The interrelation of school culture and evidence-based practice – Findings of a survey using the “Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument”

Denise Demski, Isabell van Ackeren, Marten Clausen

Abstract


In line with the concept of evidence-based decision-making, teachers’ and school leaders’ practice should be grounded in the best evidence available in order to promote instructional quality and school improvement. Nevertheless, empirical findings show that systematically gathered facts cannot be translated into successful evidence-based practice directly. Research indicates that school climate and school culture influence the acceptance and the use of information sources. However, a profound empirical foundation of the relationship between these constructs is lacking. The article at hand aims at closing this research gap and focuses on the correlation between school culture and evidence-based practice. The analysis draws on standardized questionnaires completed by 297 school leaders and 1,230 teachers from 109 schools in the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. A German translation and school-related adaptation of the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) was used for measuring school culture. The results showed striking differences in school culture between the various school types. Moreover, on the school level, significant correlations between a cooperative and innovative school culture and the use of internally obtained sources of information could be observed.

Keywords


School culture; Evidence-based practice; School improvement

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Journal for Educational Research Online/Journal für Bildungsforschung Online (ISSN 1866-6671)