Enhancing Data Collection and Conferencing Skills by maclaren1



     Skills in Conferencing
      and Data Collection
Part 1 in the Cycle:
Establishing Readiness
• Building an understanding of the process
• Developing a trusting relationship
• Understanding the teacher’s espoused
What is an espoused platform?

• The teacher’s beliefs and goals about
  teaching, learning, and students applied
  directly to his/her specific teaching
  situation. This verbalized platform may or
  may not match the teacher’s platform “in
When does a teacher articulate
an espoused platform?
• Should be discussed in a conference setting.
• Should include the following dialogue:
  –   Important goals for student learning
  –   Criteria for good (effective teaching)
  –   Beliefs about subject matter
  –   Influence of the specific context
Purpose and Rationale for
Espoused Platform Dialogue
• Helps the supervisor or coach establish a clear
  understanding of the teacher’s beliefs
• Allows the supervisor or coach to view the
  classroom events from the teacher’s perspective
• Allows comparison of espoused platform to actual
• Helps teacher to articulate and examine more
  closely his/her beliefs and goals
Sample Questions for an
Espoused Platform Conference
• If you were forced to choose, what would you say are the 3 most
  important things which you want students to learn in your classroom?
• Five years after students have left your classroom, what do you want
  them to say about you? about your teaching? about your subject?
• Why should students study and learn the content you teach?
• What sorts of things do you look for to tell you that you’ve taught a
  really good lesson? a poor lesson?
• Describe in general terms the students you teach.
• If you had the power to change one thing about your students in
  general, what would you change?
• What should I know about your specific situation that will help me as
  an observer to get a clearer understanding of what is going on in your
Part 2 in the Cycle:
• Understanding the teacher’s intention for
  this specific occasion

• Agreeing on a focus for collecting data and
  how to use it

• Meeting between the teacher and the
  supervisor/coach before an observation or
  other form of data collection in order to
  make sure that both partners understand
  what the lesson will be like and what data
  are going to be collected.
A. To get a clear understanding of the
overall lesson (fluency)

  –   What are the goals?
  –   What activities will take place?
  –   What will the students be doing?
  –   What will the teacher be doing?
  –   How does the lesson fit into past and future lessons?
  – How does the lesson relate to the teacher’s espoused
  – Rehearse parts of the lesson in detail if necessary.
B. To help the teacher discern
the data to collect (contract)
 – What question is the teacher trying to answer?
 – Why is this question important?
 – What observable behaviors are we interested
   in? (make sure you understand what these
   behaviors look like/sound like)
 – What will the data tell us?
 – What should we expect the data to look like?
 – Where will we go once we have these data?
C. To become clear on the logistics
of data collection (rehearsal)

  –   When will we do this?
  –   Where?
  –   Who does what?
  –   Where do I sit?
  –   What equipment do we need if any?
Sample Pre-Conference
• What is the purpose of today’s lesson?
• What will the students know or be able to do at
  the end of the lesson?
• What strategies will you use to accomplish your
• What teacher behaviors will you demonstrate?
• What led up to this lesson? What prior knowledge
  will you be asking students to assess?
• What is your data collection preference?
• Do you have any concerns about this lesson?
Part 3 in the Cycle:
Data Collection
  – This part of the cycle includes observing and/or
    collecting data that have been agreed upon
    between supervisor or coach and teacher.
Pat 4 in the Cycle:
Analysis and Strategy
 –   Interpret the information found in the data
 –   Display the data in an understandable form
 –   Focus on impact on learners
 –   Decide on goals and strategies for the post-
Part 5 in the Cycle:
  – Discuss interpretations of data
  – Discuss impact of instruction on learners
  – Decide on future goals
Some General principles for
• A. Fewness
  –   Focus on 1 or 2 areas.
  –   People can’t change everything at once.
  –   People can’t understand everything at once.
  –   What is the the most important thing tha tneeds
      to be the focus?
• B. Goals:
  – Product: Refers to the teacher’s teaching
    behavior and thinking about teaching. What
    teaching behaviors do we want to change? to
    reinforce? What thinking do we want to
    change? to reinforce?
  – Process: Refers to the role which the teacher
    can take in analyzing his or her own behavior
• C. Data Driven
  – Allows the teacher to take a more objective
    look at what occurred.
  – Provides an opportunity for the teacher to make
    decisions and judgments.
• D. Related to the espoused platform
  – Helps the teacher see connections between his
    or her articulated beliefs and goals and actual
  – Caveat: Sometimes the connection cannot be
    made. Decide in planning session if a
    connection can be made or not.
• E. Aimed at teacher thinking
  – Helps teacher think in more productive and
    powerful ways.
  – Changing teacher behavior without changing
    his or her thinking is not likely to result in long-
    term change.
Some Questions to Ask in
Planning a Post-Conference
• How can I present the data so it will make sense and be
  easy to interpret?
• What one or two areas do I want to focus on?
• What are my product goals?
• What are my process goals--how much help or modeling
  will the teacher need to make appropriate decisions during
  the conference?
• Does what I’ve seen in this lesson relate to the teacher’s
  espoused platform? If so, how?
• What questions can I ask to get at the teacher’s thinking
  about teaching?
Sample Post-Conference
•   What do you recall the students doing?
•   What do you recall about your own behavior?
•   How did the student behavior compare to what you expected?
•   How did your own behavior compare to what you had
•   Did you accomplish the purpose of the lesson?
•   (Probe…Present Data)
•   What will you do differently/ same in the future lessons?
•   Would you like me to give you some feedback about the
    process? What did I do that was useful? What did I do that
    go in the way of your learning or thinking?
Part 6 in the Cycle:
Cycle Evaluation
• Assessment of the utility of the cycle
• Assessment of the roles each partner played
• Deciding on future directions
Global or Wide Lens Techiques:
Script Taping (Hunter)
 « A word for word record of the verbal
   interaction which occurs during a lesson.
 « Supplemented when possible by notes
   concerning the nonverbal behaviors and
   contextual factors.
 « Often accompanied by a time line.
Quick Tips for Script Taking
•   Develop a good system of abbreviations.
•   Use a time line down the side of the paper.
•   Number your pages.
•   Draw a horizontal line in between activities to separate
    them and record the time when activities changed.
•   Bring more than one pen (multi-colored pen).
•   Draw a line across the page to show if you took a break.
•   Record as much as possible to get the essence if you can’t
    get exact words.
•   Practice! Practice! Practice!
Global or Wide Angle Lens:
Anecdotal Note Taking
 « Taking notes concerning various activities,
   interactions, contextual events.
 « May include direct quotes, paraphrases,
   descriptions of teacher or student behavior.
 « Similar to field notes in a qualitative study.
 « Often accompanied by a time line.
Selective Verbatim

 – A word-for-word record of some selected
   aspect of verbal interaction.
 – Examples include teacher questions, student
   questions, directions, reprimands, etc.
 – Purpose is to record the content of the verbal
Interaction Analysis:
People Interactions
• Teacher-student or student-student.
• Record of the verbal (most often) or
  nonverbal interactions between people.
  – praise, directions, criticism, etc.
• Emphasis on the quantity as opposed to
  substance of interactions.
    Interaction Analysis:
    Whole Class Verbal Flow
• Similar to selective verbatim in that both techniques
  deal with classroom verbal behavior.
• Record of the sequence of verbal interactions
  between teacher and entire class using agreed upon
  categories to code the interactions.
• Example: TS (teacher statement)
             TQ (teacher question)
Interaction Analysis:
Frequency Counts
• Counting the number of times a selected
  behavior occurs.
• For example, smiles, praises, higher-order
  thinking questions, etc.

• AKA student engagement and time on task.
• Observer systematically notes the behavior of each
  student at regular intervals.
• Behavior categories are agreed upon by supervisor
  and teacher in planning conference.
• Categories might be “doing assigned work” of
  “talking to neighbor.”
• High inference record of student behaviors at
  various times during a lesson.
Traffic Flow

• Using seating charts and arrows to indicate
  student or teacher movement during an
  activity or lesson.
Other Data-Collection
• Electronic Media          • Alternative Data
  – Audio tapes of verbal     Sources
    interactions               – Student work or
  – Video tapes                  products
                               – Student interviews
                               – Student surveys
                               – Teacher artifacts
                               – Teacher journals
Types of Feedback
                • Descriptions of
                  observable behaviors
                    – Mary raised her hand
Types of Feedback:
                • Interpreting what
                  people are thinking or
                  feeling on the basis of
                  their observable
                     – From the frown on
                       Ted’s face, I’d say he
                       was disappointed with
                       your response to his
Types of Feedback:
• Opinions, decisions,
  conclusions about the
  inherent value of our
  effectiveness of
   – All good lessons must
     include checking for
     understanding. This
     element was missing
     from your lesson.
Active Listening Skills

• Non-Verbal                        • Verbal
•   Eye Contact                     •   One person speaking at a time
•   Empathetic facial expressions   •   Rephrasing
•   Nodding                         •   Asking probing questions
•   Proximity                       •   Empathetic voice tone and
•   Leaning Towards                     inflection
•   Body open and square            •   Encouraging and empathetic
•   Mirroring                           sounds (uh huh)
•   Note taking                     •   Silence
•   No extraneous activities        •   Paraphrasing
•   Same plane                      •   “What if”

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