"[H]igh-quality teaching maximizes the time that learners are engaged with and successful in the learning of important outcomes."
The past few blog posts have explored the cycle of inquiry as a key component of education innovation. This post dives in deeper, around building a culture of evidence-based inquiry. The quote above is from Viviane Robinson's book, Student-Centered Leadership.
We would be hard-pressed to find a school that lacks evidence of student learning. From teacher observations to homework to test scores to class work and beyond, our schools are full of evidence. As Robinson points out:
"Quality teaching is developed through cycles of inquiry and action designed to increase the impact of teaching on the engagement and success of students. Although evidence about student achievement is an essential resource for such inquiry, the challenge for most school leaders is not the availability of such evidence but creating a culture in which it is used for the purpose of improvement."As we look at evidence of student learning in an inquiry cycle, what lens are we using? Are we looking to confirm what we already believe, or are we willing to use the evidence to critically challenge ourselves?
Many principals and teachers are not yet steeped in critical analysis of evidence of student learning for improvement. One *free* resource that can help is the Introduction to Data Wise MOOC from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. It is a self-paced, eight-hour learning that is best done in teams.
One example in both Robinson's book and the MOOC that help shift from confirmation to disruption is the use of the ladder of inference:
How we interpret evidence, and then use it to make decisions, is a critical part of the inquiry cycle. As we innovate for improvement, we can use this process to disrupt traditional confirmation patterns that are normal in human interactions.
Join the conversation...
How does your teacher team approach analysis of evidence in the cycle of inquiry?