Teachers' Use of Evidence to Inform Practice: Examining Cohesion, Regulation, and Accountability in California
The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education
ISBN: 978-1-80043-142-3, eISBN: 978-1-80043-141-6
Publication date: 31 January 2022
Teachers across the globe have been called upon to employ evidence-informed practices to guide instructional decision-making. Using a social regulation/cohesion matrix and institutional theory analytic lens can help illuminate the barriers and enablers shaping teachers' efforts to use evidence in different policy contexts. In the US, there is social cohesion with respect to public schooling as well as a high degree of regulation with respect to accountability. In this chapter, we closely examine the work of a teacher team in a California middle school that we studied for four years using case study methods. While teachers on this team shared an interest in evidence use and were open to trying research-based practices in their own classrooms, doing so consistently was challenging. The teacher team's use of evidence to inform practice was shaped by three themes. First, several capacity-building opportunities provided teachers with support for drawing on research-based practices as well as eliciting student thinking as a form of evidence on student learning. However, lack of cohesion across these opportunities functioned as a barrier to effective implementation of strategies. Finally, a strong focus on accountability ultimately constrained the team's ability to consistently use evidence to inform daily practice. Lessons for policy and practice are discussed.
Datnow, A., Weddle, H. and Lockton, M. (2022), "Teachers' Use of Evidence to Inform Practice: Examining Cohesion, Regulation, and Accountability in California", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 35-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80043-141-620221006
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022 Amanda Datnow, Hayley Weddle and Marie Lockton. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited