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


(2022), "Prelims", Brown, C. and Malin, J.R. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. i-xvii.



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Copyright © 2022 Emerald Publishing Limited

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The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education

Title Page

The Emerald Handbook of Evidence-Informed Practice in Education: Learning from International Contexts

Edited By

Chris Brown

Durham University, UK


Joel R. Malin

Miami University, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2022

Editorial matter and selection © 2022 Emerald Publishing Limited. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

Individual chapters © 2022 the authors. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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ISBN: 978-1-80043-142-3 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-141-6 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80043-143-0 (Epub)

About the Editors

Chris Brown is Professor in Education in the Durham University School of Education. He has a long-standing interest in how research evidence can and should aid the development of education policy and practice. He has edited and authored several books, scores of papers, and has presented extensively on the subject. Chris also regularly leads research projects which seek to help practitioners to identify and scale up best practice.

Joel R. Malin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University. His research is focused on research–practice–policy connections, knowledge mobilization, and multisectoral reforms focused on educational improvement. He has also published, with Chris Brown (Eds.), The Role of Knowledge Brokers in Education (Routledge, 2020).

About the Contributors

Dr Tasneem Amatullah is an Assistant Professor at the Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE), United Arab Emirates. She teaches school effectiveness, improvement and evaluation, and capacity building courses. Prior to this, Dr Amatullah taught foundational courses in education, diversity and education, and multicultural education in the State University of New York and Miami University, USA. Her research centers on the issues of equity, social justice, women, leadership, and policy analysis around the globe. Currently, she is expanding her research on Muslim women's leadership across the globe (Qatar, Canada, USA, and India).

Ulf Blossing is a Professor in Education at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. He is Chair of the board for school leader education, and member of the research council for the national agency project of supporting underachieving schools. His research interest is school improvement and leadership.

Dr Martin Brown is Associate Professor and Internationalisation Coordinator at the School of Policy and Practice and Research Director at EQI-The Centre for Evaluation Quality and Inspection, DCU institute of Education in Ireland.

Dr Christina Chinas is an Assistant Professor at Durham University and works with public and private organisations in various countries. Her research interests include cross-sector collaboration, leadership, and policy. Christina has extensive experience in leading funded projects, many of which involve the promotion of school improvement.

Connie Cirkony is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Connie has undertaken work in science and environmental education, and in educational practice and policy. Her PhD research in science education focused on improving students' learning experiences in digital learning environments.

Mike Coldwell is Professor of Education and Head of Research and Innovation in Education at Sheffield Hallam University. From 2015 to 2017, he led the evaluation of the Evidence-informed Teaching System in England study for the English DfE. His work focuses broadly on education policy, teacher development and careers, and evaluation methodology.

Johana Contreras is an Educational Psychologist from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and holds a PhD in Sociology from Université de Bordeaux, France. She has done her postdoctoral research at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her interests are national and international educational assessments, educational policies and international comparison of school systems.

Dr Amanda Cooper, Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy, Queen's University, is the founder of RIPPLE (Research Informing Policy, Practice and Leadership in Education): a program of research, training, and knowledge mobilization aimed at learning more about how knowledge brokering can increase research use and impact in education (

Dr Colin Cramer is a Full Professor of research on teachers and teacher education at the University of Tübingen. His research investigates what makes teachers professionals and how the professionalisation of (future) teachers can be optimised in teacher education and professional development.

Amanda Datnow is Chancellor’s Associates Endowed Chair and Professor in the Department of Education Studies and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on educational reform and policy, particularly with regard to issues of equity and the professional lives of educators.

Anna Díaz-Vicario is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Applied Pedagogy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. His main research areas are safe and healthy organizations, access to and persistence in postcompulsory education, and evidence- and research-informed practices.

Johanna Egli has a Master's degree in Educational Science and is currently employed as Research Assistant at the Zurich University of Teacher Education since 2019. She is interested in school practices, in particular school development practices, considering them as an important condition and place of development to implement issues such as student participation and gender equality.

David Galloway was Head of Durham University's School of Education from 1993 to 2000. His main research interest is in school effectiveness, specifically how schools affect the psychosocial development of their most vulnerable students. Since retirement in 2002 he has led workshops on school improvement in Bosnia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Sierra Leone.

Joanne Gleeson is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Joanne draws from cross-sectoral professional experience in executive human resource management, business consulting, careers counselling, education and education research. Her PhD research focused on creating a measure of adolescent career identity to support more effective school–work transitions for students and improved careers education.

Álvaro González is a Researcher at the Centro de Investigación para la Transformación Socio Educativa (CITSE) of the Universidad Católica Silva Henríquez, Chile. He studies the processes of educational improvement and change, addressing topics such as leadership, professional and organizational learning, accountability, and policymaking.

Dr Jana Groß Ophoff works as Research Assistant to the Chair ‘Research on Teachers and Teacher Education’ (Prof Dr Colin Cramer) at the University of Tübingen. She investigates evidence-based professionalisation of pre-service and in-service teachers, data use in schools, and the assessment and modelling of competencies.

Alexandra Harper is a Doctorate Student at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She has over 25 years’ experience in education working as a Teacher and Leader across government and independent schooling systems. She has also worked as a Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at several New South Wales universities.

Georgeta Ion is an Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Pedagogy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. His area of research is linked to teacher education, evidence- and research-informed practices, and assessment in higher education.

Dr Livia Jesacher-Roessler is a Researcher at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Her research interests are in educational change with a particular focus on leadership, school improvement, and district reforms. She is also the operational leader of the German-speaking Innovative Learning Environment network.

Dr David Kemethofer is a Researcher at the University College of Teacher Education Upper Austria. His research focus lies in the areas of quality management in the school system, school evaluation, school inspection, educational standards and standard checks, school development, school management and leadership.

Mei Kuin Lai is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and an Associate Director at the Woolf Fisher Research Centre in the same Faculty. Her research focuses on research–practice partnerships to improve valued student outcomes.

Dr David R. Litz is presently working as a Teacher in British Columbia, Canada. He previously worked for Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) in Abu Dhabi, where he taught courses on educational practice, teaching and learning, educational effectiveness and improvement, and school leadership and management. He has also previously taught in South Korea and Ontario, Canada. He holds an EdD from the University of Calgary and has several publications. His research interests include comparative education, educational administration and leadership, educational development, and educational policy.

Marie Lockton is a Lecturer at the University of San Diego. Her work addresses equity through student-centered practices, school culture, and educator-driven innovation.

Mr Stephen MacGregor is a Doctoral Candidate at the Faculty of Education, Queen's University. His doctoral research focuses on how the lessons learned from multistakeholder networks can be mobilized to achieve impacts upon wider society.

Jorge Manzi has a PhD in Psychology from UCLA. He is a Full Professor at the Universidad Católica de Chile and leads the Measurement Center at the same university (MIDE UC). He does research in educational assessment, social psychology, and political psychology. He has been involved in national and international testing programs.

Miriam Mason taught in the United Kingdom for eight years before moving to Sierra Leone to start EducAid's first school in 2000. Today, EducAid runs schools whose practice guides a school improvement programme and gathers evidence on effective school improvement to inform government policy and practice.

Monica E. Mincu is an Associate Professor of Comparative Education with the University of Torino, Italy, and Research Analyst with UNESCO Future of Learning and innovation Team. She engaged with education policies, governance and teacher education in Europe, as well as with teacher quality and school improvement.

Ka Ho Mok is the Vice President, Lam Man Tsan Chair Professor of Comparative Policy, and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies of Lingnan University, Hong Kong. He has researched and published extensively in higher education policy and governance, comparative development and policy studies, and social development in contemporary China and East Asia.

Dr Gavin Murphy is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Leadership and Management strand of the MEd at the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin. Gavin was previously Teaching Fellow at the School of Education, University College Dublin, and an Honorary (Visiting) Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

Ms Latoya Njokwe is a Master's Student in the Department of Education Leadership and Management (DELM) at the University of Johannesburg. Her research, which focuses on ‘teacher as leader’ narratives, is supervised by Prof Kat Yassim.

Wakio Oyanagi, PhD, is Professor in the Faculty of Informatics, Kansai University, Japan. His research focuses on teacher knowledge development and how that knowledge is shaped and refined throughout teachers' professional life span. His work is directed towards three significant educational issues: “Teachers' Technological Pedagogical and Content knowledge (TPACK),” “Self-Study on Teacher Educator,” and “Individually Optimized Learning.”

Mauricio Pino-Yancovic is a Research Associate of the Center for Advanced Research in Education, Institute of Education, Universidad de Chile. His academic and research experience is focused in educational policy, school networks, and evaluation. He currently coordinates the national evaluation of the school improvement networks strategy in Chile.

Lars Qvortrup is Professor at the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University. His research focuses on taste didactics, school development, and school leadership. Since 1983 Lars Qvortrup's list of publications includes 325 publications. Currently he is head of the research project “Teacher Collaboration and student outcomes.”

Mark Rickinson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. His work is focused on understanding and improving the use of research in education. He is currently leading the Monash Q Project, a five-year initiative with the Paul Ramsay Foundation to improve the use of research evidence in Australian schools.

Sara Romiti is Senior Researcher at INVALSI, Department of Innovation and Development. Her research interests include the study of professional skills for school evaluation, observation of teaching and learning processes in the classroom, evaluation models adopted by school systems. She is member of ICSEI and coordinates the 3P Network, which brings together policy makers and education professionals.

Mandy Salisbury is a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Mandy has worked in the early years and primary sectors in teaching and leadership roles, and also has commercial experience. She has a passion for pursuing equitable educational opportunities and outcomes.

Lucas Silva is an Educational Psychologist from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and has a Master's in Educational Psychology from the same university. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Groningen. His interests are data use in educational contexts, including professional development in data-informed decision-making and formative assessment.

Claire Sinnema is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland. Her research focuses on educational improvement (curriculum, leadership, problem-solving, networks, practitioner inquiry, and standards). Claire's research and advisory work spans the design of education-related policies and the realisation of those policies in practice.

Cecilia-Inés Suárez is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Applied Pedagogy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. His research areas include higher education teaching training, evidence- and research-informed practices, college access, and persistence in higher education.

Dr Kristin Vanlommel is Professor in Education, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, the Netherlands. Kristin is chair of the research group ‘Driving Educational Change.’ Her research focuses on evidence-informed practice to improve teaching and learning and to foster the sustainability of educational change. Kristin is also board member of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (ICSEI) and chair of the Data Use Network.

Lucas Walsh is Professor of Education Policy and Practice, Youth Studies, at Monash University. His research focuses on young people's transitions to postschool life. He is Cochief Investigator on the Q Project with the Paul Ramsay Foundation to improve the use of research evidence in Australian schools.

Hayley Weddle is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on addressing the equity implications of policy implementation across state and local levels. Across her work, she is committed to developing reciprocal partnerships with educators, leaders, and policymakers.

Dr Robyn Whittaker, following 17 years in medical practice, has spent the past five years working in the education sector. As the Stakeholder Engagement Lead for Symphonia for South Africa she has assisted in facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration to create powerful change in underresourced schools, and experienced the power that comes from equipping leaders across multiple sectors with transformational leadership skills. Robyn launched Kaleidoscope Lights in July 2020, in order to deepen understanding of how deep collaboration and functional impact ecosystems can be fostered to enable dramatic shifts in society's well-being. Education remains a specific focus area. (

Kendra Winner manages the research team along with the third-party, independent evaluations at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). At DESE, her work has addressed a broad range of topics in education. Her accomplishments include designing and managing DESE's $7M Race to the Top research strategy. She specializes in cultural and social class differences, and child development in high-risk student groups.

Weiyan Xiong is a Research Assistant Professor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. He is also serving as the Director of the MA Program in International Higher Education and Management and MSocSc Program in Organizational Psychology and Education Management. His research interests include comparative and international education, indigenous education, liberal arts education, and faculty professional development.

Professor Kathija Yassim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education Leadership and Management in the UJ Faculty of Education. Her current research interests focus on leading learning in the era of the 4IR. Together with her students she is developing concepts around the kind of learning (r)evolution needed for education in the South African context in relation to 4IR. Prof Yassim takes a critical theory and capabilities approach to her research in ways that seek to facilitate sustainable and transformative leadership of learning as a prominent feature for solving some of South Africa's big questions around education.

Enikö Zala-Mezö is a Professor at the Zurich University of Teacher Education and Head of the Centre of School Improvement in Switzerland. She is interested in different forms of research–practice partnerships and especially how schools can use systematically collected and analyzed information and research results in their school improvement processes.

Elizabeth Zumpe, PhD, is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Leadership in Schooling in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Prior to this, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on K-12 educational policy and organizational development processes that enable continuous improvement in schools facing challenging circumstances.


We would like to thank our amazing contributors for taking on the challenge and delivering your fantastic chapters. We have learnt a lot, and we know readers of this book will too. What this compilation shows is that evidence-informed practice is possible regardless of context. All that is required is knowing how to facilitate it effectively. And now, thanks to you all, we have exactly the type of illumination that was previously missing.

Introduction: What Can Be Learned from International Contexts about How to Foster Evidence-Informed Practice?
Part 1 Hierarchist Systems
Chapter 1 Evidence-Based Practices in US Schools: The California Context
Chapter 2 Teachers' Use of Evidence to Inform Practice: Examining Cohesion, Regulation, and Accountability in California
Chapter 3 Navigating between Cohesion and Bureaucracy: The Catalan Way of Evidence-Informed Educational Practice
Chapter 4 Evidence-Informed Teaching in England
Chapter 5 Evidence-Informed Practice in the Context of the Republic of Ireland
Chapter 6 Multistakeholder Networks and Evidence-Informed Practice in Education: A Case from Ontario
Chapter 7 The Hierarchist Way of School Development in Sweden
Chapter 8 Evidence-Informed Teaching Practice in the United Arab Emirates
Part 2 Fatalist Systems
Chapter 9 Evidence-Informed Practice in Australian Education
Chapter 10 Collaboratively Navigating a Competitive System: A Systematic Literature Review of Teachers' Evidence Use in Chile
Chapter 11 Evidence-Informed Practice of Standardized Assessments: The Case of Chile
Chapter 12 Evidence-Informed Practice in Denmark
Chapter 13 The Engagement of Teachers and School Leaders with Data, Evidence and Research in Germany
Chapter 14 Evidence-Informed Practice in Massachusetts (USA): A Systems-level Analysis
Chapter 15 Teacher Accreditation in New South Wales, Australia: The Cave of Wonders for Evidence-Informed Practice
Chapter 16 Evidence-Informed Practice in South African Schools: An Examination of Enabling and Constraining Factors
Part 3 Individualist Systems
Chapter 17 Drivers and Obstacles for Evidence-Informed Practice in an Autonomous and Decentralized Educational System: Belgium
Chapter 18 Teaching and Learning in Hong Kong Higher Education
Chapter 19 Evidence-Informed Practice in Italian Education
Chapter 20 Switzerland the Individualist – A Classification with Some Colorings
Part 4 Egalitarian Systems
Chapter 21 Evidence-Informed Practice in Austrian Education
Chapter 22 The Uptake of Evidence on Policy Development and School Improvement in Cyprus
Chapter 23 Influence of Evidence-Informed Practice on Teachers’ Professional Identity and Leadership in Japan
Chapter 24 Evidence-Informed Practice in New Zealand
Chapter 25 Using Evidence-Informed Practice in Primary School Improvement in an Under-Achieving School System: A Case Study in Sierra Leone