01 SES 04 A, Models for Change and Pedagogical Diagnostics
Quality development processes are regarded as specifically promising if they are characterized by collaboration and if they focus on teaching and especially on students’ learning (Fullan, 2014). In so far pedagogical diagnostics – on what students have learned, but also on how they are being instructed and how they learn – play an important role for both students’ learning as well as teachers’ learning. Evidence which can support such development processes can come from various sources. Two of them are discussed in detail in this paper. Empirical educational research encourages to explore how teaching can succeed and “which results are (not) produced“ (Eikenbusch & Heymann, 2011, p. 9). Children and young people spend a good portion of their time in class and for teachers teaching is their main activity, around which their professional doings revolve. A core part of quality development in schools therefore concerns teaching.
Helmke and Lenske (2013) describe various fields, which pedagogical diagnostics can focus on: Assessing student competencies can yield information on the current status of knowledge or the (intermediate) output of learning and teaching arrangements; furthermore, data on the quality and quantity of classes can offer relevant insights. In this contribution, we tackle the question, how students‘ perceptions of class as well as the teachers’ view on their own teaching can be collected as systematically as possible. Subsequently, these data can form the basis for reflective quality development of teaching. Thinking about, reflecting on, and discussing teaching and learning can be inspired in different settings, particularly in professional learning communities.
Students give very detailed and – from their perspective – well-founded responses to the question, what constitutes »good teaching«, in regards of teachers’ professional behavior as well as the organization of class (Buhren, 2015). How students perceive their classes can be captured using questionnaires. The resulting data can be used as feedback about one’s teaching und can support profound reflection on the present teaching in view of school specific perspectives on desirable teaching und promote »proflection« on future teaching practice.
The data collected by an instrument on teaching practices (for students and teachers) can be situated in the mikro-makro-model by Coleman (1991). Data on students’ perceptions on teaching exist on the system level in form of the overall aggregated student data. Teacher feedback reports can be put together using the aggregated student responses for one learning group (school class). Additionally, the teachers’ perceptions on their teaching can be aggregated on the system level as well. Thus, the basis for quality development on the teacher level can draw on their own students’ answers (aggregated on the class level), their own perception of their teaching and further reference points on the system level (aggregated student and teacher data). Thus, looking for similarities and differences is possible in multiple ways.
This contribution is based on an instrument, which was originally developed in the context of the national standards-based assessment of student competencies in Austrian primary schools. The national assessment has been conducted as a census alternately at the end of grades 4 and 8. Its focus is the assessment of basic competencies in mathematics, German and English as a foreign language, so that feedback can be given to schools and teachers about what their students have learned. This is supposed to form the basis for professional development of quality in the schools. In addition to the cognitive tests, background questionnaires are being administered (Schreiner & Breit, 2016). They typically focus on the conditions, under which a school works, so that this information can be taken into account, when interpreting the assessment results. Additionally, they comprise non-cognitive outputs of schooling. In the assessment of math in grade 4 in the spring 2018 questionnaire constructs on math instruction supplemented the student as well as the teacher questionnaire. They are based on a model for competency-oriented teaching and learning (Wiesner & Schreiner, 2020). The database comprises the answers by ~75000 students from approx. 3000 schools and ~4500 teachers. This contribution firstly examines the data on primary school math teaching from the students’ and the teachers’ perspectives using information from scales constructed theory-based and confirmed by factory analyses as well as looking at item-level data. Secondly, possibilities, challenges, and limitations in using the resulting data for quality development purposes are discussed.
This paper discusses the instrument’s potential for reflective quality development of teaching, as part of the national assessment as well as in form of a stand-alone instrument. Including students’ perceptions on teaching can complement teachers’ own views on their professional agency and be therefore a valuable basis for quality development processes in school. Data analyses shows that the resulting data can be scaled on the student and the teacher level, so that corresponding constructs describing the math teaching (from the perspective of the teacher and the students) can be derived. They show an interesting level of variance between schools and between perspectives. Using the results of the student questionnaire on their math classes from one learning group opens up new, manifold options and possibilities for quality development. One form of use has proved to be notably fruitful: Discussing perceptions of teaching amongst different teachers in the form of professional learning communities (Stoll & Seashore Louis, 2007). Different foci can lead such a discussion: The questionnaire is based on a special model of teaching. Reflecting on what constitutes important dimensions of competency-oriented teaching and comparing one’s own view with the model the instrument is based upon can be one focus. Different perceptions of students on different teachers’ teaching can be another focus. The instruments also comprise questionnaires for teachers which include the same items and scales as the student questionnaire from a teacher’s perspective. If a teacher assesses his or her teaching at the same time as the students using corresponding instruments, comparing perceptions of one self and others gets possible – or in other words another focus could be to compare the prspectives of teaching and learning. This offers potential for exploring ones’ own views on (good) teaching and ones’ teaching practices.
Buhren, C. G. (2015). Schueler-Lehrer-Feedback – Formen und Methoden. In C. G. Buhren (Hrsg.), Handbuch Feedback in der Schule (p. 211–230). Beltz. Coleman, J. (1991). Foundations of Social Theory. Belknap. Eikenbusch, G. & Heymann, H. W. (2011). Was wissen wir ueber guten Unterricht? Bergmann + Helbig. Fullan, M. (2014). The Principal. Three Keys to Maximizing Impact. Jossey-Bass. Schreiner, C., & Breit, S. (2016). Konzeption der Ueberpruefung der Bildungsstandards in Oesterreich. In S. Breit & C. Schreiner (Hrsg.), Large Scale Assessments mit R. Methodische Grundlagen der oesterreichischen Bildungsstandardueberpruefung (p. 1–19). Facultas. Stoll, L. & Seashore, L. K. (Eds.). (2007). Professional learning communities. Divergence, depth and dilemmas. Open University. Wiesner, C. & Schreiner, C. (2020). Ein Modell fuer den kompetenzorientierten Unterricht und als Impuls fuer reflexive Unterrichtsentwicklung und -forschung. In U. Greiner et al. (Eds.), Bildungsstandards. Kompetenzorientierung, Aufgabenkultur und Qualitaetsentwicklung im Schulsystem (p. 319–352). Waxmann.
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