The magic of data: but how do we get there?

Nurturing the human piece. Therein lies the magical rub.

The following are some lines to reflect on from: Experts: Here’s how to turn data into achievement by Dennis Pierce

“Data is about infusing classrooms with information that changes the trajectory of learning,”

“…struggled to get teachers on board with using data to inform instruction. “How can we overcome this fear?”

Changing the culture of a school system requires “a nurturance of teacher leadership,” Edwards said. He added: “If you can lift, you can push—but you have to lift first.

…such fears are a natural reaction to the use of student data “as a political device to hold people accountable” for doing their jobs.

“We need to change the conversation from data as a hammer to data as a flashlight,” or a tool that can be used “to shine a light on what’s working” in schools.

Data in itself is just…data. It’s how it is used and trusted that can make it magical.

Finding data is pretty easy. Collating it as well. But once we get it, how do we make sure it used to make things better for our students and teachers?

The how brings us back to our core – the human element.

Why do we care about the data we collect about our schools, our teachers, and our learners?

(by the way – I love this line from the article –> If you can lift, you can push. But you have to lift first.)


  • Tracy Rosen says:

    Hi Damien and thanks for your comment. I’m curious as well. We are just starting our journey with data and it is really on a small scale. At this point we are am trying to pull things together with excel spreadsheets to get a bigger picture.

    What are you planning to with the data once you get it into charts and the like? I’d love to hear what others are doing as well.

  • Damien says:

    Great points here. I struggle with getting the analog data (paper) into charts and disaggregating software. My school uses EADMS and Renaissance Learning. There are periodical benchmarks for which bubble sheets or online tests are provided but otherwise, it’s up to the teachers to manage the rest on our own. I’d be curious to read how others out there are inputting and processing their data.

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