Exploring leadership influence within data-informed decision-making practices in Australian independent schools

Source document: Studia paedagogica. 2021, vol. 26, iss. 4, pp. [139]-159
  • ISSN
    1803-7437 (print)
    2336-4521 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
There is increasingly strong pressure on schools to use data within their decision-making processes; the pressure comes not just from high-stakes testing but also from the subsequent comparative analysis conducted in the international, national, state, and local jurisdictions that represent the educational systems responsible for ensuring that students continue to receive quality education (Harris & Jones, 2017). There is paucity in empirical research within Australia on the practice of data use within schools; research is lacking on data interactions among school leaders in their workplace settings (Coburn & Turner, 2012). This study contributes toward this identified gap in Australian research literature on the practice of data-informed decision making (DIDM) in schools. Using a case-study approach at two K-12 independent schools in Victoria, Australia, the study sought to understand the "how" and "why" of DIDM systems that are currently in use within Australian independent schools in order to better understand what data-informed school improvement processes are being used in practice in this sector of Australian schooling. Based on the findings, we offer recommendations for developing improved system capabilities that make schools data literate and numerate and identify the important transformational role that senior and middle-level school leaders play in building up data-informed collaborative school cultures within their schools.
  • This project was funded under the Dean's Early Career Research Project Award from Monash University, Australia, in the amount of AUD $30,336 over 2017-2018.
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