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Data and Teaching

Moving Beyond Magical Thinking to Effective Practice

Joseph P. McDonald Nora M. Isacoff Dana Karin

Teachers College Press
Data use in teaching is at the heart of current educational policy and school improvement efforts. Dispelling magical thinking that it is a simple solution to underachieving schools, this timely book explores what data use in teaching really is, how it works in theory and practice, and why it sometimes fails to achieve expected goals. Drawing on their research in nine of New York City’s most poverty-impacted schools, the authors dive deep into school systems and routines, as well as into teachers’ practices and students’ experiences. They also zoom out to capture the larger currents that have made this school reform strategy so prominent today. Each chapter includes a discussion of a new direction that schools and teachers can take to ensure that data use in teaching actually spurs growth in learning. This resource extracts lessons from both chaotic and productive data implementation in order to inform practice and fulfill hopes for better schooling, richer teaching, and deeper learning. Book Features: Provides practical guidelines for effective use of data in schools and classrooms. Includes vivid descriptions and relatable narratives. Explores in rich detail what teaching is and how it works. Combines insightful ideas and powerful stories with concrete steps for improvement.
Author Bio
Joseph P. McDonald is emeritus professor of teaching and learning at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and coauthor of The Power of Protocols, Third Edition. Nora M. Isacoff is a cognitive psychologist and learning specialist in private practice. Dana Karin is a middle and high school teacher now pursuing a PhD in teaching and learning at New York University.