Researched and Community Informed Practice (R&C) - Interpreting and Using Evidence
This week we are examining how we can interpret the data or evidence collected during the inquiry project and use it to inform, direct and improve our practice.
Some Learning Outcomes are:
- Recognise different techniques for interpreting evidence and understand how these can be employed in your practice.
- Understand how you can use the evidence you collect to inform, direct and improve your practice.
Jonathan Gray wrote a very useful piece for The Guardian newspaper on the limits of data. It is well worth a read and is available from: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/may/31/data-journalism-focused-critical
Gray offers the following pieces of advice about data:
- Data is not a force unto itself. It is what individuals (or groups) do with data that brings meaning and power.
- Data is not a perfect reflection of the world. The choices we make about data, including what we choose to collect, how we collect it, how we analyse it and how we interpret our analysis all influence the findings and conclusions we can make.
- Data does not speak for itself. It requires interpretation and analysis (hopefully by knowledgeable individuals). In education especially, it needs to be understood within its particular context. This might be in relation to a particular class, school, community etc.
- Interpreting data is not easy. Really understanding what the data is telling us can be very tricky.
- For a general overview of the principles of data analysis: http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Using-evidence-for-learning/Gathering-evidence/Topics/Data-analysis
- For more specific tools and strategies: http://assessment.tki.org.nz/Using-evidence-for-learning/Reading-and-analysing-data
Some interesting reads and advice as I continue to work on my Teaching as Inquiry project plan.
~ “Evidence-based education means integrating individual teaching and learning expertise with the best available external evidence from systematic research. Indeed, a central feature of evidence-based education must be the two-way process of broadening the basis of individuals’ experience and judgement by locating it within the available evidence, and generating research studies and evidence which explore and test the professional experience of teachers, students and other constituents of learning communities.”
- Davies, P. (1999). What is Evidence-based Education? British Journal of Educational Studies, 47(2), 108-121. ~