Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Evidence-based Decision Making

As a leader, how do you use evidence for decision-making?

It used to be that decisions were based on experience, intuition, and philosophical beliefs.  It used to be that an expert was someone who had done the exact same thing dozens, if not hundreds, of times.  While change is slow and "used to be" is often still current, even in some educational environments, times are changing.

Evidence-based decision making has long been recognized in the corporate world as resulting in increased focus, increased efficiencies of time and money, and (sometimes) increased effectiveness.  So, it is hardly surprising that governing bodies, whether they are the governments that pay for health care or the taxpayers who fund our schools, want to know that important jobs are accomplished with full consideration of all evidence that might help achieve greater success. 

There is a second reason for the increasing emphasis on evidence-based decision making.  We make greater use of data simply because technology has made it more accessible.  The advances in technology have provided us with the opportunity to store huge quantities of information, maintain large databases, and access the databases of others.  (Not all schools and districts currently have the technology to do these things; fortunately, effective data analysis and interpretation do not depend on them.)  Technology even allows us to merge information from a variety of databases to create data "mashups" - integrations of data from various sources.

From:  The Evidence-Based School by Karen Hume
Published by: Pearson

1 comment:

  1. Claire Hainstock8 July 2011 at 11:09

    Data, data, data everywhere!! I don't see it as a secondary teacher. The balance between privacy, security, and usage is still not right. The more difficult i.e. time consuming it is to collect; the more difficult it is to effect. We do not have an effective strategy to monitor progress from a benchmark and plan for future change.