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ERIC Number: EJ859269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1052-8938
Beyond Looking: Using Data to Coach for Instructional Improvement
Martin, Michael; Taylor, Katherine
Horace, v24 n4 Spr 2009
As a team of job-embedded instructional coaches in an ethnically and economically diverse learning environment, the authors are dedicated to thinking through and troubleshooting the improvement of teaching and learning in the three learning communities that make up Clover Park High School. They agree with commentator Laurie Olsen who writes, "Data provide both a stark picture of how we're doing and a wonderful tool for stimulating dialogue about how a school community is faring and what it considers important." The authors and their colleagues make use of qualitative and quantitative data to form the basis for the professional development--and the goal of improved student achievement--that they create and facilitate. They use a number of quantitative data sets, disaggregated for factors such as gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, content, and grade levels. These include state standardized tests, building-administered assessments, building graduation rates, and grade reports. They use multiple assessments to give them a more complete picture of teaching and learning in the building. Their conversations around improvement often begin with their interpretations of and concerns around the data. In addition, they spend time in classrooms on a regular basis to collect a variety of real-time, qualitative data. These include artifacts such as observation notes and video. From here, they begin to build professional development that bridges the gaps between the research-based best practices that are supported by their district, the capacities and belief systems of their teachers, the real quantitative and qualitative indicators of achievement by their students, and the overall context in which teaching and learning occur. While their main goal is to solve problems, their focus is also to create a community of learners. They engage teachers in the processes they would like to see them engage with their own students: they place thought-provoking issues in front of them and then ask them to reflect, respond, and act on what they've learned in the form of the crucial changes in practice that are suggested. Looking at data is a crucial first step in the process of making meaningful changes in instructional practice. But the real challenge is to create the space for honest and trustful discourse both one-on-one and in groups about what actions those data actually suggest.
Coalition of Essential Schools. 1330 Broadway Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 510-433-1451; Fax: 510-433-1455; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A