Becoming a data-wise school leader: Developing leadership capacity for data-informed school improvement dr. Eric Verbiest et al.
Summary: More schools are expected to use data because of accountability and development. School leaders play a pivotal role in collecting, interpreting and using these data, so the leaders must be sufficiently data-literate or data-wise. This article is based on the findings in the Developing Leadership Capacity for data-informed school improvement (DELECA) project. We examine the concept of school leaders’ data literacy and describe school leaders’ competencies according to different stages of evidence-informed practice. Because the problem-solving capacity of the organization and not the data per se plays a decisive role, we emphasize the supporting role of the school leader and the organizational learning process in terms of data use in formulating competencies. Although experience and knowledge development are significant aspects of the complex process of becoming a principal, these approaches work most powerfully in combination. In this article, we summarize the most important guidelines for developing a curriculum to train aspiring school leaders to become more data literate. We illustrate these guidelines with examples from a training course developed in the context of the DELECA project.