Evidence-Based Learning at School

Evidence-based school development – Sundsvall`s approach

Sundsvall researching schools are different from at least some other schools, not by the understanding of, more by how they relate to evidence-based practices. Instead of implementing these methods the research schools take the starting point for their development work, and the encountered problems, in their everyday practice, when trying to realize the school’s mission. The development work is organized in a similar way as the researcher applies the knowledge (what we usually talk about in terms of scientific practice).

School development from this perspective is a co-creation and knowledge building process. In such a process, evidence-based methods are being regarded as a basis on which to learn. The conclusions drawn from the activities are related to conclusions that others have made, be it other schools or scientists. In practice this means that a school may draw conclusions that are different from those of a scientist. When this is the case, a critical reflection is justified. Questions like: How come our teachings are different from those of what others have learned? How can we understand these differences?

Overall, such an approach stimulates the development of a professional, reflecting practice in which employees are active in their efforts to build knowledge relevant to school practice rather than being passive recipients of it – producers rather than consumers, if you want.

There is much to suggest in the way of relating to evidence-based practices. Extensive national as well as international school development research shows what is especially of importance for a school to be successful: employees are involved in a joint learning about and based on their everyday practice (Scherp , Hattie , Timperley et al.)

Katina Thelin-PhDr in Early Childhood Education, Scientific Director of CFK 2014-03 – 21
(translated by Ann-Catrine Karlsson)

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