Data use is proliferating in schools as a tool to inform instructional improvement. Teacher evaluation is increasingly viewed as an important data source and mechanism in this effort. This qualitative case study sought to examine how data generated from teacher evaluation and other teacher learning experiences worked in conjunction to improve practice. More specifically, this study examined the role of leadership in using data for the purpose of increasing teacher knowledge and skills. Spanning a four-month period, the study focused on eight English teachers, a principal, and two assistant principals in one high school involved in implementing a new teacher evaluation process and immersed in data use for the purpose of improving practice. Findings revealed that the principal was not well equipped to build the capacity of her staff to use data to examine their pedagogy in a way that would foster instructional innovation. Her efforts resulted in little more than minor tweaks to practice. Likewise, she did not have a clear approach to improving instruction. Her emphasis was on initiating multiple disconnected learning experiences that were not consistently aligned nor did they include an explanation of why and how these experiences would enhance instruction or an expectation for following through to ensure that new learning would take hold. Professional development was mostly delivered in a top-down fashion that resulted in the exclusion of teacher voice. Finally, the principal responded to external accountability demands by buffering her teachers from the cumbersome, unpleasant aspects of them, while simultaneously using them as leverage to pursue instructional improvement. Ultimately, despite good intentions, the principal was not well positioned to promote the use of data as a tool for teacher learning.
|Commitee:||Marsh, Julie, Strunk, Katharine|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational evaluation, Educational leadership|
|Keywords:||Accountability, Data use, Leadership, Professional development, Reflective practice, Teacher evaluation|
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