Using Novice Teacher Data to Improve Practice

Two Alder faculty members, Dean Nate Monley and Memphis Residency Director Tommy McGrail, recently attended a lab hosted by TeacherSquared. They were joined by partners from Relay GSE, Sposato GSE, Teaching Excellence, and Urban Teachers. In this fourth lab hosted by TeacherSquared, this group of teacher educators came together to discuss how teacher education programs are using data, and more specifically, how teacher educators are using data on novice teachers’ practice to improve it.

The goal was to get excellent teacher educators together to discuss how to gather, analyze, and operationalize multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative data about novice teachers’ practice and to use that data for the purpose of improvement throughout a course or school year. Even the most data-literate teacher prep programs have yet to deeply explore data in this way. As a result, the deliverables from the lab experience were concrete resources and materials that will support the development of teacher educator practice that will be immediately useful to these programs and will support the development of teacher educators.

Throughout the lab, participants were split into groups of three, each member belonging to a different organization. There were six groups in total, each responsible for creating a concrete resource for one of the following domains:

  1. Gather multiple sources of quantitative and qualitative data about novice teacher practice
  2. Analyze the data to identify emerging strengths and weaknesses
  3. Identify root causes and prioritize areas of practice for improvement
  4. Create and implement action plans based on data analysis
  5. Communicate how the data used has impacted teacher educator practice with novice teachers
  6. Disaggregate the data and study it systematically for patterns of inequity in novice teacher performance; if patterns of inequity emerge, implement strategies to address these results

Tommy and Nate are looking forward to getting more feedback on their resources at the TeacherSquared Symposium in New Orleans next May. This will be open to a much wider audience, and they hope to continue to build partnerships with strong teacher educators throughout the country.