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ERIC Number: EJ1221022
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Study Examines Teachers' Perceptions of Student Achievement Data
Foster, Elizabeth
Learning Professional, v40 n3 p20-23 Jun 2019
A recent qualitative study by a team of researchers looked into how grade-level teams of teachers are thinking about causes and strategies based on looking at student performance data. What is interesting in these findings is how infrequently teachers attribute student results to instruction -- just 15% of the time. Teachers in this study were much more likely to point to student characteristics such as behavior or effort or to an external factor such as a mismatch between student and the assessment. The research team observed six well-established grade-level teams (grades 3-5) over the course of an academic school year as they examined student assessment data. These observations took place in three schools mandated by the district to meet biweekly for a 30-minute block and also to meet quarterly for 90 minutes to examine student performance data. The three schools used these blocks for different purposes: one to primarily address Response to Intervention decisions by looking at large-scale assessments, one to look at both Response to Intervention decisions and inform broader discussions by using district assessments and classroom level assessments, and one to have collaborative conversations about students while using a wide range of data, including teachers' own student performance data. The researchers observed more than 44 hours of meetings and conducted 16 individual interviews and six group interviews with participating teachers. They were particularly interested in what teachers really talk about when they talk about student data and how what they know about students (and their context) influences their conversation and their next steps. This study found that the observed teachers did not analyze student performance through the lens of instruction but rather were fairly quick to attribute the data to student characteristics or, in some cases, to a mismatch of student abilities to the type of assessment given (especially regarding multilingual learners). The researchers coded some of the discussions as explanations rather than attributions because of the lack of analysis of the reasoning. "We did not observe teachers attempting to systematically identify root causes of student performance," they state in their findings. The researchers also did not observe teachers discussing whether student performance was fixed or able to be influenced by different instructional strategies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A