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Navigating between Cohesion and Bureaucracy: The Catalan Way of Evidence-Informed Educational Practice

Georgeta Ion (University of Barcelona, Spain)
Anna Díaz-Vicario (University of Barcelona, Spain)

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


Educational change and innovation have been a clear priority in educational systems across Europe in recent years. In this chapter, we reflect on the role played by educational evidence in shaping school practices in the Catalan context. Situated at a crossroads between social cohesion and strong regulations, Catalan schools are navigating a hybrid system marked by increasing autonomy and the educational tradition with an increased interest in accountability and quality assessment through rigid standards and designs.

Despite the Catalan administration's recent promotion of several initiatives to engage schools and teachers with the use of evidence, this process is still irregular and fundamentally depends on decisions made by the school or teachers' commitment.

The factors shaping the teachers' engagement with evidence cover a wide spectrum: from teachers' and educational leaders' conception of the nature of evidence, to given teachers' willingness to use evidence and whether school environments are favourable (or not) to the use of evidence. Acknowledging these factors allows us to specify the direction of action at the system, organisational and class levels. At the system level, promoting a vision of practice based on evidence requires coherent and responsible actions among all actors. At the organisational level, the development of the capacity to use evidence requires leadership that is sensitive to research and favours a positive organisational culture. At the classroom level, teachers' motivation, individual orientation towards the use of evidences, research conception and the capacity to use it, are the key factors.




The chapter derived from a research project entitled: ‘PBE-Tools. Evidence-based educational practices: design and validation of strategies for school improvement’ (EDU2017-88711-R) funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Ministry of Science and Innovation).


Ion, G., Suárez, C.-I. and Díaz-Vicario, A. (2022), "Navigating between Cohesion and Bureaucracy: The Catalan Way of Evidence-Informed Educational Practice", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 47-58.



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Copyright © 2022 Georgeta Ion, Cecilia-Inés Suárez and Anna Díaz-Vicario. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited