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1 November 2021 - 1 November 2021

1:00PM - 2:00PM

IAS Seminar Room, Cosins Hall

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IAS Seminar by Prof. Georgeta Ion, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

In recent years, there has been an increase in educational initiatives aimed at improving schools. At the same time, only some of these initiatives have been based on scientific evidence. Given the acknowledged benefits to teachers and students of engaging with evidence, a clear question therefore is how to promote a better take up of evidence within educational decision-making. In response, this seminar analyses the characteristics of schools according to their commitment to using evidence within their practice. 

To address this research question, a study developed in the Spanish schools will be presented. The study is based on the administered of a survey to a sample of 462 teachers from 204 primary schools in Madrid and Catalonia. The questionnaire focused on issues such as the use of scientific evidence to improve schools, as well as factors known to influence this, such as organizational culture, leadership style, interpersonal relationships and decision-making processes.

The discussion will focus on the different typologies of schools according to their engagement with research evidence in their practice. Thus, three clusters of school were identified according to the extent to which they supported evidence-informed practices. Although a large number of schools were enthusiastic regarding the use of evidence, others were sceptical, and most declared themselves undecided. In all cases, we observed that organizational commitment to the use of scientific evidence, leadership support and debate regarding decisions were significant characteristic of those schools oriented towards the use of scientific evidence.