Using the Evidence
“How do we use the available evidence … to establish what works best – for whom, by whom, when and where – to mitigate vulnerability and optimise developmental pathways for New Zealand children?” Dr Susan Morton, ELF17.
A strong evidential base adds credibility and value to teaching and learning. Professor Emeritus Michael Fullan writes in a new foreword for the School Leadership and Student Outcomes BES that the NZ Ministry of Education’s Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis publications are “the single best research review series on education matters around the world.” He says the findings of the leadership BES (first published in 2009) have enduring significance, and challenges all partners in New Zealand education “to make sure that the findings and implications from this synthesis [are] used as a point of departure for new action.”
He says that “…very little of the literature links leadership factors to student outcomes. By taking a disciplined approach and pushing deeply into the detailed consequences of different leadership practices this BES study provides a definitive baseline for building on practice and research in applying the findings to school improvement around the world. Many concrete examples are presented that pay careful attention to the applications of the findings.” Read the full Foreword by Professor Fullan : Foreword: School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Best Evidence Synthesis
The challenge for busy education leaders is to devote more time to leading professional development in their own learning communities. The challenge for the education system is to provide appropriate support to education leaders to enable this. Professional knowledge sharing through Communities of Learning are already helping in this respect.
Implementing key research findings educates and empowers our rising generations to build a better and more sustainable tomorrow by equipping them today with the appropriate “learning to learn” knowledge and “learning to do” skills.