ERIC Number: ED377563
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Measuring Classroom Practice: Lessons Learned from Efforts To Describe the Enacted Curriculum--The Reform Up Close Study. CPRE Research Report Series Report #31.
Smithson, John L.; Porter, Andrew C.
This paper addresses issues surrounding attempts to describe instructional practices and learning opportunities. It draws from the data and experiences of researchers associated with the Reform Up Close (RUC) Study conducted by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) for the National Science Foundation. The paper focuses on the instrumentation used, the usefulness of such data, and lessons learned from the process. The data, collected from 18 schools in 6 states during 1990-91, involved: (1) daily logs and weekly surveys of instructional practices completed by 62 teachers of target courses; (2) observations of 75 target teachers; (3) interviews with 81 target teachers, 76 school administrators, 44 district administrators, and 18 education agency administrators; and (4) a survey of 312 mathematics and science teachers. The RUC design examined classroom practice from three perspectives--that of the observer/researcher, the day-to-day perspective of the teacher, and the perspective of the teacher in answering survey questions about classroom practice for an entire semester. Analyses of the data support the usefulness of survey measures of instructional practice and learning opportunities. The log data provided rich descriptions, the observations served a benchmark function, and the questionnaire data indicated the degree of log-data generalizability. Data showed strong levels of agreement between observation and log data, as well as strong agreement between log and questionnaire data. A conclusion is that the use of multiple instruments and data types provides an excellent means for checking validity and identifies data limitations or errors. Six tables are included. Appendices contain samples of the questionnaires, teacher logs, and the classroom observation form. (LMI)
Descriptors: Classroom Observation Techniques, Classroom Research, Classroom Techniques, Data Analysis, Data Collection, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Methods, Measurement Techniques, Research Methodology, Surveys
CPRE, Carriage House at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University, 86 Clifton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1568 ($10; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, New Brunswick, NJ.