Evidence for the Middle School Science Classroom
Over 2 years, this study will examine science teachers’ data use in daily practice in two middle schools that are racially, linguistically, and socioeconomically diverse. In each school some, but not all, teachers systematically examine samples of student work, discussing these and other forms of performance data with the intent of collaboratively advancing science teaching practice in response to student learning. Using an ethnographic approach, the project researchers will observe and interview science teachers to uncover how teachers obtain data about students’ science learning, how teachers interpret these data and use findings to make decisions and modifications to instructional practice, and how teachers generate additional data about students’ science learning. The researchers will examine personal, organizational, and contextual factors affecting science teachers’ data use and pedagogical practices, including motivations and purposes for using data; tools, resources, norms, and communities shaping teachers’ data use and pedagogical practice; and organizational, cultural, ideological, and political discourse shaping teachers’ data use and pedagogical practice.