Title page for ETD etd-07032012-164215

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Goings, Sheri Lyn Pastor
Author's Email Address sheri.goings@dunhamschool.org
URN etd-07032012-164215
Title Using a Collaborative Inquiry Process and Data to Affect Curriculum in an Independent School
Degree Master of Natural Sciences (M.N.S.)
Department Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Madden, James Committee Chair
Neubrander, Frank Committee Member
Sundar, Padmanaban Committee Member
  • collaborative inquiry
  • independent school
  • curriculum
  • using data
Date of Defense 2012-06-29
Availability unrestricted
Literature clearly supports the use of data to support and drive school policy. Data can be immensely informative; however test scores are not the sole indicator of school effectiveness. To successfully implement a plan for data use, it is imperative to a provide climate of teacher buy-in and collaboration. Multiple sources of data should be considered collectively prior to making any judgment(s) about students, teachers, curriculum, or schools. Data use for effective decision-making is an on-going process that requires strategic planning and a long-term commitment.

Over the past year, I have led the math department through a modified version of the steps identified in the “Using Data Project”, which piloted and field tested the “Using Data Process of Collaborative Inquiry”. As part of this project, one of the primary data sources we utilized was the ERB standardized test data from 5th through 8th grade tests, which are taken at the end of the school year.

I will show how my school successfully implemented a collaborative inquiry process to inform classroom and curriculum decisions in mathematics. The collaborative inquiry process at The Dunham School had the following aspects: 1) high-quality, extensive data; 2) the collaborative team involved most of the math department on a regular basis; 3) standards were used extensively; 4) scheduled times and tasks were necessary; 5) this project fit the environment, served our recognized needs and had administrative involvement (including awareness, input, oversight, and expectations of deliverables).

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