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How Much Does it cost? Taking a Critical Look at Educational Research and its Applications 4

How Much Does it cost? Taking a Critical Look at Educational Research and its Applications 4

LEAD DATA TEAM SEMINAR 22

Overall learning goal

2016-2017

Based on the learning outcomes of the last seven years where team members focused on data literacy, data-driven decision–making and collaborative inquiry, and the approach to ‘stay ahead of the curve’, this year’s topic is Taking a Critical Look at Educational Research and Its Applications: A One Year Cycle.

The aim of this year’s topic is for Lead Data Team (LDT) members to become confident consumers of research by developing healthy skepticism and adapting findings into practice. The one year cycle of seminars aims to support school board administrators’ ability to implement evidence-based teaching and learning across their schools.

The overall learning goal for seminar 21 focuses on asking ‘How much does it cost?’ and ‘Is it worthwhile?’, continuing to develop a deeper and more critical understanding of how to evaluate research.

Synopsis

Following on from seminars 20 & 21, the overall learning goal for seminar 22 is to continue to develop a deeper and more critical understanding of how to evaluate research. Participants are guided through another six activities, focusing this time on asking ‘How much does it cost?’ and ‘Is it worthwhile?’ with a continued emphasis on the three learning intentions, which are to:

  1. Find out what the research really says - What is good research? What is the difference between research and evaluation?

  2. Develop & maintain a healthy skepticism - Understanding critical thinking: What does it mean to be critical? What is thinking and looking at research?

  3. Become a confident consumer of educational research - Consider your role in its application, what does it look like in the classroom? How do you use research-based practice?

Throughout the one day seminar, participants reflect on and consolidate their understanding of how to critically examine research while preparing to use their learning to test out one of the best evidence-based interventions back in their own settings. By carefully considering the costs involved, participants can judge whether it is worthwhile implementing a particular intervention.  They are encouraged to keep in mind the overall questions of whether an intervention is supported by evidence, the strength of the evidence, and the recommendations for implementation.   

Instructional design

Warm up

Following a slideshow of pictures from Oxford and a story about making connections, the facilitator discussed 2016’s word of the year, post-truth, and how to apply participants’ critical thinking skills to the evidence provided about its title and claims.

Introduction

In preparation for conducting their own study project (to put their knowledge to practice) by supporting a school team to improve teaching and learning, they continue to take a critical look at research based strategies and their applications.  

The facilitator reviews the three learning intentions, the feedback given about previous seminars and what was achieved in seminar 21, including listing the strength of the interventions from the book, Classroom Instructions That Work (CITW). The tasks given out to prepare for this seminar were reviewed.

Reflections - self-assessment:

Participants reflect on their personal learning goal for the day.

The two goals for the day are to consolidate the research method concepts, and to prepare for the practical application of interventions by examining ‘How much does it cost?’ and ‘Is it worthwhile?’

Development
Activity 1 - what is the research saying

Participants are led to develop a research-based understanding of an intervention.

Activity 1 - what is the research saying: a 90 minute, five step, individual, team and whole group activity aimed at examining the strength of the evidence and the characteristics of how the four chosen interventions work.

Activity 2 – How much does it cost?

Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of professional development activities. Is the cost of the intervention greater than the benefit, the trouble, the interest, the work etc.?

Activity 2 – How much does it cost? Participants form teams and consider the major costs involved in implementing an intervention.

Activity 3 – Is it worthwhile?

Activity 3 – Is it worthwhile? Participants gather in teams for 30 minutes to cost out an intervention based on a theoretical problem, determining if the cost of an intervention is worthwhile.

Our measure of success is not only student learning and student success, but the engagement of teachers. To get teachers to change their practices, they have to see the need or benefit of an intervention.

Conclusions

The next seminar focuses on measuring impact. Participants begin to think about how interventions will work in their respective context and how they will know if it’s working. ‘Will it work/is it working for me?’.

The key reading will be Thomas Guskey, Evaluating Professional Development.

Members will exchange on their professional development models and look more closely at the characteristics of implementation.

Challenge:

Challenge: Between now and the next meeting,  members should identify the cost of implementing one of the following strategies in their own context:

  • RTI, CFA and Feedback, Coaching, PLCs or Other

Members are asked to complete the information on their own research by examining the strength of the evidence and the characteristics of how that intervention works.

Evaluation

Participants are asked to complete feedback sheets.