Using Kindergarten Entry Data to Guide Teachers' Skills, Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, and Practices through Instructionally Focused, Data-Driven Consultation

Hasbrouck, Sadie, Clinical Psychology - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Downer, Jason, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Educational research consistently highlights the importance of using data to inform instructional practice (Ball & Gettinger, 2009; Stecker, Fuchs, & Fuchs, 2005). Despite the benefits, evaluations reveal teachers often struggle to interpret and use data accurately (Stecker et al., 2005), and these deficits are most often related to deficits in skills in, beliefs about, and self-efficacy surrounding data-use (Brown, 2004a; 2009; Stecker et al., 2005; Tschannen-Moran & McMaster, 2009). To combat these deficits, instructionally focused, data-driven consultation (IFDDC) was derived from two empirically-established educational consultation models with the aim of assisting teachers in translating assessment data into practice. In this way, IFDDC aims to bolster teachers’ skills in, beliefs about, self-efficacy surrounding, and practices in using data to improve students’ learning. To evaluate the efficacy of IFDDC, kindergarten teachers from one large semi-urban division were recruited for the present study; 38 teachers were randomly assigned to the treatment group and 34 were assigned to the business-as-usual group. Teachers in the treatment group received IFDDC, which included one in-person session focused on interpreting student- and classroom-level data and deducing instructional plans from this evaluation. Consultants then followed up with teachers via email to provide feedback or additional problem-solving concerning the instructional plans. Results from intent-to-treat models demonstrate the intervention had a significant impact on teachers’ data interpretation skills and teachers’ efficacy surrounding data-use. The intervention did not have a direct effect on teachers’ reported data-use practices, but mediation analysis demonstrated some support for indirect effects of data-use practices through changes in skills and self-efficacy. Qualitative evaluation underscored the importance of process fidelity in teachers' responsiveness to the intervention. These results represent preliminary evidence for a school-based consultation model aiming to improve teachers’ use of data in the classroom with the ultimate goal of improving educational outcomes for students across levels.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Educational Consultation, Professional Development, Assessment
Sponsoring Agency:
Virginia Department of Education
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
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