Thursday, March 22, 2012
Data is having an amazing impact on my role as an educator because this information is serving to prompt me to analyze, revise and implement learning in more targeted ways with respect to the acquisition of essential literacy and numeracy skills, concepts and knowledge.
Data is also enhancing the parent conferences. When I lay the data sheet down, parents and I are able to discuss, analyze and strategize around specific challenges to support a child.
Good data can be used in conjunction with other assessments such as observation to develop a child's learning program for best effect. Data can also serve to robotize education or prompt finger pointing and blame. Instead data should be embraced with teamwork and collaboration as a formative tool focused on student success.
Data does not assess all learning that is integral to success and happiness, and serves specific targets, but not all targets. Hence data driven instruction should consume part of a day's activity, but not the entire day as developing students' social, creative, emotional and process skills and strength is essential for happiness and success.
Data is here, and how we use it depends on us. We need to be careful about the ways we discuss and implement data driven instruction and evaluation so that we continue to teach with dignity, respect and honor for every child and the colleagues we work with too.
How has data impacted the way you do your work? In what ways does your organization promote respectful, positive use of data to develop optimal programs? As I write this post, I realize that targeted data has been a positive addition to our school program, but a challenging change too.