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The Engagement of Teachers and School Leaders with Data, Evidence and Research in Germany

Jana Groß Ophoff (University College of Teacher Education Vorarlberg, Austria)
Colin Cramer (Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany)

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


The German evidence-based model of educational governance is bureaucratically regulated, but teachers and schools are autonomous in their way of implementing requirements in schools. Accountability is ensured by regularly monitoring educational outcomes with reference to national educational standards, e.g. in the form of mandatory comparative performance tests. In this context, it is worth determining the process stages of research engagement with which the available data or evidence is associated and which purposes they can serve in teacher education and practice. Building on that, an overview is provided of the state of (mainly German) research on teachers' and school leaders' research engagement and influencing factors. This research field has flourished in the wake of the Empirical Shift in German education. By now the understanding has emerged that ultimately the depth of inferential processes is vital for sustainable development and this in turn is influenced by data, context and user characteristics. On the individual level, in particular, positive affective-motivational dispositions and research literacy are deemed important, whereas the feeling of being controlled has detrimental effects. On the school level, school culture and leadership are of impact, whereas a certain continuity of measures on the governance level proves meaningful for the engagement with data and evidence in educational practice. With regard to the German experience, it is concluded that more (funded) dialogue opportunities between different actors and professional groups in education are needed and that initial and further training should strive even more to impart a meta-reflective stance or enquiry habit of mind.



Ophoff, J.G. and Cramer, C. (2022), "The Engagement of Teachers and School Leaders with Data, Evidence and Research in Germany", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 175-195.



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Copyright © 2022 Jana Groß Ophoff and Colin Cramer. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited