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When school leaders advance strategic plans focused on improving educational equity through data-driven decision making, how do policies-as-practiced unfold in the daily…
When school leaders advance strategic plans focused on improving educational equity through data-driven decision making, how do policies-as-practiced unfold in the daily work of science teachers? The paper aims to discuss this issue.
This ethnographic study examines how data-centric accountability and improvement efforts surface as practices for 36 science teachers in three secondary schools. For two years, researchers were embedded in schools alongside teachers moving through daily classroom practice, meetings with colleagues and leaders, data-centric meetings, and professional development days.
Bundled initiatives created consequences for science educators including missed opportunities to capitalize on student-generated ideas, to foster science sensemaking, and to pursue meaningful and equitable science learning. Problematic policy-practice intersections arose, in part, because of school leaders’ framing of district and school initiatives in ways that undermined equity in science education.
From the perspective of science education, this paper raises an alarming problem for equitable science teaching. Lessons learned from missteps seen in this study have practical implications for others attempting similar work. The paper suggests alternatives for supporting meaningful and equitable science education.
Seeing leaders’ framing of policy initiatives, their bundling of performance goals, equity and accountability efforts, and their instructional coaching activities from the point of view of teachers affords unique insight into how leadership activities mediate policies in schools.
The coming of Big Data is offered as a salve that will reduce global inequalities and grow national economies. The chapter pursues how notions of progress have traveled…
The coming of Big Data is offered as a salve that will reduce global inequalities and grow national economies. The chapter pursues how notions of progress have traveled into schooling through technology and generate differences and exclusions in the past and present. The chapter explores how transnational school reforms during the colonial era were directed to adapting education to “the African,” which connected expertise in the U.S., UK, and Africa through a shared set of standards, principles, and values about what constituted civilization and development. In school reforms today, the “African” has disappeared today in favor of the “all”; however, residues of educational values and judgments that made up the African as a peculiar and pathological target of colonial schooling still haunt the present. The chapter argues that today’s transnational school reforms continue to presume target communities are passive, pathological objects whose transformation depends upon their learning to act rationally. Whereas in the past this was envisioned as individuals’ and communities’ assimilation through surveys and questionnaires, today rationality is managed through integration in systems and optimizing users’ choices through data mining and algorithms. The narrative of data as grounding rational thought and action is a seductive one that offers optimism to schooling; however, faith in the coming of technology impairs historical reflection and ethical reflexivity toward schooling’s values and judgments, and the differences and exclusions they generate.