Zooming in and zooming out; towards more effective data use in schools

Nina Hood

Why the learning sciences also need curriculum design and deeper learning

I recently visited a school where three teachers have been engaging with the science of learning literature. They have established an informal learning circle and book club, where they read texts such as Daniel Willingham’s Why don’t students like school?, Daisy Christodoulou’s Seven myths about education, David Didau’s work, and then discuss the key ideas …

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Floors and ceilings in education; what limits are we placing on students and teachers?

I’ve recently been reflecting on the expectations I had for my students when I was a secondary school teacher. While I believe that I did hold high expectations for my students, I did not always follow this up with the support and insistence on learning that was needed. I wanted to encourage students to build …

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The innovation bind: how to embrace innovation without jeopardising students

Last week Simon Collins wrote a series of articles in the New Zealand Herald exploring “modern learning” in New Zealand schools. In one article he wrote: ‘schools are gambling with our children’s future – taking a punt on new ways of teaching, for which there is not yet much hard evidence of success’. I don’t …

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Why innovation and research in education need each other

That innovation and research are often positioned as in tension with each other in education is not necessarily surprising. Innovation is focused on the new whereas research, as Dewey tells us, is inherently backwards looking, able to tell us what has worked but not what works or what will work (although I would argue that …

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What can the research evidence tell us about technology in education?

I recently was asked to give a seminar on technology in education to a master’s course. To achieve my dual aim of getting the students (nearly all practicing teachers) firstly to think critically about technology and to question decisions being made about how technology is used in schools, and secondly to engage with some research …

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The equity imperative: how should we report on educational research?

Last week, The New Zealand Initiative released a report detailing the findings of “a comprehensive and year-long econometric analysis of data for 400,000 students”, which shows that when controlling for the family background of students, “there are no significant differences in school performance between schools of different deciles”. The findings, in essence, are not new. …

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Response to Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together; Whiria Ngā Kura Tūātinitini

There is little doubt that New Zealand’s education system currently is not fit for purpose. In a recent UNICEF report New Zealand was ranked 33rd out of 38 countries for educational equity. The aspiration of this review to build an excellent and equitable education system is commendable. While an excellent and equitable education system is …

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Oral language; a moral imperative for our education system

A couple of years ago, during a visit to an intermediate school, I was struck when talking with a group of students how poor their conversational skills were. Now, it is possible that these students just did not feel like talking with a stranger in their classroom. However, it is an experience that I frequently …

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Can deep reading help to build empathy and acceptance in our young people?

The terrorist attack in Christchurch and its aftermath have given me much pause for reflection – about our society, about how we as a nation have responded to this tragedy, and also about the place and role of education. It has been heartening to see how New Zealanders have come together, led by the compassion …

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Zooming in and zooming out; towards more effective data use in schools

Better knowledge and use of data in schools are essential if teachers want better to understand their teaching, improve their students’ learning, and understand the intersection between the two. For Dr Aaron Wilson, data provide insight into the black box of teaching, which is positioned between and mediates the input of students’ learning opportunities and …

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