#Deepen Teacher Inquiry - Hack No 8 EXTRA
Apples and Oranges
So to deepen teacher inquiry, we need to think carefully about the evidence we are planning to collect. Both qualitative and quantitative. Included in such considerations is the importance of the connectivity between the pre-inquiry (baseline) data to be collected and the post-inquiry (impact) data. When we are thinking about what measures we are going to make our baseline measures (before we implement our inquiry strategy) and our impact measures (the measure you make after you have engaged with the strategy for a length of time) need to be relatable.
When they are not relatable, its a little like comparing apples and oranges. In such cases we are unable to measure change.
Story in action – John (Evidencing)
Here is an example where the fit is not quite right. John is planning to compare apples and oranges.
John is a science teacher. He is inquiring into the impact of using SOLO taxonomy thinking plans on his student’s ability to write in greater depth about the topic. John is planning to use standardised test marks as a measure of his inquiry. He has test marks from an earlier topic on electricity and plans compare these test marks to the class test marks from the current topic—plant biology.
There is a number of issues with this evidence plan.
The test marks from an electricity test are completely unrelated to the test marks from a plant biology test. The question style and content are completely different and unrelated.
The evidence he is planning to collect is not tightly aligned with the inquiry focus and the plan of action for the inquiry.
There are a number of ways John could collect data to give greater relevance to his data/evidence. He could get the students to write about the topic without the SOLO thinking plan, and then using a similar question, get the students to write with the SOLO thinking plan. No feedback should be given between the two pieces of writing. With that in mind, we need to be careful when we make decisions about what quantitative data we are going to use and how we will go about collecting this data in order for it to be unbiased and relevant to what we are inquiring about.
From the Archives
“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results”
— WINSTON CHURCHILL
As teachers, how often are we frantically measuring and assessing the learning outcome, that we forget to check or measure the learning process?
Now, I am not talking about formative vs summative assessment. Each of these assessments involves measures of learning outcomes. What I am talking about is information about the learning process. Information that comes out of interviews or surveys with students about their learning. The learning process is about the things students will say about their learning. The statements and answers that gives teachers a deeper understanding of students learning needs.