This is an introduction to the use of evidence in Education that takes a look at its importance and some things to consider when you are evaluating evidence.
As an Educational professional you are constantly using evidence to make decisions about your teaching. Some of this may be based on memories of you past experiences of teaching but this should not be your only source of evidence when you justify or challenge what you or colleagues do?
We do not want to be gullible teachers who accept ideas and approached without criticality. This slide perhaps shows how bad it can get sometimes. I look at this picture and wonder and hope. Who is going to be the one who spots the design flaw in the emperor's new outfit?
Dweck in 1989 focused on defining the positive classroom climate or culture for learning and so we can use evidence about learning and teaching to learn about how to enhance our teaching.
We can see this a cycle and the knowledge that we use to deepen and refine our skills can be gained from many sources. From our past experiences, from the experiences of colleagues but also from written accounts, videos of practice and also from evidence gained by research in classrooms in this country or from throughout the world. The challenge is finding what is relevant.
‘ Assessment for Learning’ or formative assessment are widely promoted for example in the Cambridge Primary Review and this approach can be central to harnessing evidence in education.
This is very simplistic distinction but it serves to show us what might be different ends of a continuum. Although some would argue that they are very distinct.
These are broadly the main quantitative approaches that you may be familiar with. Standardised tests will include tests that have been applied to large samples of a target population to produce results that are readily comparible to this population. Eg IQ tests Reading Tests Criterion tests do not have that rigour but will be a test for the performance of a skill or skill set. Experiments will be discussed later but as we teach in classes rather than laboratories, experiments tend to make compromises on what can be controlled so we call them quasi experiments.
Clearly you need to develop some understanding of the numbers being used. See the consider-ed for Graham Birrell’s comment on the use of number in education This almost by way of aside is a cartoon that appeared in one of the early newspaper reports on PISA For me it’s a wonderful example of the misconceptions that many young students hold. I think it would make a wonderful piece of stimulus for materials that tap into students mathematical beliefs.
On line survey tools such as forms in google docs allow the rapid creation of a survey and also provides graphical summaries of the results.
With qualitative approaches we have a range of approaches that require classification and interpretation and they sometimes overlap. One can reflect upon one’s experience, implement a change and record what happens, interview people about their experiences of teaching and learning, observe a particular group in detail even joining the group in some cases or you can analyse legislation, policy and guidance.
Qualitative data gathered from the inspection of factories where there were child workers in the North of England led to the introduction of requirements for qualified teacherstatus. Recent deregulation and emerging curriculum requirements may remind some of you of Dicken’s ‘Hard Times’ Mr Chokemchild
Durham university have done a good deal of work with quantitative data sets and they suggest a hierarchy of evidence sources which is widely recognised. Eg NICER
With the previous slide in mind you might want to consider the evidence base for the practice that you are involved in ? Are like the Brain Gym enthusiasts on the earlier slide?
We are now going to look at aspects of methodology.
This table has some gaps where you might want to stop the video and see if you can work out what to put in the box (answers are at the end)
When you undertake research there are range of sources of data to be considered. This is a list of some examples.
Levels of measurement show the ‘statistical strength’ of the data has been gathered. The higher up the steps, the more sophisticated statistics can be applied.
Here we have examples of the different levels of data that we may encounter.
The greek symbols here denote the mean and the standard deviation from the mean. This shows us how the values are dispersed close to the mean or spread out. We can then see how common or exceptional an individual result is.
This illustration shows how this dispersion can differ when the mean is the same and the SD differs
The ecological fallacy occurs when you make conclusions about individuals based only on analyses of group data An exception fallacy is sort of the reverse of the ecological fallacy. It occurs when you reach a group conclusion on the basis of exceptional cases.
Validity refers to the quality of the relationships between the constructs, the measures and other relevant situations.
In its everyday sense, reliability is the "consistency" or "repeatability" of your measures.
This table has some gaps where you might want to stop the video and see if you can work out what to put in the box (answers are at the end)
Quantitative analysis withinmethodological approachesin educationMike Blamiresmb1@canterbury.ac.ukFaculty of Education
Relationships of Respect and ChallengeInquiry Habit of MindUsing Relevant DataEvidence-informedConversationsEvidence-Informed Conversations about DataEarl and Timperley (2000)
Which QTS std does this apply to?“Hook-ups shift electrical energy from the survival centres in the hindbrain to thereasoning centres in the midbrain and neocortex, thus activating hemisphericintegration … the tongue pressing into the roof of the mouth stimulates the limbicsystem for emotional processing in concert with more refined reasoning in the frontallobes”
Learning is facilitated when teachers encourage risk-taking,tolerate mistakes and provide feedback that allows learners tomonitor progress.That is‘learning oriented’ rather than ‘performance oriented’ cultures(Dweck, 1989)Risk Challenge & Feedback
Teacher Inquiry and Knowledge Building CycleTimperley, H. (2009)
Formative assessmentMany teachers’ previoustraining and approaches toteaching practice did notrequire them to interpret anduse these kinds of data,because assessmentinformation was aboutlabelling and categorisingstudents, and not for guidingand directing teachingHow have we contributed toexisting student outcomes?What do we already know that wecan use to promote improvedoutcomes for students?What do we need to learn to do topromote these outcomes?What sources of evidence orknowledge can we utilise?
Two interrelated orientations toresearchIn simple terms we can think of two approaches toinvestigations in educational research: qualitative andquantitative. In the former we use words to describe theoutcomes and in the latter we use numbers.Berry, J. & Hohmann (2005)
Quantitative approaches• Standardised tests• Criterion references test• Surveys• Measurements, data collection and analysis• Experimental and quasi experimentalmethods
Shall I slice thepizza into fouror eight pieces?Make it four ! Icould never eateight !Shall I slice thepizza into fouror eight pieces?Make it four ! Icould never eateight !How useful is quantitative data alone ?
(www.docs.google.com –Forms within spreadsheets)(www.docs.google.com – Forms withinspreadsheets)
Qualitative approaches• Action research (sometimes)• Biography• Interviews• Ethnography• Use of documentary evidence(Hermeneutics)
How useful is qualitative evidence?• It (Factory Act, 1844) provides nothing more than thatthe children shall on certain days of the week, and for acertain number of hours (three in each day) be enclosedwithin the four walls of a place called a school and thatthe employer of the child shall receive weekly acertificate to that effect signed by a person designated bythe subscriber as a school master or schoolmistress. ‘ Onone occasion, on visiting a place called a school, fromwhich certificates of attendance had issued I was sostruck by the ignorance of the master that I said to him;“Pray sir, can you read?” His reply was “Aye summat!”:as a justification of his right to grant certificates, headded “At any rate I am before my scholars”.• Leonard Horner in Reports of the Inspectors of Factories 30thApril 1837 p17cited in Marx, K. Das Kapital (1873)
Why Mixed Methods?All quantitative data is based upon qualitativejudgments; and all qualitative data can bedescribed and manipulated numerically.
New Evidence Centres forEducationSee a short article on these centres on the TTRBhttp://www.ttrb3.org.uk/?p=8885• This follows on from the Goldacre report onBUILDING EVIDENCE INTO EDUCATIONhttp://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/b/ben%20golda
How good are the numbers?What practice in your school do you think has thestrongest evidence base and why?What practice in your school do you think has theweakest evidence base and why?Which area of practice are you unsure of in terms ofits evidence? Where could you look for this?
VariablesA variable is any entity that can take on different values.the independent variable is what you (or nature)manipulates -- a treatment or program or cause.The dependent variable is what is affected by theindependent variable -- your effects or outcomes.For example, if you are studying the effects of a neweducational program on student achievement, theprogram is the independent variable and yourmeasures of achievement are the dependent ones.
What are the most importantvariables to consider in education?Independent Variable Dependent Variable Possible MeasurementSocio Economic Status Academic Achievement ?Social Disadvantage Degree of exclusion anddifficulty encountered ineducationNumbers of childrenregistered as having SENor a statement of SENEthnicity ? Explained and unexplainedabsences recordedaccording to ethnicityGender Engagement with Physics % take up of GCSE and ALevel PhysicsSchool ethos and policy onBehaviour ?Number of short term andpermanent exclusions
Units of analysis• Individuals• Classes• Schools• Artefacts (programmes, books, photos, newspapers)• Geographical units (town, census tract, state)• Social interactions (dyadic relations, divorces,arrests)
Levels of the measurement• Stevens, 1946measure ofcentral tendencyGeometric MeanArithmetic MeanMedianMode
Gives examples of differentlevels of dataLevel of Data ExampleRatio: has a absolutezeroEg Height, Age andWeightInterval: distancebetween measuresWhere means meansomething eg Date & timeOrdinal: attribute canbe orderedEg social class, grade andeducation level, levels ofagreementNominal: attribute canbe namedEg Gender, Colours,Country,
Standard Deviation• is a widely used measurement of variability or diversity used in statistics andprobability theory. It shows how much variation or "dispersion" there is fromthe average (mean, or expected value). A low standard deviation indicates thatthe data points tend to be very close to the mean, whereas high standarddeviation indicates that the data are spread out over a large range of values.• Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/standard-deviation#ixzz1IqwFC900
Same mean different SDExample of two sample populations with the same mean and different standard deviations.Red population has mean 100 and SD 10; blue population has mean 100 and SD 50.Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/standard-deviation#ixzz1Iqzf9FSm
Two Research Fallacies•The ecological fallacy occurs when you makeconclusions about individuals based only on analyses ofgroup data•An exception fallacy is sort of the reverse of theecological fallacy. It occurs when you reach a groupconclusion on the basis of exceptional cases.
ValidityValidity to refers to the quality of various conclusions you mightreach based on a research project.Conclusion Validity: In this study, is there a relationship between the twovariables?Internal Validity: Assuming that there is a relationship in this study, is therelationship a causal one?Construct Validity: Assuming that there is a causal relationship in this study,can we claim that the program reflected well our construct of the programand that our measure reflected well our idea of the construct of themeasure?External Validity: Assuming that there is a causal relationship in this studybetween the constructs of the cause and the effect, can we generalize this effectto other persons, places or times?
Reliabilityhas to do with the quality of measurement. In itseveryday sense, reliability is the "consistency" or"repeatability" of your measures.•Inter-Rater or Inter-Observer ReliabilityUsed to assess the degree to which different raters/observers give consistentestimates of the same phenomenon.•Test-Retest ReliabilityUsed to assess the consistency of a measure from one time to another.•Parallel-Forms ReliabilityUsed to assess the consistency of the results of two tests constructed in thesame way from the same content domain.•Internal Consistency ReliabilityUsed to assess the consistency of results across items within a test.
Challenge AA) You have been asked to develop a means ofmeasuring progression in the development of pupilcreativity that can be used across subject areas.How would you measure it and how would youdemonstrate that learners were developingcreativity?
Challenge BYou are a consultant to the Belizean government whowish to improve the quality of provision for pupils withdisabilities in mainstream schools who are supportedby specialist advisory teachers.What would you do and how would you prove it waseffective?
Questions & Answers• Invite questions from the audience
references• In L. Earl and H. Timperley (ed.) Professional LearningConversations: Challenges in Using Evidence forImprovement. London, Springer Academic Publishers,121-126, 2008.• Dweck, C. S. (1989). Motivation. In A. Lesgold and R.Glaser (Ed.), Foundations for a Psychology of Education(pp. 87-136). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
What are the most importantvariables to consider in education?Independent Variable Dependent Variable Possible MeasurementSocio Economic Status Academic Achievement Exam results ?University Course?Career destinationSocial Disadvantage Degree of exclusion anddifficulty encountered ineducationNumbers of childrenregistered as having SENor a statement of SENEthnicity Degree of participation ineducationExplained and unexplainedabsences recordedaccording to ethnicityGender Engagement with Physics % take up of GCSE and ALevel PhysicsSchool ethos and policy onBehaviourThe success of thebehaviour policy – thequality of behaviourNumber of short term andpermanent exclusions
ResourcesTrochim, W.M.K (2006) Social Research Methodshttp://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/index.php Berr, J. & Hohmann , U. (2005)Quantitative Methods inEducation Research Centre for Teaching Mathematics,University of Plymouthhttp://www.edu.plymouth.ac.uk/resined/Quantitative/quanthme.htm#A.%20%20%20%20INTRODUCTIONThe TTRB has a large range of reviews on evidence ineducation:www.ttrb3.org.uk
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