With the increasing pressure to provide evidence that children’s needs are being catered for, teachers need more training in data analysis. In the changing role of education, there is great consensus that teachers should continually pore over the voluminous amount of information available to them regarding pupil performance. They are expected to gather more and more of this information continually throughout the school year and analyse it at different levels.
Using finely-honed skills to ask questions and draw answers from their collected data, teachers are then expected to identify which pupils need specific types of instruction and intervention at any moment, modify and create lessons in order to keep students moving forward, with the ultimate goal of boosting pupils’ academic achievement.
There is no denying that instruction in which the pace of learning and the educational approach are optimised for the needs of each learner, can be highly effective in improving pupil outcomes. However, this has created an immense shift in teacher roles and responsibilities, added stress and even less time to teach in the desired way.
No one denies that data-driven instruction allows teachers to personalise learning for each of their pupils. But, data-driven instruction requires data analysis, which is a time-consuming task, and comes as yet another distraction from teaching, planning engaging lessons and interacting with students in a more natural way.
A teacher, who is be required to do multiple benchmarking assessments every term, record, analyse and write out in detail all the findings with different plans for action for each children, without extra pay for all the extra hours and with minimal support will undoubtedly lead to an exhaustion, and with possibly detrimental effects on their teaching, wellbeing and children’s learning.
Working with data in the classroom is certainly exhausting but in some cases it can be exhilarating – depending on your fitness level.
How can teachers get ‘fitter’ to manage the data load?
Till next time…
I can look at my gradebook and tell you exactly what each of my students need. By grading assignments I can tell you why they are struggling. I was once told that I take too many grades. If I didn’t take so many grades, I wouldn’t have so many missing assignments. Those students with the missing work usually lacked motivation. Occasionally, there was something else going on. An assessment given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to make sure the assignments I’m giving are preparing my students for the state assessment is all the additional assessment and data analysis I need. All of the other assessments I’m forced to give and record just take me away from creating the best lesson plans I can create for my students.
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