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ERIC Number: ED568598
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug-16
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
Analysis of Syllabi Intending to Prepare Teachers to Be Data Literate: An Interim Report
This report documents the work of one component of a larger research effort. The objective of the project is to understand what schools of education are doing to prepare teachers to use data in their practice. The issue is multifaceted, complex, and systemic. Schools of education do not act alone to suddenly introduce courses on data-driven decision making into their curricula because they have a whim to do so or because policymakers say that data literacy among educators is important. Schools of education must come to realize on their own that building the human capacity to use data among their teacher candidates is a response to needs from the field, stimulated in part by policymakers' rhetoric that education must become an evidence-based field. The study, of which this report is a part, contains three distinct, but interconnected components that, in combination, provide a depiction of the landscape of teacher preparation and data literacy. The components include a survey to schools of education, a review of selected syllabi, and an analysis of state licensure documents and requirements. This document focuses on the syllabus analysis. The course syllabi provide a lens that can be used to triangulate the findings from the survey analysis. Researchers examined the focus of the course generally, and used the framework of data literacy that is operationalized in the survey to identify the focus of each lesson. It is important to emphasize that this analysis is descriptive, not evaluative. The syllabi for this study were not rated against a rubric that assigned them a value based on the depth of coverage against some metric. The 80 syllabi were submitted by a subset of schools of education that responded to the survey. The submission of syllabi was voluntary and 48 schools of education provided at least one syllabus. Two additional analyses were conducted for this study. One examined the nature of the assignments required of students in the course to ascertain the extent to which they supported the development of data literacy. The second additional analysis examined the nature of the content that was addressed during the sessions of the course as seen in the topics in a course calendar. The findings across the three types of analysis, holistic focus of the course, analysis of the student assignments, and identification of the course content through analysis of the course weeks provides a picture of how the schools of education appear to be focused on assessment rather than on the broader picture of data literacy that has emerged as a crucial function of what teachers should know and be able to do in the school. The survey analysis provides an intriguing glimpse into the opportunity preparing teachers have to develop data literacy. [For "An Analysis of the Survey of Schools of Education on Use of Data in Their Teacher Preparation Programs: An Interim Report," see ED568599. For "An Analysis of the Licensure Requirements That Pertain to Data Literacy: An Interim Report, Revised," see ED568597.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: WestEd; Michael & Susan Dell Foundation