Using data, transforming potential into practice

by Various


This issue of Ideas into Action focuses on the use of data and its potential to transform teaching, learning, and leadership. The article summarises research on the topic and shows how data can be used effectively and efficiently. 

The research cited is backed up in the New Zealand BES Teacher Professional Learning and Development by Timperley, Wilson, Barrar & Fung (2007).

Read the article online. (At this link scroll to the title)

The article focuses on:

  • how data can support leadership
  • how teachers and leaders can use data to support decisions that lead to improved student achievement
  • how leaders can put this knowledge into daily practice.  

The article stresses how important it is for school leaders to establish the purpose for data use with teachers, and provide opportunities and time for them to work with data.

It notes that teachers are more likely to embrace a data initiative when it is well presented, well implemented, relevant to the learning needs of their students, and is useful in informing better classroom teaching.

The article also looks at the challenges that might confront school leaders when they prioritise data use in their schools, as well as common pitfalls.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this article:

  • What strategies will you need to focus your school on the potential of data to improve teaching and learning?
  • What support networks could you use to share your work with other school leaders and get their ideas to improve your use of data?
  • What challenges does your school face around data analysis and use to improve student achievement?


Using Data: Transforming potential into practice, in Ideas into Action for school and system leaders, Ontario Leadership Strategy, Bulletin 5, 2011. Ontario Ministry of Education.

Also see Using Evidence for Learning at Assessment Online.

Tell a colleague | Back to top