How leaders can support teachers with data-driven decision making

Organization: Educational ManagementAdministration & Leadership
Author: Julie A. Marsh, Caitlin C. Farrell
Published: August 18, 2014

As accountability systems have increased demands for evidence of student learning, the use of data in education has become more prevalent in many countries. Although school and administrative leaders are recognizing the need to provide support to teachers on how to interpret and respond to data, there is little theoretically sound research on data-driven decision making (DDDM) to guide their efforts. Drawing on sociocultural learning theory, extant empirical literature, and findings from a recent study, this paper develops a framework for understanding how to build teacher capacity to use data, specifically informing what practices administrators might employ, when in the DDDM process to employ these practices, and how these mechanisms may build teacher knowledge and skills. Given the global economic climate, administrators face difficult choices in how to invest scarce resources to support data use and once invested, how to ensure that teachers gain, and sustain, the needed capabilities once the supports are removed. The framework provided herein presents a set of concepts that may be useful in guiding these decisions. Implications for leadership practice, as well as suggestions to guide future research and theory development, are discussed.  Login required.