to the rather technical, and presumed neutral, child rearing approach in youth care interventions. I conclude the article with several suggestions for the future, in order to give more room to important value-laden elements in the support that is offered to parents through youth care interventions.
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Keywords: evidence-based practice; the Netherlands; values; youth aid

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: October 21, 2017

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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