Project Title: Improving Science Teachers' Use of Data for Instructional Decisions: Using Assessment Portfolios for Professional Development
Research Team: Matt Kloser, Matt Wilsey, Hilda Borko (Stanford), Stephanie Rafanelli (Stanford)
Funder & Grant Size: Spencer Foundation - Evidence for the Classroom Grant $300,000
Despite many large school districts reportedly using data-driven practices, the field lacks a robust evidentiary base for identifying which teachers use formative student data, what data they use, when they use it, and how this data influences instructional choices. Furthermore, we have yet to deeply explore ways in which professional development (PD) can shape these practices. This exploratory study uses a portfolio instrument, the Quality Assessment in Science Notebook (Notebook) to explore whether, when, and how middle school science teachers analyze, interpret, and use student performance data, including both interim/benchmark and classroom level data.
In this study, teachers will collect four Notebooks over a twelve-month period. Data collected in the Notebook will include planning artifacts such as lesson plans, assessment artifacts such as interim and teacher-created tests, rubrics, and achievement data, and annotations of how teachers use the performance data to make instructional decisions. Teachers will also provide written reflections and participate in semi-structured interviews on their practice. Following the collection of the first baseline Notebook, teachers will participate in PD that focuses on rating their existing practice according to pre-defined rating dimensions and using the artifacts in the Notebook to develop an action plan for future practice. Professional development will continue throughout the school year as teachers will collect more Notebooks and meet frequently in collaborative teams to discuss student data and its implications. These conversations will be recorded and transcribed for analysis. A final Notebook will be collected and rated by the research team to chart within and between teacher changes in practice.