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    Un-rational behaviour? What causes discrepancies between teachers' attitudes towards evidence use and actual instances of evidence used in schools

    Brown, C. and Zhang, Dell (2016) Un-rational behaviour? What causes discrepancies between teachers' attitudes towards evidence use and actual instances of evidence used in schools. Journal of Educational Administration 54 (4), pp. 469-491. ISSN 0957-8234.

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    PURPOSE: Whilst beneficial, the use of evidence to improve teaching and learning in schools is proving difficult to achieve in practice. This paper attempts to shed new light on this issue by examining the applicability of a model of rational behaviour as relates to the notion of evidence-informed practice (EIP). Specifically, exploring the question: ‘if EIP is rational behavior, why aren’t all teachers engaged in it?’, we examine whether the beliefs and perspectives of teachers in relation to EIP, align with their evidence-use behaviours. We then assess what factors prevent teachers/schools from engaging in EIP. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: To examine beliefs, instances of, and barriers to evidence use, we employ a Gradient Boosted Tree predictive model to analyse data from a survey of 696 practitioners in 79 schools. FINDINGS: Our findings suggest that, should they wish to increase EIP within their schools, school leaders need to: 1) promote the vision for evidence-use (i.e. actively encourage its use); 2) illustrate how research and evidence can be effectively employed to enhance aspects of teaching and learning; and 3) establish effective learning environments, in which learning conversations around the use of evidence, can flourish. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: Using a new, innovative model of rationality, we conclude that despite the focus on EIP in many school-systems world-wide, evidence use will never be meaningfully realized unless school leaders prioritise EIP as a school commitment. Simultaneously, given the high-stakes accountability environments facing many school systems it is unlikely that prioritization of EIP will occur until EIP forms part of any education system’s accountability regime.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Decision-making, Educational research, Knowledge management, Modelling
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Data Analytics, Birkbeck Institute for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 13:23
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:37


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