Data-Driven? Try using different data.

Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM) became a mantra in schools about a decade ago. The concept is sound in theory, but since we don’t have common definitions for basic (but not simple) things like teaching and learning, decisions have actually become individual opinions on how to weigh and apply the “data” called achievement test results.

While I’m aware that there are schools and teachers that use appropriate data to inform the learning environment, the “discussion” at the district, state and national level is about test scores.

Here’s an idea for K-12 schools that want to positively influence classroom outcomes with data: Match student learning styles with teacher pedagogical and management styles!

Schools can regularly collect data about student learning styles, preferences and behavior along with data about teaching style, preferences and classroom management, and use these two data sets to build the schedule. Voila, a data driven decision with a high potential for success before the school year even starts.

Yes, I know that teachers use a variety of techniques and differentiate instruction and blah, blah, blah, but we all have strengths, preferences and natural tendencies — let’s capitalize on this instead of pretending that everyone is a utility player.

Anybody know of a school/district doing this? Love to know…

Links to basic DDDM information:
http://www.clrn.org/elar/dddm.cfm
http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/2006/RAND_OP170.pdf
http://www.mcrel.org/pdf/leadershiporganizationdevelopment/5031tg_datafolio.pdf

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