Start Date

18-8-2021 11:15 AM

End Date

18-8-2021 12:15 PM

Subjects

Standardised tests, National competency tests, Evaluation, Data interpretation, Underachievement, Poverty, Disadvantage, Access to education, Large scale assessment, Primary secondary education

Abstract

Evidence-based decision-making is regarded as an important indicator of quality in schools around the world. Using data gathered from assessments, in conjunction with other insights, can help school leaders and teachers better meet the needs of learners. In schools that cater to disadvantaged learners, using data to design targeted interventions plays an important role in improving equity. In this paper we report on a study with five schools in Scotland. All schools had learner cohorts characterised by multiple layers of disadvantage. Informed by the theoretical underpinnings of sensemaking theory, we investigated how teachers and school leaders used data from the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA). Our findings suggest that teachers and leaders are adept at combining assessment data with other insights – including their own observations. All schools were active in using data to inform decision-making, both at the whole-school level and at the classroom level. They reported multiple uses of data, from validating their own instincts to targeting support to particular cohorts of learners. We suggest that the way in which SNSA is designed – explicitly providing data to teachers to help inform their professional judgement – is a factor in the positive approach to data usage among these schools.

Place of Publication

Melbourne Australia

Publisher

Australian Council for Educational Research

ISBN

978-1-74286-638-3

DOI

https://doi.org/10.37517/978-1-74286-638-3_10

Geographic Subject

Scotland

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Aug 18th, 11:15 AM Aug 18th, 12:15 PM

Using assessment data to improve equity: How teachers use insights from the Scottish National Standardised Assessments

Evidence-based decision-making is regarded as an important indicator of quality in schools around the world. Using data gathered from assessments, in conjunction with other insights, can help school leaders and teachers better meet the needs of learners. In schools that cater to disadvantaged learners, using data to design targeted interventions plays an important role in improving equity. In this paper we report on a study with five schools in Scotland. All schools had learner cohorts characterised by multiple layers of disadvantage. Informed by the theoretical underpinnings of sensemaking theory, we investigated how teachers and school leaders used data from the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA). Our findings suggest that teachers and leaders are adept at combining assessment data with other insights – including their own observations. All schools were active in using data to inform decision-making, both at the whole-school level and at the classroom level. They reported multiple uses of data, from validating their own instincts to targeting support to particular cohorts of learners. We suggest that the way in which SNSA is designed – explicitly providing data to teachers to help inform their professional judgement – is a factor in the positive approach to data usage among these schools.