Article

Chain of influence from policy to practice in the New Zealand literacy strategy

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Abstract

New Zealand’s literacy strategy seeks to translate into reality the broad policy goals of equipping all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills and values to be successful citizens of the twenty‐first century. The central policy concern is reflected in international surveys showing that although the country’s student achievement is above the international average in literacy, the achievement profiles show very high variability, stratified along ethnic lines. Concerns about those not achieving as well as others form much of the focus of literacy policies in many western education jurisdictions and in New Zealand’s policy‐in‐use as expressed in the literacy strategy. Two differentially effective professional development initiatives are analysed in this paper using a sense‐making theoretical framework. These initiatives formed a major component of the literacy strategy and were aimed at raising the literacy achievement of students in both deep and surface features of reading and writing. The relevance of the framework was highlighted by the analysis of the mediation processes that occurred between the policy formulation with its accompanying implementation messages and the existing norms and belief systems of practitioners as they reconstructed the messages in the two initiatives. The first initiative focused on developing instructional leadership and evidence‐informed practices but the messages were re‐interpreted in ways that missed these central tenets. The second had a greater focus on teacher knowledge and practice accompanied by evidence‐informed decision‐making, with outcomes for teachers and students forming the contractual foundation. The central messages were conveyed through multiple system layers to teachers, with concomitant improvement in achievement, particularly for the lowest 20% of students. Material artefacts and the activities of visiting facilitators both played key roles in spanning system boundaries. The paper concludes with a brief analysis of the relationship between policy‐makers, practitioners and researchers that contributed to progress towards meeting the policy goals.

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... To resolve the task/relationship dilemma experienced by leaders, the design of our interventions and associated tools intentionally focused on simultaneously improving leaders' interpersonal effectiveness and building their knowledge and application of a deliberative problem-solving process (Ackerman et al., 2011;Argyris & Schön, 1974;Day & Dragoni, 2015). We did not include building domain-specific knowledge and skill in reading assessment and pedagogy, because we assumed that given the New Zealand Government's intensive focus on literacy instruction for a sustained period leading up to the intervention, and the commitment of leaders and teachers to literacy outcomes, such knowledge and skill would be sufficient to improve the reading of the target students if applied in a conscientious manner (Education Review Office, 2015;Ministry of Education, 2014;Pont, Figueroa, Zapata & Fraccola 2013;Timperley & Parr, 2009). We were also aware that four of the eight middle leaders (one in each of Schools A and B and two in School C), held or had previously held responsibility for literacy leadership. ...
... For many years in New Zealand, for example, it was assumed that lower achievement results in writing were a consequence of students lacking motivation to write. This causal assumption was not checked, and schools spent much time, resource, and energy investing in resources and programmes to increase the motivation of students, only to find much later, that the lack of motivation was a consequence of a more significant cause-the capability of teachers to effectively teach writing (Timperley & Parr, 2009). ...
Article
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... Selbst wenn solche Programme aufgelegt werden würden, kann man aber kritisch fragen, ob umfassende Qualifizierungskonzepte die erforderlichen Kompetenzen in Gänze aufbauen können. Betrachtet man internationale Fortbildungsmaßnahmen mit einer gewissen Breitenwirkung, etwa das neuseeländische Projekt Literacy Professional Development (siehe auch 4.8), arbeiten an solchen Vorhaben neben gut qualifizierten Fortbildnerinnen und Fortbildnern immer auch Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler mit (Timperley & Parr, 2009). Solche "Research Practice Partnerships" werden auch jenseits von Fortbildungen als ein wichtiges Instrument betrachtet, um den Transfer von Forschungserkenntnissen in die Praxis zu flankieren (Penuel, Allen, Coburn & Farrell, 2015). ...
... In einigen der oben erwähnten Fortbildungsmaßnahmen, wie etwa im neuseeländischen Literacy ProfessionalDevelopment-Projekt (s. 4.8;Timperley & Parr, 2009), dem STeLLA Projekt (Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis, ...
... The learning paths need to be reciprocal and involve both practitioners' understanding of the policy and the understanding of those responsible for the policy. When evaluating a policy, those involved need to learn about the efficacy of the policies themselves and why they are being implemented in particular ways (Timperley, 2009). ...
... In a literacy professional development project in New Zealand that greatly improved students' literacy achievement, particularly for those starting in the lowest 20 per cent (Timperley, Parr & Meissel, 2010), a policy official explained what she wanted from the research and evaluation probes. She wanted to know if everyone at different layers in the system were clear about their own learning needs, received quality information about them and were making appropriate decisions about how they could support student learners (Timperley & Parr, 2009). When it became apparent that in some cases this was not happening, evaluation probes became focused on identifying possible reasons, with the policy itself coming under as much scrutiny as the activities of those responsible for its implementation. ...
... 187). Similarly, Timperley and Parr (2009), in their analysis of the New Zealand literacy strategy, identified the key role of facilitators in working with teachers to interpret policy for enactment in classrooms. ...
... Increasingly, the implementation process is viewed as an active interpretive process in which the role of those who mediate policy is as important as the role of those who formulate policy (Coburn, 2006;Datnow & Park, 2009). The role of external expertise in policy implementation -in particular, working with teachers to interpret policy for enactment in classrooms -is therefore critical (Starkey et al., 2009;Timperley, 2009;Timperley & Parr, 2009). Early on in the Numeracy Development Project, Higgins (2005) identified the importance of the pedagogical approach adopted by the facilitator in helping teachers implement new teaching practices aimed at improved student outcomes. ...
Article
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The New Zealand Numeracy Development Project is an example of a professional learning and development initiative that has been progressively scaled up across a system to improve teacher knowledge and practice and student outcomes in mathematics. This paper examines two elements of the project's design that have been pivotal in enabling teachers to adopt ambitious pedagogical practices in mathematics: classroom-focused opportunities to learn and access to external expertise. Four aspects of facilitator practice that impact on teachers' practice are identified: a focus on students' mathematical thinking; the use of pedagogical tools to structure teaching tasks; modelling and the provision of commentary; and observation and the provision of feedback. The question of sufficiency of professional learning and development opportunities is raised, particularly in enabling all teachers to respond to the challenge of providing equitable opportunities to learn for a diverse student population. The challenge of how systems can build the capability of facilitators so that they can engage teachers in substantive new learning and practice is highlighted as an important area for further investigation.
... Developing a better understanding of factors that explain the nature of progress and distribution of success among students within a national professional development project is essential for determining what works, especially with respect to areas in which the intervention has been more or less successful in supporting greater progress among students most in need. In doing so, it provides information essential to the iterative feedback process outlined by Timperley and Parr (2009), and incorporated in the project. In turn, this may assist subsequent interventions to be increasingly meaningful for student achievement and progress and will also likely be useful to researchers attempting to implement similar professional development in their own context. ...
... The larger effects in the 2008-2009 cohort suggest that improvements were made in the professional development implementation, so investigation of these improvements could prove useful for researchers interested in improving outcomes via professional development. The success of LPDP has previously been credited to the development of educational partnerships through coherence within and between the multiple levels of the schooling and administration systems, alongside a focus on evidence-informed inquiry into effectiveness at each level of the system (Timperley & Parr, 2009). The results detailed in this thesis lend credence to the effectiveness of the project model; though further work investigating how to target the transfer of teacher-level professional learning toward more specific subgroups more effectively would be useful. ...
Thesis
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This thesis utilises literacy data from a large professional development project in New Zealand schools to investigate the implications of researcher decisions about approaches to quantitative analysis. Specifically, the main research question posed is the extent to which the selection of particular analyses leads to incomplete or even erroneous conclusions when using real-world data. There are various publications advocating for particular methodologies based on this notion, but many of these use simulated data or extreme cases specifically chosen to demonstrate the advantage of the particular method being advocated. This use of simulated and manipulated datasets may explain why many researchers persist with analyses that are argued to be less than ideal. In this thesis, the implications of analysis choice are investigated using increasingly complex analyses, including effect sizes, single-level regression and multi-level models, with the results and conclusions made from each set of analyses collated and compared. A secondary aim was to evaluate how effectively the professional development project raised student achievement in literacy, and whether these shifts contributed to more equal outcomes for subgroups of students. Much of the previous research where student achievement is linked to professional development has been inconclusive. This inconclusiveness arguably increases the burden of evidence when examining the effect of professional development on student outcomes, so the extensive analyses utilised to investigate the primary thesis aim are especially useful in this regard, and support an in-depth examination of this secondary aim. The results of the investigations undertaken throughout this thesis showed that the professional development typically resulted in acceleration of progress rates (especially in writing) for all priority subgroups; including students in low socioeconomic catchment areas, and those of minority ethnicities. Choice of analysis was found to be of comparatively minimal importance when considering main effects, but secondary effects were susceptible to sometimes considerable differences in conclusions depending on the method of analysis used. These differences were of sufficient magnitude that policy decisions would likely differ depending on the type of analysis used to infer conclusions.
... However, recent research shows promising evidence of improvements in student outcomes based on larger-scale projects (e.g., national projects) using more rigorous research designs (e.g. randomized experimental and quasi-experimental designs), albeit most studies were in the context of research interventions and other forms of professional learning (Campbell & Levin, 2009;Carlson, et al., 2011;Cawelti & Protheroe, 2001;Lai, McNaughton, Amituanai-Toloa, et al., 2009;Timperley & Parr, 2009). Carlson, Borman and Robinson (2011), for example, analyzed mathematics and reading achievement outcomes from over 500 schools in 59 school districts using a rigorous randomized experimental design, and found that the district data-driven reform initiative resulted in statistically significant district-wide improvements in Mathematics and positive effects for reading, albeit below the conventional levels of statistical significance. ...
Article
School leaders and teachers are increasingly required to use data as the basis for their decisions. But what does using data for decision-making mean? What counts as “data”? In this chapter, the authors address what is meant by the word “data” and what kinds of data are available and needed. The latter should overlap, but sometimes the available data are not needed and sometimes needed data are not available. In this chapter, we also discuss why teachers and school leaders should use data. Finally, the process of using data and the different ways data can and should be used is described.
... This reflects tensions between self-governing schools and national policy requirements. There is a lack of clarity around what the policy framework is designed to improve and, more specifically, how the NS might Author copy -submitted and accepted version of the following publication: shown that a very detailed evidence base about learning and teaching needs is critical to teachers and leaders learning how to raise the achievement of Māori and Pasifika students (Lai et al., 2009;Timperley and Parr, 2009). So far, the reporting requirements are insufficiently specified to support such learning. ...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two recent examples of the New Zealand Ministry of Education's approach to reducing the persistent disparities in achievement between students of different social and ethnic groups. The first example is cluster‐based school improvement, and the second is the development of national standards for literacy and numeracy across the primary sector. Design/methodology/approach – The evaluative framework used was derived from recent international analyses of the characteristics of school systems, which are either high performers or successful reformers on recent international surveys. Policy documents and evaluation reports provided the evidence on which the evaluation of the two New Zealand (NZ) examples is based. Findings – The six criteria associated with high system performance and/or reform success were: system‐wide commitment to educational improvement; ambitious universal standards; developing capacity at the point of delivery; professional forms of accountability; strategic resourcing; and institutionalizing the improvement of practice. The present analysis of the NZ reform examples suggests that while there is a broad commitment to more equitable outcomes, a new resolve to introduce and report against national standards, and a high level of espousal of professional accountability, there are significant contradictions between school self‐management and the work that needs to be done to reduce achievement disparities. Originality/value – This paper's evaluation of these two examples raises important policy questions about the assumptions that are made in the NZ self‐managing system about teacher and leader capability and about where responsibility for school improvement lies.
... Finally, and most importantly, data use can lead to sustainable improvements in student learning and achievement. Growing evidence exists that data use can lead to school improvement in terms of increased student achievement levels (Campbell & Levin, 2009;Carlson et al., 2011;Cawelti & Protheroe, 2001;Lai, McNaughton, Amituanai-Toloa, Turner, & Hsiao, 2009;Lai, McNaughton, Timperley, et al., 2009;McNaughton et al., this issue;Timperley & Parr, 2009;Wohlstetter et al., 2008). A recent synthesis of the literature on professional learning that makes a difference to student learning and achievement found that schools that used data to inquire into School Effectiveness and School Improvement 125 the effectiveness of their teaching and school practices made significant improvements in achievement (Timperley et al., 2007). ...
Article
This editorial article briefly examines the importance of data-based decision making. It discusses the definition as well as rationale for data-based decision making, its purposes, the use of data at different levels of the educational system, and possible promoting and hindering factors of effective data use. It also examines the effects of data use, intended effects (e.g., increased student achievement), as well as unintended consequences (e.g., cheating with tests). We end with suggestions for new research priorities.
... A number of English language learners from immigrant backgrounds go to schools in lower socioeconomic areas, which can also have an effect on both teaching and learning. In New Zealand, Timperley and Parr (2009) found that a large proportion of newly arrived English language learners, particularly those from Pacific Island nations or refugee backgrounds, live in lower socioeconomic areas which tend to have lower student achievement. In Canada, there is a similar trend with children from less economically privileged, non-English-speaking backgrounds getting lower scores on some province-wide assessments in elementary schools (Grayson, 2009). ...
Article
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With a substantial increase in the numbers of English language learners in schools, particularly in countries where English is the primary use first language, it is vital that educators are able to meet the needs of ethnically and linguistically changing and challenging classrooms. However, despite the recognition of the importance of effective leadership for successful teaching and learning, there is a lack of research into leadership of English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). This article reports on a research project investigating leadership practices which support ESOL teaching and learning in two New Zealand schools, where English language learners are a minority in the classroom. A number of successful leadership practices for ESOL emerged, including establishing clear goals, enabling leaders to be role models, providing ESOL professional learning, and empowering teaching and learning for ESOL. A number of challenges to successful leadership were also revealed, such as the marginalisation of ESOL and a business as usual approach, with English language learners expected to fit into existing practices. This article concludes that as numbers of English language learners continue to grow in schools, a strong focus on developing leadership practices and capacity to support ESOL teaching and learning is essential.
... Our findings also provide qualified support for the predicted significance of two premises of the LSM approach: the need to design effective instruction from contextualized evidence of teaching and learning and to systematically collect, analyze, and discuss data that is acted on to change practice (e.g., Carlson et al., 2011 ;Timperley & Parr, 2009 ). However, we cannot definitively conclude that the premises of the intervention resulted in the improvements in student achievement. ...
Article
This paper examines whether a literacy intervention involving generic and content area literacy components can improve both achievement on a standardized reading test and the attainment of secondary school qualifications, and whether the intervention can be implemented by teachers in their regular classroom settings. We report on a design-based approach for whole-school improvement, the Learning Schools Model (LSM), which was implemented in seven schools with low secondary school qualification rates. The LSM's core premises are that instructional practices need to be developed from evidence about teaching and learning in specific contexts and that professional learning communities need to fine-tune their instructional practices through collaborative analysis of data. The study employed a quasi-experimental design within a design-based approach and included classroom observations and teacher and student surveys. Reading achievement postintervention was statistically significantly higher than the projected achievement levels had the intervention not occurred. Effect sizes for tracked cohorts were Cohen's d = 0.50 and 0.62. The hierarchical linear model of reading achievement, which included students' attitudes toward reading, accounted for about 95% of the total variance. The attainment of secondary school qualifications (measured by odds ratios) increased significantly compared with school attainment prior to the intervention. The rates of attaining these qualifications were faster than national rates. The results suggest that both generic and content area literacy instruction are required and that a strong foundation in generic literacy should be maintained. However, the appropriate blend of literacy instruction is determined by a profiling of teaching and learning needs.
... Pasifika ELLs are currently a particular focus for New Zealand school improvement initiatives as these students are disproportionately represented in the lower 25th percentile for literacy (Haworth, 2011). As Timperley and Parr (2009) (Mathews, 2012) The situation may be of even greater concern internationally. For example, Luke, Dooley, and Woods (2011) note: (Luke et al., 2011, p. 151) In addition to the factors mentioned above, there was also a disparity in school size. ...
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Current professional development initiatives show a preference for whole school approaches. However, pedagogy related to English language learners (ELLs) is often not widely dispersed in New Zealand primary schools, impacting on teacher efficacy with these learners. This paper discusses findings from a qualitative study which aimed to identify influences shaping the dispersal of ELL-related pedagogy in two schools in contrasting socio-economic areas. Data from semi-structured individual interviews with teachers at different class levels revealed unique patterns for the dispersal of ELL-related pedagogy in each school. Teacher data indicated that these patterns were influenced by the performance of ELLs in national standards testing, as well as the special characteristics of ELLs in each setting and the distinctive nature of each context. The dispersal of ELL pedagogy in each school impacted differentially on opportunities to build a sense of collective teaching efficacy with ELLs in that setting, but also raised questions about whether one size should be expected to fit all.
... Department of Education, 2011). The continuing gap in achievement between ELLs and native English speakers (National Center for Education Statistics, 2010) points to the urgent need to address this issue in both the United States and other English-dominant countries where similar patterns have been identified (National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum, 2013; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2012;Timperley & Parr, 2009). ...
Article
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Mainstream teachers throughout the world are increasingly expected to differentiate instruction for primary-grade students with diverse learning needs, including second or English language learners (ELLs). Does teacher preparation translate into instructional practices for English language development? What do graduates of those programs do differently, if anything, for ELLs in their classrooms? This mixed-methods study examined the beliefs and practices of two focal teacher graduates of a teacher preparation program that included second language training. Findings show that teacher graduates working with ELLs in primary classrooms with low numbers of ELLs used some generic accommodation strategies and just-in-time scaffolding techniques, but they rarely instituted specific ELL practices to facilitate the English language development of ELLs. The authors discuss implications for second language educators.
... Similar to the situation for many aboriginal children in Australia and many Latino students in the United States, in New Zealand Maori (the indigenous culture) and Pasifika students (from Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Cook Islands, and other South Pacific islands) tend to achieve at a lower level, as shown in the results from Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) assessments (Timperley & Parr, 2009). However, responding to diversity in education cannot be just about addressing the needs of those minority culture learners who have been identified as underachieving. ...
Article
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Hollie (2011) maintains that pedagogy is the most frequently overlooked facet of culturally responsive teaching. This chapter puts forward a promising pedagogy for working with diverse learners, particularly those from ethnic minorities. It opens by providing a brief background to the New Zealand context in which my research has been conducted, before moving on to identifying key UNESCO principles relating to cultural and linguistic diversity, and examining key tensions and challenges that impact on the development of relevant pedagogies for diversity in different international contexts. Relevant pedagogies identified in the international literature are then summarized. Next, examples from case study data on teachers in New Zealand schools are presented. These data highlight four key aspects of a promising pedagogy: knowing, doing, being, and belonging. Consideration of how these aspects influence the pedagogical objective of becoming suggests that, while generating relevant practices (doing) is more effective in combination with theoretical input (knowing), this is insufficient without concurrently engendering a sense of being with and belonging in diverse communities of learners. The final model for a promising pedagogy is therefore more than just a simple, linear process, but the components doing, knowing, being, and belonging are viewed as part of a dynamic, interactive, and cyclical model.
... However, teachers in classrooms today still ask the question: "What is effective writing practice?" In addition, assessment findings not only indicate that students' achievement in writing falls behind their reading levels (Ministry of Education, 2006;Timperley & Parr, 2009), but that teachers lack confidence in teaching writing (Limbrick et al., 2008). ...
Article
This article adds to the research on teachers' writing pedagogy. It reviews and challenges the research literature on scaffolding as an instructional practice and presents a more inclusive framework for analysis. As student participation and voice were absent from much of the literature, a participatory scaffolding framework was developed to observe, analyse and interpret how one teacher and her primary school aged students co-constructed learning to write. The case study revealed that the scaffolding interactions were complex, recursive and responsive to students' learning. The teacher wove multiple layers of scaffolding, encouraging student talk and metacognitive awareness, thus creating a 'magic space' where minds could meet allowing negotiation and handover.
... Both models emphasise ongoing, iterative learning from evidence. In the IL model, research evidence was used to identify where learning was needed at all levels of the project, from the Ministry to the students, and provide the evidence to serve as a catalyst for such learning (for examples see Parr & Timperley, 2010b;Timperley & Parr, 2009a). An example of the way in which the formative findings of research fed into improving classroom practice in writing was when research in a small sample of schools showed teachers spending a disproportionate amount of time "motivating" students and talking to generate ideas, leaving little time to practice the craft. ...
Article
Research-informed approaches to addressing educational issues, which often take the form of partnerships between academic teams and school groups, are forms of research that respond to distinctive features of the local educational context. In this paper, we employ conceptual analyses to understand the features of two previously effective partnership models in New Zealand in order to distil the features that interact with the context to enhance instruction and accelerate progress for students in writing. We argue that the identified features require a reconsideration of notions of replicability, scalability and sustainability when considering the role of research to support improvements in schools.
... Il est par ailleurs important de rappeler le rôle que joue également le contexte sur les pratiques évaluatives. La culture de l'établissement, son leadership, les habitudes des enseignants et leurs modalités de travail en équipe, mais aussi les prescriptions et règlements sont des facteurs déterminants qui infléchissent grandement la mise en oeuvre de pratiques évaluatives différentes, voire innovantes (Timperley et Parr, 2009). Une des limites de notre recherche est de n'avoir pas assez thématisé en quoi les interactions entre de tels environnements et des pratiques en changements pouvaient avoir un impact sur le modèle. ...
... 5.3.8), so arbeiten an solchen Vorhaben neben gut qualifizierten Fortbildnern/-innen immer Wissenschaftler/-innen mit (Timperley/Parr 2009). Solche "Research Practice Partnerships" werden auch jenseits von Fortbildungen als ein wichtiges Instrument betrachtet, um den Dialog zwischen Forschung und Schulpraxis zu befördern (Penuel/Allen/Coburn/Farrell 2015). ...
... For example, there was strong evidence in the elementary school of gains in every curriculum area as the learning from going 'narrow and deep' in one area has been applied to other curriculum areas. Timperley and Parr (2009) discuss similar research findings which show that improvement strategies learned in one curriculum area can transfer to other areas resulting in wider improvement "creating a more comprehensive, but still focused, improvement agenda over time" (Timperley et al., 2020: 23) ...
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... Finally, it is important not only to develop, implement, and evaluate professional development programs and interventions for data use (e.g., programs such as those discussed by Boudett et al., 2005;Campbell & Levin, 2009;Carlson et al., 2011;Lai et al., 2009;Slavin, Cheung, Holmes, Madden, & Chamberlain, 2011;Timperley & Parr, 2009) but also to invest in teacher education colleges. Little attention is paid to data use in the curriculum of most teacher education colleges (Mandinach & Gummer, 2013). ...
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This paper discusses the challenge of making large-scale improvements in literacy in schools across an entire education system. Despite growing interest and rhetoric, there are very few examples of sustained, large-scale change efforts around school-age literacy. The paper reviews 2 instances of such efforts, in England and Ontario. After describing main features of these reforms, the paper presents 4 main reasons that such efforts are not more frequent: (a) the educational challenge of changing very large numbers of schools and classrooms on a sustained basis, (b) the bureaucratic challenge of improving the connections among different areas of social policy in pursuit of better outcomes for students, (c) the learning challenge of organizing complex systems to do this work while continually modifying the approach in light of new evidence and system feedback, and (d) the political challenge of galvanizing and maintaining the effort required to support these other changes.
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The present study reports the results of a randomized controlled trial aimed at fostering specific aspects of pre-service teachers’ data literacy. The 6-h intervention focused on data types, reference norms, scale transformations, graphic displays of the properties of frequency distributions, and judgments about the magnitude of mean differences. Pretest-posttest comparisons of a data literacy test showed a large and significant effect of the intervention. Furthermore, main effects but no significant interaction effects with pretest scores were found for personal and motivational covariates (academic self-concept, value beliefs, study interest) on posttest data literacy.
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Chapter
This chapter draws on insights from education policy sociology to explore the dynamics between international, national, and institutional arenas of assessment and assessment systems. It interrogates the interactions between curriculum, pedagogy and assessment and explores the enabling constraints at different levels of the assessment system. Attention is drawn to the ways in which tensions offer spaces for creative action in relation to current policies and practices in New Zealand.
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The strategic objectives of the Inservice Teacher Education Practice project – strengthening the quality and consistency of inservice teacher education practice across the education system to ensure teachers’ access to high quality professional learning opportunities – were ambitious and challenging. In the design of the project, policy-makers adopted a research and development approach to improving the quality of inservice teacher education practice across an education system and made provision for the deliberate use of networks of practice at all levels of the system in order to achieve this.
Chapter
Effective change management in the twenty-first century within the schooling sector relies on many factors including professional learning and the development of relationships in complex cultures. From a research viewpoint, understanding such complex cultures requires considered methodological choices to explore the richness of multiple realities in qualitative study. Social network analysis provides a tool to navigate complex data sets and link them to develop a greater understanding of the interactions and flow of knowledge within an organisation. This chapter applies social network analysis in a qualitative case study to explore the roles and influences of individuals and their behaviour in a multifarious environment responding to change.
Article
The introduction of comparative tests in a low-stakes system was carried out in the expectation that the data feedback to schools would act as a stimulus for the development of the schools and the standard of classroom teaching. By contrast with the use of data to develop teaching, the use of data for personnel development has not yet been studied in Germany. On the basis of an on-line survey of head teachers and a paper-and-pencil survey of teaching staff, the study examines for the first time the extent to which comparative test data is used by head teachers for personnel development and as a means to plan in-service training in subject conferences, and what factors influence whether the data is used in this way. Of the head teacher characteristics which were studied (attitude in relation to the perceived usefulness of the data, qualifications, organisation and age of the head teacher), usefulness is the only characteristic which has a positive effect on the use of the data. The use of comparative test data to plan in-service training in subject conferences is positively influenced by data-wise leadership by the head teacher and by collaborative evaluation.
Article
In New Zealand, decision makers are more and more focusing on teachers’ professional development and the way it improves student learning. This approach allows to develop collaborative teaching practices, asking teachers to inquire about their own practices. Professional development programmes have real effects on the improvement of students’ assessments in information literacy and particularly reading. They allow teachers to better identify their professional training needs from an analyses of their students’ difficulties and by setting up efficient assessment procedures.
Article
This paper describes the data use professional development (PD) component of a whole-school intervention that has been replicated in 53 schools over eight years. Quasi-experimental designs were used to test for intervention impact. The intervention improved achievement in reading comprehension, writing and high school qualifications. Effect sizes were generally higher than international comparisons. The data use PD involved collaboratively analyzing data to determine the achievement problems; identifying and testing the causes of the problems using theory evaluation principles; and co-creating solutions. The relative contribution of the data use PD to the intervention and the importance of content knowledge are discussed.
Article
In this study, we examine the validity of the Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK) through a systematic review and meta-analysis. This model, developed through a series of exploratory studies, transforms current understanding of teacher knowledge from a linear structure to a three dimensional model by pairing 6 inter-related aspects into three orthogonal axes: 1) Field comprised of subject matter and pedagogy; 2) Mode comprised of orientation and discernment; and 3) Context comprised of individual and environment. The current study analyzes the way interactions of these aspects appear in literature across a wide domain of subject matters. These interactions have direct implications for future research on teacher knowledge as well as policies for guiding professional development and pre-service teacher training.
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The articles from nine European countries mirror current challenges, discussions and tendencies in their different contexts. Several are common, but others are specific. Howev- er, one book can not cover them all. So, with this contribution we are pleased to invite you to a further discussion on how to develop learning for all pupils and how to implement new thinking and big changes into every day teaching and learning processes.
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This paper describes a national, school-based professional development intervention in which large student achievement gains were previously signaled using single-level regression analyses and effect sizes. However, such analyses can be misleading since educational data typically do not meet independence assumptions. The current study investigates the effectiveness of the professional development intervention using hierarchical linear modelling, with particular focus on whether disparities were reduced for groups typically under-served by the New Zealand education system. Results indicated that students from all learner groups made large gains, especially in writing, but additional targeting would be required to improve equity across student groupings.
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Education policy faces a familiar public policy challenge: Local implementation is difficult. In this article we develop a cognitive framework to characterize sense-making in the implementation process that is especially relevant for recent education policy initiatives, such as standards-based reforms that press for tremendous changes in classroom instruction. From a cognitive perspective, a key dimension of the implementation process is whether, and in what ways, implementing agents come to understand their practice, potentially changing their beliefs and attitudes in the process. We draw on theoretical and empirical literature to develop a cognitive perspective on implementation. We review the contribution of cognitive science frames to implementation research and identify areas where cognitive science can make additional contributions.
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Recent research on the relationship between instructional policy and classroom practice suggests that teachers interpret, adapt, and even transform policies as they put them into place. This paper extends this line of research, using an in-depth case study of one California elementary school to examine the processes by which teachers construct and reconstruct multiple policy messages about reading instruction in the context of their professional communities. Drawing primarily on institutional and sensemaking theory, this paper puts forth a model of collective sensemaking that focuses on the ways teachers co-construct understandings of policy messages, make decisions about which messages to pursue in their classrooms, and negotiate the technical and practical details of implementation in conversations with their colleagues. It also argues that the nature and structure of formal networks and informal alliances among teachers shape the process, with implications for ways in which messages from the policy environment influence classroom practice. Finally, the paper explores the role school leaders play in shaping the sensemaking process.
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Administrators, particularly those who engage in instructional leadership, play a key role in school improvement. Past research describes the types of activities instructional leaders engage in but has paid little attention to how they do it. The authors use the case of one school to unpack instructional leadership as a practice, paying close attention to the tools that constitute that practice, the contextual factors that help to define it, and how it affects teaching. The authors find that two kinds of tools—boundary practices and boundary spanners—play a significant role in constituting instructional leadership practice. Contextual factors, including student and staff composition and leaders' values and beliefs, define instructional leadership practice in important ways. Finally, policy implications are discussed.
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Colleges and universities that provide both further and higher education are a key component of government policies to expand participation in English undergraduate education. The opportunities for access and progression made available by these organisations are regarded as central. At the same time, the division of further and higher education into sectors has implications for how ‘dual‐sector’ education is conceived and developed. Drawing on early evidence from policy interviews and fieldwork studies in four case study institutions, the influence of this division on national policy formation, organisational change and the student experience is discussed.
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Accuracy in the scoring of writing is critical if standardized tasks are to be used in a national assessment scheme. Three approaches to establishing accuracy (i.e., consensus, consistency, and measurement) exist and commonly large-scale assessment programs of primary school writing demonstrate adjacent agreement consensus rates of between 80% and 100%, and consistency and measurement coefficients ranging between .70 and .80, .60 and .80, respectively. A New Zealand educational assessment project has developed a set of writing assessment rubrics that contain curriculum based rating scales for six purposes of writing each with its own bank of writing prompts for use by classroom teachers. Standardization of the rating scales and prompts was conducted with representative samples of students, aged 10–13. This article describes two studies that established the validity of the scoring system for use in New Zealand classrooms. Adjacent agreement consensus fell between 70% and 90%, while consistency and measurement correlations fell in the range .70–.80 in both studies. This consistency with international standards was sufficiently robust to provide confidence in the underlying norms provided by the asTTle assessment tool. Relatively low levels of training were required by teachers to reach this degree of accuracy. The accuracy of scoring gives government and teachers confidence in the validity of the project's rating scales and suggests that classroom teachers will be able to generate accurate scores upon which instructional decisions can be based.
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Reformers have been trying for decades to alter the fundamental character of classroom instruction in the United States, but have repeatedly been unsuccessful in fostering significant change in teaching practice. Several hypotheses have been put forward to account for this problem–that teachers lack sufficient knowledge (hence we need more professional development), that they lack sufficient will (hence we need accountability systems) or that they disagree with reform ideals or find other agendas to be more compelling in their classrooms. This paper addresses the third hypothesis by trying to ascertain what teachers care about when they respond to specific classroom situations. Numerous authors have suggested that teachers’ beliefs, values, and perceptions influence their practices, but most papers in this area focus on just one teacher or a small handful of teachers and show how these particular teachers’ ideas influence their practice. We still have little idea what kinds of concerns and intentions tend to be pervasive in teachers’ thinking, and how these ideas differ from those embodied in reform ideals. The paper begins by reviewing reform literature and outlining its main themes. It then describes a study of teachers’ interpretations of classroom situations and their intentions for specific things they did in those situations. From teachers’ discussions of their practices, the author identifies the primary areas of concern that dominated teachers’ thinking as they constructed their practices and shows where these concerns are similar to, and different from, reform ideals.
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The article reports on a study of 11 schools that were labeled as low-performing by the state accountability systems of Maryland and Kentucky, nationally known for complex performance-based assessments. The study shows that putting schools on probation only weakly motivated teachers because the assessments were largely perceived as unfair, invalid, and unrealistic. Administrators responded with control strategies that rigidified organizations, forestalling dialog and learning processes. Instructional reform developed only feebly. On the other hand, some schools remedied inefficiencies and were able to "harvest the low-hanging fruit." The schools struggled with severe problems of teacher commitment.
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Incl. abstract, bibl. This contribution explores changes in the way that educational researchers engage with policy-makers in England. The traditional relationship between research and policy was linear, with funders supporting the efforts of researchers, who carried out research and then disseminated it to those responsible for shaping and implementing policy. This model of 'knowledge transfer' is fast being supplemented and sometimes replaced by one of 'knowledge exchange' as policy-makers participate in new forms of research. 'Knowledge exchange' consists of collaborative problem-solving between researchers and decision-makers that happens through linkage and exchange. This contribution uses one large-scale English study to illustrate the new relationship between research and policy. The Effective Pre-school and Primary Education (EPPE) project is a longitudinal study of the effects of pre- and primary school on the academic and social development of more than 3,000 children in England. The study's findings have been used as part of the 'evidence base' for UK policy on universal pre-school provision as well as targeted services in disadvantaged communities, for example, Sure Start and Children's Centres. From the earliest days of the study researchers worked in partnership with policy-makers. Although the overall design was agreed at contract-stage, major modifications to sampling, assessments, and analyses were made as the study progressed. The researcher/policy-maker engagement continued throughout the study and consisted of sustained interaction, shared decision-making and mutual respect. Supportive organisational structures allowed two-way exchange and decision-making. Although the researchers were responsible for scientific integrity in all phases, there was shared ownership of the findings with regular and collaborative review and amendment to suit emerging policy needs. The EPPE project was one of the first in the UK to work interactively with Government partners in the shaping of both 'research' and 'policy' outputs. This partnership enabled the research to have a significant impact on UK policy. The contribution concludes with discussion of how the Furlong and Oancea 'quality assessment framework' can be applied to research based on policy partnerships.
Article
Background/Context Calls for evidence-based decision making have become increasingly prominent on the educational landscape. School district central offices increasingly experience these demands. Yet there are few empirical studies of evidence use at the district level. Furthermore, research on evidence use among policy makers in noneducation settings raises questions about the models of decision making promoted by evidence-use policies, suggesting that they do not take into account key features of the interpretive process or the organizational conditions that shape how decision making unfolds. Purpose/Objective/Research Questions/Focus of Study The central premise of this article is that only by understanding the patterns by which personnel in school district central offices actually use information, and the factors that affect this use, can we begin to understand the promise and possibilities of evidence use. We ask: What is the role of evidence in instructional decision making at the central office level? What factors shape how decision processes unfold? Research Design We draw on data from a longitudinal case study of one midsize urban district, which we followed from 2002 to 2005. We relied on in-depth interviewing, sustained observation, and document analysis. We identified 23 decisions related to instruction that were captured in our data over the 3 years and for which we had at least three independent sources of information. We analyzed each decision using a coding scheme that was developed from prior research and theory and elaborated through iterative coding. We then used matrices to compare across decisions and to surface and investigate emerging patterns. Conclusions/Recommendations We argue that decision making in complex organizations like school districts is centrally about interpretation, argumentation, and persuasion. These processes are shaped in crucial ways by preexisting working knowledge and practices that guide how people come to understand the nature of problems and possible avenues for solutions. They are also influenced by organizational and political factors, including the organizational structure of the central office, resource constraints, and leadership turnover. We close by suggesting implications for efforts to foster substantive and productive use of evidence at the central office level.
Book
REIHE: Education and skills, The following values have no corresponding Zotero field: ID - 81
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The review examines the relationship between educational research and policy, from the post‐war period to the present, throughout the United Kingdom. Its purpose is to (a) illuminate the changing relationship between education research and policy, and (b) to clarify the different ways in which that relationship is understood. Its overarching purpose is to enable the education research community to locate current debates about research and policy within historical and theoretical frames of reference, and to enable researchers to locate themselves and their work in this contested area.The review is structured in three main sections. The first explores the shifting meanings of research and policy, with attention to the ways in which particular definitions of research produce consequences for the ways in which policy is understood, and vice versa. From these discussions, which include differences between applied, basic and strategic research, and between ‘policy science’ and ‘policy scholarship’, the authors offer a typology of education research–policy relations. The second section explores the meanings of research and policy in historical context, and examines the growth of research in education from the post‐war years to the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the key themes in the relationship are introduced, and the historical origins of some current controversies are traced and explored. The third section looks at the research–policy relationship in the current context, with attention to the growth of evidence‐informed policy‐making, and to major disputes and controversies about research quality and methodologies. Throughout the review the focus is largely on education research in England, but comparative points, drawn from the history and contemporary experience of the Centre for Educational Sociology (CES), are made about research‐policy relations in Scotland, as are wider points about international developments.
Article
This study investigated the effect of probation on individual performance motivation, organizational processes, and patterns of instruction in schools that were on probation for low achievement in Maryland and Kentucky. Findings are based on case studies of 11 schools on probation, 7 in Maryland and 4 in Kentucky, and all 11 schools had high proportions of students from poverty and minority backgrounds. Each case study consisted of quantitative and qualitative data: interviews, classroom observations, meeting observations, and survey questionnaires. About half the schools were elementary schools; the rest were middle schools. Studies of individual learning and organizational development show that probation in the context of the 11 schools provided unfavorable conditions for learning new and ambitious performance-based pedagogy. For many teachers, the state assessments did not provide meaningful tools for the self-evaluation of their teaching. On the organizational level, probation fostered rigidity and compliance with external obligations to the detriment of organizational learning and internal dialog. While large numbers of teachers in the 11 schools viewed themselves as highly competent professionals, 70% to 80% of the observed lessons in Maryland did not show evidence of elaborate level teaching at all. On the positive side, findings show that almost all of the 11 schools were modestly energized by the probation label, and teachers in all schools reported that they increased work effort and engagement in school improvement. When asked to select priorities for school improvement, teachers cited several factors, but not even 10% believed that a new pedagogy should be the first thing on the agenda. (Contains 55 references.) (SLD)
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Based on rapid advances in what is known about how people learn and how to teach effectively, this important book examines the core concepts and central pedagogies that should be at the heart of any teacher education program. This book was edited in collaboration with Pamela LePage, Karen Hammerness, and Helen Duffy. It is the result of the National Academy of Education's Committee's work on teacher education. It was written for teacher educators in both traditional and alternative programs, university and school system leaders, teachers, staff development professionals, researchers, and educational policymakers, the book addresses the key foundational knowledge for teaching and discusses how to implement that knowledge within the classroom. This book recommends that, in addition to strong subject matter knowledge, all new teachers have a basic understanding of how people learn and develop, as well as how children acquire and use language, which is the currency of education. In addition, the book suggests that teaching professionals must be able to apply that knowledge in developing curriculum that attends to students' needs, the demands of the content, and the social purposes of education: in teaching specific subject matter to diverse students, in managing the classroom, assessing student performance, and using technology in the classroom. The ideas and suggestions outlined in this book have far-reaching implications for educational policy, classroom practice, and staff development and will go a long way toward informing the next generation of teachers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Hopes that the transformation of schools lies with exceptional leaders have proved both unrealistic and unsustainable. The idea of leadership as distributed across multiple people and situations has proven to be a more useful framework for understanding the realities of schools and how they might be improved. However, empirical work on how leadership is distributed within more and less successful schools is rare. This paper presents key concepts related to distributed leadership and illustrates them with an empirical study in a school-improvement context in which varying success was evident. Grounding the theory in this practice-context led to the identification of some risks and benefits of distributing leadership and to a challenge of some key concepts presented in earlier theorizing about leadership and its distribution.
Article
In entering a new millennium, it is a good time for evaluators to critically appraise their program evaluation approaches and decide which ones are most worthy of continued application and further development. It is equally important to decide which approaches are best abandoned. In this spirit, this monograph identifies and assesses twenty-two approaches often employed to evaluate programs. These approaches, in varying degrees, are unique and cover most program evaluation efforts. Two of the approaches, reflecting the political realities of evaluation, are often used illegitimately to falsely characterize a program's value and are labeled pseudo-evaluations. The remaining twenty approaches are typically used legitimately to judge programs and are divided into questions/methods-oriented approaches, improvement/accountability approaches, and social agenda/advocacy approaches. The best and most applicable of the program evaluation approaches appear to be Client-Centered/Responsive, Utilization-Focused, Decision/Accountability, Consumer-Oriented, Constructivist, Case Study, Outcome/Value-Added Assessment, and Accreditation, with the new Deliberative Democratic approach showing promise. The approaches judged indefensible or least useful were Politically Controlled, Public Relations, Accountability (especially payment by results), Clarification Hearing, and Program Theory-Based. The rest including Objectives-Based, Experimental Studies, Management Information Systems, Criticism and Connoisseurship, Mixed Methods, Benefit-Cost analysis, Performance Testing, and Objective Testing Programs were judged to have restricted though beneficial use in program evaluation. All legitimate approaches are enhanced when keyed to and assessed against professional standards for evaluations.
Article
The paper examines the conceptual and strategicrole of social geographies in contributing toor undermining sustainable school improvement.It develops a four-fold definition ofsustainability as involving improvement overtime, within available or achievable resourcesthat does not impact negatively on thesurrounding environment and that promotesecological diversity and capacity more widely.A conceptual framework of social geographies isdeveloped along with its implications forsustainability. This analysis is then appliedto a further framework of seven strategicgeographies of educational change whichdeliberately try to arrange, order or exploitspace in particular ways to secure schoolchange. These are market geographies, networkgeographies, virtual geographies, geographiesof scaling up, standardized geographies,differential geographies and geographies ofsocial movements. The paper concludes byreviewing the other contributions to the volumeon the theme of social geographies ofeducational change, and describes the SpencerFoundation funded conference from which theysprang.
Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling: Best evidence synthesis
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Alton-Lee, A. 2003. Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling: Best evidence synthesis.
National Council for School Leadership Think tank report to the governing council of NCSL Knowledge and skills for life: First results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
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  • Boston Center
  • College
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Countries, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College, USA. National Council for School Leadership. 2001. Think tank report to the governing council of NCSL. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership. OECD. 2001. Knowledge and skills for life: First results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2000. Paris: OECD. OECD. 2005. Education at a glance: OECD indicators 2005. Paris: OECD.
Parents as a new found land: Reflections on formal parent participation in five polities
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Dordrecht: Springer. Beattie, N. 1989. Parents as a new found land: Reflections on formal parent participation in five polities. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, March 27–31, in San Francisco, CA.
Thinking in education Ministry of Education Report of the literacy taskforce. Wellington: Ministry of Education, New Zealand. Ministry of Education Literacy leadership in New Zealand schools. Wellington: Learning Media. Ministry of Education asTTle: Assessment tools for teaching and learning: He P
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Lipman, M. 1991. Thinking in education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ministry of Education. 1999. Report of the literacy taskforce. Wellington: Ministry of Education, New Zealand. Ministry of Education. 2000. Literacy leadership in New Zealand schools. Wellington: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. 2001. asTTle: Assessment tools for teaching and learning: He P[ u m a c r ] naha Aromatawai m[ o m a c r ] Ministry of Education. 2006. Effective literacy practice in years 5–8.
110 Livingston Street revisited: Decentralization in action Standards deviation: How schools misunderstand education policy Policy implementation and cognition: reframing and refocusing implementation research
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Rogers, D., and H. Chung. 1983. 110 Livingston Street revisited: Decentralization in action. New York: New York University Press. Spillane, J.P. 2004. Standards deviation: How schools misunderstand education policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Spillane, J.P., B.J. Reiser, and T. Reimer. 2002. Policy implementation and cognition: reframing and refocusing implementation research. Review of Educational Research 72, no. 3: 387–431.
School reform from the inside out: Policy, practice and performance
  • R Elmore
Elmore, R. 2004. School reform from the inside out: Policy, practice and performance. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Assessment tools for teaching and learning (asTTle) manual: Version 3
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Hattie, J., G. Brown, P. Keegan, S. Irving, A. MacKay, A. Pipi, R. Higginson, T. Sutherland, and D. Mooyman. 2003, December. Assessment tools for teaching and learning (asTTle) manual: Version 3 2004. Wellington: Learning Media.