26 SES 05 A, Teaching, Feedback, and Subject Matter
Aim of this PhD-research is to gain insight in inquiry-based leadership in primary education in The Netherlands: to expand knowledge about the way school boards, school leaders and teachers influence each other in inquiry-based working and its effect on the results on numeracy and literacy and students´ inquiry habit of mind.
The main research questions are:
- What is the relation between inquiry-based working by school boards, school leaders and teachers in primary schools in The Netherlands?
- What is the relation between inquiry-based working by teachers on the one hand and student achievements and students´ inquiry habit of mind on the other hand?
- Which contextual and psychological factors influence inquiry-based working by school boards, school leaders and teachers?
- What are success factors in inquiry-based working by school boards, school leaders and teachers?
Inquiry-based working is becoming increasingly important in education (Schildkamp, Ehren & Lai, 2012), because of the increasing accountability demands and because of continuing international attention for data-based decision making (Ledoux, Blok, Boogaard & Krüger, 2009).
Schools collect a variety of data, but they generally appear not to use these data effectively (Krüger, 2010; Ledoux et al 2009). According to Earl and Katz (2006) a mind shift is needed amongst school leaders and teachers from making decisions based on tacit knowledge to evidence-based knowledge. Systematic analysis of existing data in the school is needed, as is application of the results of these analyses to improve teaching, curriculum and school outcomes, and evaluation of the intended improvements (Schildkamp & Kuiper, 2010).
In this process the school leader plays a crucial role (Levin & Datnow, 2012). Earl and Katz (2006) distinguish three competencies a data-driven school leader should be able to do:
- develop an inquiry habit of mind;
- become data literate; and
- create a culture of inquiry.
School boards can influence data-driven decision making in schools (Leithwood, 2010; Levin & Datnow, 2012), but in practice they appear only to have a limited stimulating role (Van Eck & Boogaart, 2007).
An often-used theory to explain people’s behavior, is the Theory of Planned Behavior by Ajzen (1991, 2002). According to this theory, behavior is influenced by four psychological factors:
- perceived behavioral control;
- self-efficacy and collective efficacy.
Kooken (2010) indicates that with this model behavioral intentions can be predicted, but not actual behavior, because people do not always do what they intend to do. Contextual factors may play a role causing people to behave different than intended. Therefore, in this study psychological and contextual factors are taken into account.
Aarsen and Van de Valk (2008) indicate that an inquiry habit of mind motivates students to be curious and critical and to acquire knowledge and research skills. It is unclear what the relationship is between inquiry-based working of school boards, school leaders and teachers, and their impact on the inquiry habit of mind and learning outcomes of students.
Aarsen, M., & Valk, T. van der. (2008) Onderzoekende houding, een leerlijn. NVOX 33 (8) 354 - 356. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179 - 211. Ajzen, I. (2002). Perceived behavioral control, self-efficacy, locus of control, and the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 665-68. Earl, L. & Katz, S. (2006). Leading schools in a data-rich world. Harnassing data for school improvement. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press. Kooken, J.P. (2010). Work, learn & communicate: what, when and why. Enschede: CTIT Dissertation Series No. 10-182. Krüger, M. (2010). De schoolleider als leerling. Op weg naar onderzoekende scholen en onderzoeksmatig leiderschap. Utrecht: Penta Nova. Ledoux, G., Blok, H., Boogaard, M., & Krüger, M. (2009). Opbrengstgericht werken; over de waarde van meetgestuurd onderwijs. Amsterdam: SCO-Kohnstamm Instituut. Leithwood, K. (2010). Characteristics of School Districts that are Exceptionally Effective in Closing the Achievement Gap. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 9: 3, 245 - 291. Levin, J.A. & Datnow, A. (2012). The principle role in data-driven decision making: using case-study data to develop multi-mediator models of educational reform. School Effectiveness and School Improvement: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice. 23:2, p. 179-201. Schildkamp, K., Ehren, M. & Lai, M.K. (2012). Editorial article for the special issue on data-based decision making around the world: from policy to practice to results. School Effectiveness and School Improvement: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice. 23:2, p. 123-131 Schildkamp, K. & Kuiper, W. (2010) Data-informed curriculum reform: Which data, what purposes, and promoting and hindering factors. Teaching and Teacher Education 26 (3), 482-496. Van Eck, E. & Boogaard, M. (Red.) (2007). Interne en externe kwaliteitszorg in het basisonderwijs en de rol van het bovenschools management. Amsterdam: SCO-Kohnstamm Instituut
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