Drivers and Obstacles for Evidence-Informed Practice in an Autonomous and Decentralized Educational System: Belgium
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 global challenges and growing diversity in schools require an educational system that is responsive and agile, putting evidence-informed practice (EIP) at the center of the policy and research agenda. The rationale behind this is obvious: using data and research evidence should lead to better-informed policy, higher quality decisions, more effective practices, and, in turn, improved and fairer outcomes. Because EIP in schools is likely to be influenced by the educational system in which they are embedded, in this chapter I discuss the (non) use of EIP in the educational system of Flanders. The Flemish educational system can be defined as “the individualist way,” characterized by individual approaches within loosely coupled, competing systems that protect their own norms and beliefs. This chapter discusses how this can influence policymaking and the implementation of EIP. Drawing on institutional theory, I also investigate the impact of drivers and obstacles at the school and individual level. At the school level, evidence seems to be used mainly ad hoc rather than strategically and policy is largely driven by short-term solution-focused actions based on experience and quickly available data. At the individual level teachers strongly rely on their expertise and feel less competent and motivated in using data or research. Key lessons for policy and practice are discussed at the end of this chapter.
Vanlommel, K. (2022), "Drivers and Obstacles for Evidence-Informed Practice in an Autonomous and Decentralized Educational System: Belgium", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 259-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80043-141-620221030
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022 Kristin Vanlommel. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited