There is a vast amount of research on what goes on in schools, but how can school leaders sort credible findings from dubious claims and use these to make informed decisions that benefit their schools? How can abstract ideas from research be translated into dynamic plans for action? This book is a practical guide to evidence-based school leadership demonstrating the benefits that can be gained from engaging with robust educational research and offering clear guidance on applying meaningful lessons to practice. Topics include:  • What is evidence-based school leadership and why does it matter?  • How to collect data from your own school and how to analyse this evidence in order to inform strategic leadership decisions  • Models for implementing school improvement and change  • Leadership skills for fostering a culture of evidence-based practice This is essential reading for senior and middle leaders in educational organisations who aspire to lead effective schools with high levels of staff well-being and enhanced outcomes for the learners they teach.

Why do we need evidence-based school leadership?

Why do we need evidence-based school leadership?

Chapter outline

This chapter aims to provide a clear justification to why evidence-based school leadership is needed. In doing so the chapter will look at issues related to:

  • the ethics of evidence-based school leadership;
  • the relationship between evidence-based school leadership, fallibility and professional standards;
  • the problems of fads and faddism within education;
  • how facts become ‘rusty’;
  • the increasing role of social media and how this can leave school leaders vulnerable to bullshit;
  • the impact of cognitive biases on decision-making.

The chapter then briefly explores why evidence-based school leadership is needed now. Finally, the chapter examines some of the potential benefits of evidence-based school leadership.

Key words: evidence-based practice, decision-making, ethics, cognitive biases, professional standards

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