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ERIC Number: EJ1002220
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Wrestling with Data: Learning Network Grapples with How to Gather and Analyze Valuable Information
Rasmussen, Harriette Thurber
Journal of Staff Development, v33 n5 p46-49 Oct 2012
As facilitator, the author noted some trepidation in the room as the eight secondary principals from Eugene (Oregon.) School District 4J quietly discussed questions that surfaced through their hopes and fears exercise. Could the practice of visiting classrooms together help them to better lead instruction in their buildings? Would this process stir up controversy with the teachers union? How did they feel about including teachers in a practice they did not yet understand? Could the time they spend together affect student learning, helping to close a nagging and persistent achievement gap? In a district with a strong, sometimes challenging union presence and a history of highly prized independent practice, there were significant implications to the decision at hand: Should they implement instructional rounds, and, if so, why? That was three years ago, and, although there was an inkling of the decision they were making through their reading of "Instructional Rounds" (City, Elmore, Fiarman, & Teitel, 2009), that meeting launched a collaborative investigation into the nature of learning with data as a powerful ally. As the Learning About Learning Network, eight principals, eight teachers, and two central office representatives met every few months to painstakingly gather data about the instructional core--the relationship of student and teacher in the presence of content. Their goal was to analyze and understand the learning process in a way that would increase their capacity to lead instructional improvement. Did they reach it? The author is not sure they have that answer yet, but network members say that what they learned transformed their practice. It turned their notion of data and how to use it upside down and has begun to shift a privatized culture into one that values collaborative practice. Even their time together as a network has transformed as they have pushed themselves toward more accountable practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon