December 30, 2010
I have started reading Data Wise, a Step-by-Step Guide to Using assessment Results to Improve Teaching and Learning. I have skimmed through in the past and been handed a photocopy of Chapter 4 to read but have now taken the time to read through in a more reflective and thoughtful manner. Holidays are a good chance to do just that.
I thought I would blog about it as this is the way I synthesise and begin to understand things better. I also would welcome anyone else to add their thoughts, experiences or criticisms to my post as it to will help me develop a deeper understanding. Throughout the holidays I hope to keep adding to my blog with updates of what I have learnt from reading Data Wise.
Preface – One thing that really stood out in the preface was a need to create the conditions for using data effectively to inform decisions about student achievement improvements.
It is pleasing to note here, that our region, WMR, has helped to create these conditions by providing each school with the SPA – Student Performance Analyser. This will help us analyse data from NAPLAN, On Demand testing and the like as well as provide us with an effective tool to track individuals and cohorts.
After a recommendation from colleagues from neighboring schools, I have organised to purchase the Xtreme – Student Management Tool that will allow us to manage all student data including welfare and achievement.
Introduction – Reading the introduction, I felt reassured that being data wise was a collective role within a school. This includes Teacher Leaders, Directors of Instruction, Department Heads, and Coaches. In terms of what we have, it would include teachers, learning leaders, leading teachers, coaches and the principal class team. My role as Student Learning Assistant Principal, this sits very nicely.
It was clear that being data wise was not exclusive to instruction. I guess this seems obvious! However, it is good to articulate the connections. For me it is about developing a “coherent instructional plan” that takes into account a shared vision and philosophy of learning. This includes an agreed and viable curriculum (something that was begun in 2010 and will continue to e shaped in 2011) as well as an effective data plan.
What I really liked reading in the introduction, was that preparing students for high-stake testing (ie; NAPLAN) is only making them test savvy (which can be good) but fails to prepare our students for an increasingly complex society. This is an area I wish to explore further as I have fairly strong beliefs that our curriculum needs to be rich and robust to support our students long term not just short term.
The following chapters in the book outline the steps in the cycle in being data wise.
Now on to read Chapter 1.