Data- and research-informed improvement work in ECE


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Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice

New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society

Subject: Education


ISSN: 1178-8690





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VOLUME 33 , ISSUE 1 (June 2018) > List of articles

Data- and research-informed improvement work in ECE

Line Skov Hansen

Keywords : Early Childhood Education and Care; data- and research-informed; improvement work; learning environment; professional learning and development; leadership; whole system approach

Citation Information : Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice. Volume 33, Issue 1, Pages 70-81, DOI:

License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Published Online: 02-April-2019



The article describes an approach to data- and research-informed improvement work in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) that is used by the Laboratory for Research-based School Development (LSP) at Aalborg University, Denmark. The approach includes collaboration between research, policy and practice and it incorporates two current policy priorities in the field of Danish education: evidence-informed decision making and the continuous improvement of the learning environment. The approach is based on the core idea that it takes a collective effort and widely distributed leadership to ensure the well-being and learning of all children. Additionally, the approach rests on the hypothesis that the use of evidence assists ECEC services to accomplish goals of high-quality learning environments, and  the improvement work can drive efforts to use knowledge from data and research. Consequently, in this approach, data- and research-based knowledge is used as an essential indicator of quality and as a trigger for professional learning and development (PLD) of the teaching staff. Furthermore, leadership is seen as essential in relation to the PLD of the teaching staff and their use of evidence.

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