British Columbia School Trustees' Use of Research and Information Seeking in Decision Making



This replication-extension study (Earley & Galluzzo, 2015) examined the information seeking activities of British Columbia (BC) school trustees in an effort to understand the transmission of research. Trustees were asked to identify the sources they used for acquiring research and information in the process of decision making. The frequency of use believed most useful, and characteristics of information sources were examined as well as the influence of demographic and school district variables. One hundred and forty school trustees participated in this study. The most frequently used sources of information were briefing materials from the secretary-treasurer, briefing materials from the superintendent, and members of the local school board. The source of information believed most useful was briefing materials from the superintendent. There were no differences between genders on most items, although females were more likely to consult with the community than their male colleagues. Trustees in smaller districts were more likely to turn to materials from provincial organizations and the Ministry of Education website whereas trustees in larger districts tended to turn to local and provincial newspapers. Research reports from university researchers or think tanks were not primary sources of information for BC school trustees who generally sought information that was in close proximity from their school board and community.