Data Collection

January 18th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Data collection is all the rage these days in education. There is the macro version of data collection where we mostly follow how students do on standardized testing and track their performance on it. More and more the micro version of data collection is happening where teachers are tracking students performance on individual indicators and making spreadsheets with rows and rows of numbers that are supposed to tell you how that student is doing. I don’t want to sound to sarcastic here because I really do see the merit and importance of collecting, tracking and following up on data with students. We are not doing our job unless our students are growing and when we complain that a single test score doesn’t always do the growth justice, then we need to prove the growth in other ways.

The fear though is that students are no longer young people with faces and personalities, but numbers on a spreadsheet. A lot of this comes in when you are expected to report your data back to others or you are talking about your data. Your students become numbers – we are distilling the job down to its most basic form to compare.

I don’t know the alternative to this, but just be wary that when you are thinking of your classroom, how you teach, and who you teach – make sure that you are thinking amply about your students and their needs and not just the numbers on a spreadsheet.