The rhythmic application of evidence-based policy in national educational systems worldwide

Alexander W. Wiseman, Petrina M. Davidson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The shift from data-informed to data-driven educational policymaking is conceptually framed by institutional and transhumanist perspectives. Examples of the shift to large-scale quantitative data driving educational decision-making suggest that data-driven educational policy will not adjust for context to the degree as done by the data-informed or data-based policymaking. Instead, the algorithmization of educational decision-making is both increasingly realizable and necessary in light of the overwhelmingly big data on education produced annually around the world. Evidence suggests that the isomorphic shift from localized data and individual decision-making about education to large-scale assessment data has changed the nature of educational decision-making and national educational policy. Big data are increasingly legitimized in educational policy communities at national and international levels, which means that algorithms are assumed to be the best way to analyze and make decisions about large volumes of complex data. There is a conceptual concern, however, that decontextual-ized or de-humanized educational policies may have the effect of increasing student achievement, but not necessarily the translation of knowledge into economically, socially, or politically productive behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
ISSN (Print)1479-3679


  • Algorithmization
  • Educational policy
  • Evidence-based policymaking
  • Large-scale assessment
  • National education systems
  • Policy borrowing


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