From "intuition"- to "data"-based decision making in Dutch secondary schools?


Schildkamp, Kim and Ehren, M.C.M. (2013) From "intuition"- to "data"-based decision making in Dutch secondary schools? In: K. Schildkamp & M.K. Lai & L. Earl (Eds.), Data-based decision making in education: Challenges and opportunities. Studies in educational leadership, 17 (17). Springer, Dordrecht, 49 - 67. ISBN 9789400748156

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Abstract:Schools these days are confronted with a lot of data, which they have to transform into information to be used for school improvement. However, research shows that most teachers do not use data properly, or do not use data at all. In the Netherlands, a data team intervention was developed and piloted to support schools in the use of data.

A data team is a team, consisting of 4–6 teachers, a data expert, an (assistant) school leader, and a researcher, who work together to solve a certain educational problem, following a structured approach. This approach involves: defining the problem, coming up with hypotheses concerning what causes the problem, collecting data to test the hypotheses, analyzing and interpreting data, drawing conclusions, and implementing measures to improve education. This study focuses on the following research questions: How do these teams function? Which factors influence the work of these data teams? What are the effects of these data teams?

The results show the data team intervention led to an increase in effective data use, changes in classroom instruction, and to school improvement (e.g., a significant increase in mathematic achievement). Due to the small sample of this study, the increase in student achievement cannot directly be linked to the work of the data teams, but it is likely that the use of data contributed to these effects.
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