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Data-Based Decision Making in the School Environment: An Assessment of data use by secondary school teachers in Kisumu East District, Kenya

Omoso, Elisha Osio (2012) Data-Based Decision Making in the School Environment: An Assessment of data use by secondary school teachers in Kisumu East District, Kenya.

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Abstract:Schools have been collecting and consolidating data for decades. Teachers can use this data to improve the functioning of their teaching and their schools. However, studies on data use in schools are predominantly Western-based. The purpose of this study was therefore, to assess the extent of data availability, its use, as well as factors promoting and hindering its use by teachers and school leaders in Kisumu East district, Kenya. This explorative study has been based on a conceptual framework showing factors hypothesized to influence data use in organizations. The study used multiple case study design to explore data usage in three homogeneous schools using 21 purposively sampled respondents that included school leaders, Heads of Departments (HOD’s) and class teachers (CT’s). To answer the research questions, qualitative data were collected using interviews and document review. Instrument reliability was ascertained through piloting and expert review. Validity of data was realized by triangulation and audio recording of all interviews and then transcribing and writing reports that were then taken to respondents for member checks and validation. External validity was realized using specific and cross-case thick description of the cases. Qualitative data obtained from in-depth interviews and document analyses were analyzed on an ongoing process as themes and sub themes emerged. The interviews reports were analyzed using NVIVO software that allows for coding of themes and sub-themes in line with the research questions and the conceptual framework. The study established that the schools studied have similar input, process and outcome data available. On the other hand, context data available in the schools had minimal variations. The factors promoting and hindering data use in the schools were also similar to a great extent. The study further reveals that school leaders mainly used school level data to monitor, plan and develop policies mostly aimed at school and curriculum improvement initiatives as opposed to teacher improvement initiatives. On their part, teachers mainly use classroom level data to plan their lessons and monitor their students’ progress. The study recommended that schools should conduct training for staff on data use skills and invest in data systems and technology as a way to promote the quality of education. Future studies also need to include parents and students’ cooperation as a factor that may promote and hinder data use in the context of schools in developing countries.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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