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* What school leaders could implement this model?

Posted By: Alan Jones on April 2, 2014
You article provides an excellent framework for understanding and implementing an inquiry based approach to analyzing student work. Although I have very deep reservations about the data/accountability movement in education, your description of the type of inquiry based dialogue comes closest to what the term assessment should truly mean in an educational setting.

The central problem with your framework is who would implement it? The critical component in your model is what you correctly identify as "epistemological stance." Somewhat akin to R. L. Martins (2007) concept of "salience" in organizational leadership jargon. Few school administrators have taken the private journey (Jones, 2013) to develop an epistemological stance. All administrators work in an organizational world that values telling-allocating-inspecting over facilitating inquiry based dialogues. Listed below is an application of R. L. Martins framework for integrative thinking applied to the training and expectations for school administrators:


Have not determined who they are educationally? (A coherent response to the fundamental questions of schooling: learn, worth, organize, assess, teach)


1) Unaware of contemporary theories, ideas, and practices in education/pedagogy.
2) Good at labeling and categorizing but poor understanding of the connection between categories, theories, and practices.
3) Lack the knowledge base to translate new ideas, often abstractions, into the vocabulary and practices that teachers were familiar with.


Administrators are far removed from the classroom
The administrative skills valued in districts are organizational, not pedagogical.
The day in and day out job of an administrator is focused on telling, allocating, and inspecting. The knowledge and skills required to help teachers make collective sense out of a new pedagogy or student data remain undeveloped.

The observations above does not invalidate your model, which, again, is an excellent description of how student data should be handled. But, as with all ambitious approaches to teaching/learning, the model requires a level of leadership sophistication that is not now present in our schools.
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 What school leaders could implement this model? by Alan Jones on April 2, 2014  * 
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