Guidelines for using data

Effective self-assessment, improving classroom practice, and reporting to the community involves schools collecting, analysing and presenting data. The ability to investigate, reflect on and make the most of available data is a core competency for everyone in schools – leaders, teachers and support staff.

Schools are awash with data … While volumes of data are extruded about and from schools, teaching continues without the benefits of such data.

- John Hattie, What is the nature of evidence that makes a difference to learning?

Data can take many forms, and is not limited to NAPLAN or HSC scores. Data also encompasses teacher judgements, student work samples, classroom observation, and results of surveys, interviews or focus groups. A combination of these types of data is most effective in generating powerful evidence to assess your performance and improve practice.

This section details some basics on data that is most commonly used in schools. This includes:

A note on qualitative and quantitative data

The advice in this section often distinguishes between qualitative  and quantitative  data. These types of data have different strengths, sometimes require different considerations when analysing them, and are each more useful for answering different questions. This means that you should not use only one type of data or the other.

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