Bastian LaierDenise DemskiIsabell van AckerenMarten ClausenPeter Preisendörfer

The impact of teachers’ social networks on evidence-based practice in schools


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This article addresses the role of teachers’ social networks in regard to the usage of evidence-based information in the educational system. The empirical data are drawn from a survey on social networks in a vocational school from Rhineland-Palatinate. Results on the usage of different sources of information in a school context indicate that there is a focus on sources that have a specific connection to teaching. Social network analysis is used to test the influence of individual network properties on the usage of different information. Furthermore, we analyze whether formal structures or rather individual relations between teachers influence the presence of specific communication ties. The analysis of the empirical data shows that there is a positive influence on the usage of evidence-based sources from the number of ties that teachers have in a communication network. In addition, we find that the presence of these ties depends on the existence of affective and work-related ties rather than formal ties.

Network analysis; Test-based school reform; Evidence-based decision making; School teachers