'How do you know what works, works for you? An investigation into the attitudes of senior leaders to using research evidence to inform teaching and learning in Schools'

Susan Graves, Alexis Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Improving performance is a high stakes undertaking for schools who are operating within highly prescriptive testing and inspection regimes and a dynamic policy environment requiring Senior Leaders to be innovative and well-informed regarding best practice both nationally and internationally. In this context there can be a tendency to fall back on the ‘what works’ rhetoric often involving initiatives which, whilst popular with practitioners, may not be based on solid research findings (Biesta, 2007. “Why ‘What Works’ Won’t Work: Evidence-Based Practice and the Democratic Deficit in Educational Research.” Educational Theory 57 (1): 1–22). The introduction of teaching schools with a commitment to developing evidence based practice requires an engagement with educational research to give strategies evidential authority. This project examines the situation currently in five secondary and five primary schools in the North West of England. Data was collected using one to one semi-structured interviews from Senior Leaders (n10) in order to discover how they access knowledge to develop both policy and professional learning in their schools. It was evident in some cases that the concept of developing professional learning networks for teachers was one to which senior leaders were committed, however there was also evidence that the work of these networks did not systematically involve the use of research evidence to inform professional learning and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-277
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Leadership and Management
Volume38
Issue number3
Early online date21 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Evidence informed practice
  • knowledge mobilisation
  • school leaders

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