Supports that facilitate teacher data use in schools

Johnston, Mary Theresa
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This study examined supports that facilitate teacher data use in schools. The purpose of this work was to extend the base of knowledge of general supports for teacher data use, leadership supports for teacher data use, and technology supports for teacher data use. Three research questions guided the study to determine those supports necessary for teachers to be successful in data use: (a) What general data supports exist for teacher data use in schools, (b) what leadership supports exist for teacher data use in schools, and (c) what technology supports exist for teacher data use in schools? A qualitative and quantitative data collection process with a single-case study approach included individual interviews, focus groups, and a survey instrument. The data from these components were coded, analyzed, and organized into themes and implications by implementing the 6-step constant-comparative model. This mixed methods process provided a thorough evaluation of findings to answer the research questions. Two implications were found during the study. First, structures and systems for data use must be intentional in order to support teacher data use in schools. Contributing to the intentionality is time for collaboration; professional development to build teacher capacity; and clearly aligned district vision, mission, and goals. Second, technology support in the classroom is integral to effective data use by teachers. This support manifests in hardware support and personnel support. Hardware includes having the appropriate system that maintains the students, timely access to data and a user-friendly format. Personnel support refers to the integration of technology into teaching and learning, teacher-to-teacher support, and an alleviation of distrust through positive interaction with data. Further analysis revealed implications for practice, including the importance of creating structures and developing a plan for data use.