Reading Beyond the Data: An Examination of Teachers' Data Use During Tier 1 Reading Instruction in the Intermediate Grades

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Hecker, Austen, Curriculum and Instruction - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Hayes, Latisha, ED-CISE, University of Virginia

Flat trends in national assessment data indicate that many students in the intermediate grades are not making adequate progress in reading (National Center for Education Statistics, 2022). Designing and differentiating reading instruction to better meet the diverse needs of students in grades 3-5 requires knowledge of content, pedagogy, and especially of the students themselves. Teachers, therefore, use data to gain insight into students’ literacy skills and needs. However, the process of translating data into practice is complex. Data-based decision making (DBDM) involves the collection, interpretation, and translation of data into instructional practice, so that all students receive equitable access to grade-level expectations for learning. While teachers continuously make decisions during the design and delivery of instruction, the ways in which teachers employ data to inform their decision making vary. At a suburban charter school in South Carolina, school leaders identified this variance in data use across third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms as a source of inconsistencies in student performance and growth from year to year. This qualitative case study sought to address this problem of practice by examining how teachers at the charter school used data while planning and delivering reading instruction in grades 3-5. Data collection included the IES Teacher Data Use Survey, structured think-alouds on student reading data, observations of literacy instruction, and follow-up interviews. Findings from this study informed recommendations for school leaders regarding how to support teachers’ data use during Tier 1 reading instruction.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
reading, literacy, data use, data-based decision making (DBDM), Tier 1, instruction
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