01 SES 04 A, Symposium: Using Data for Improving School and Student Performance
Data-driven decision making is receiving increased attention in education. Data can be defined as systematically collected information on students, schools, school leaders and teachers which can be obtained from qualitative (e.g. classroom observations) and quantitative (e.g. assessment results) methods. Data-driven decision making (i.e. “data use”) can be defined as the use of data by teachers, school leaders and even students to make decisions that improve schooling. In a context where schools are held more and more accountable for the education they provide, data-driven decision making has become increasingly important. School leaders and teachers can use data to change teaching, address existing (ineffective) programs in their schools, and improve the functioning of the school in terms of increased student achievement (see for example Lai, McNaughton, Timperley & Hsiao, 2009). Although the attention given to the use of data in education has recently vastly increased, the field of data-driven decision making is relatively new, and more research is urgently needed. Moreover, studies show that teachers and school leaders need professional development in the use of data (Schildkamp & Kuiper, 2010). This symposium will discuss a project on professional development in the use of data supported by the European Union (Using data for improving school and student performance, Comenius Multilateral Project 510477-2010-LLP-PL). The EU Comenius project Using Data for Improving School and Student Performance www.datauseproject.eu aims to develop professional learning communities within schools in their use of tools that support effective data use for the improvement of educational outcomes. Two schools from each of the project partners’ countries (United Kingdom, Poland, The Netherlands, Lithuania and Germany) have been selected to participate in a pilot course to achieve this goal.
For this project, case studies were conducted in Poland, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, and Lithuania to study the use of data in these countries, as well as possible promoting and hindering factors. Based on the case study results a data use theoretical framework was developed (paper 1). Based on this framework, a survey was developed to study the level of data use in the schools in the five different countries participating in the project, as well as the promoting and hindering factors of data use in these schools (paper 2). The results of these two studies show that there is a need for professional development in the use of data. Based on these two studies, a course was developed to support professional learning communities within schools in the use of data. The final paper will discuss the development and implementation of this data use course (paper 3).
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