Professional Educators

Using Data to Inform Instruction

By Dr. Gale Sookdeo, National Board Certified Teacher. She is a  full-time classroom teacher and part-time mentor at the The Susan B. Anthony Academy in New York City.

How do you use data in selecting the appropriate instructional strategies to match your students’ needs?  Do you consider only test scores, assessments, or standardized tests?  Using data objectively to make the appropriate instructional decisions is to go beyond the walls of schools.

Far too often many educators spend a great deal of time gathering and analyzing data within buildings. An essential, yet often overlooked aspect in understanding the whole child is the data outside of buildings.

According to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, there are four major areas to consider in gathering data on the learner: cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. Similarly, the Dunn and Dunn Learning-Style Model recognizes 21 elements that impact on students’ environmental, emotional, sociological, physiological, and psychological characteristics.

An overemphasis on one type of data has implications for the instructional decision-making process. An equal emphasis on data within and beyond schools can provide more objectivity on the instructional process and in aligning students’ needs to the appropriate instructional strategies.

This post is part of a series from National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) who have been invited to blog about their experiences working in a priority school.

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