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.

Appraising research evidence

Appraising research evidence

Chapter outline

This chapter aims to help non-experts know when to trust expert advice. Focus will then turn to the notion of the hierarchy of evidence and the nature of both systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials, which are often at the pinnacle of various hierarchies of evidence. Next, the chapter will identify the components of an argument – the claim and associated warrant – and how these can be used to appraise the quality of research. Consideration will then be given to how to make the most of research, the use of abstracts and the writing of critical appraisals of research. Finally, the chapter will look at an overarching framework to help judge the usefulness of research evidence.

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