Mark specialises in studying formalized observation instruments as a tool for understanding instructional quality. He is particularly interested in understanding rater and instrument biases and the mediators and moderators that affect the relationship between observed instructional practice and student learning. Beyond this work, he is interested in the challenges and benefits of identifying and labeling collections of practices as evidence-based, as well as the role of emotions in learning. His current work is focused on three areas. The main focus is on improving formalized observation instruments as tools of measuring instructional quality. Other work focuses on understanding change in instructional practices in the US since the introduction of the Common Core State Standards and exploring biases inherent in the use of student surveys to measure non-cognitive outcomes in schools.
Before completing his PhD in educational studies, Mark worked in the mental health field supporting children and adults with a range of challenges. This led him to study efforts in education designed to build resilience in students and decrease the incidence of mental health disorders and eventually to his graduate studies.
Mark White is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Nordic Centre of Excellence: Quality in Nordic Teaching (QUINT). He currently works on a postdoctoral project titled 'Challenging the Scoring Assumption: Incorporating context into observation scores and exploring rater errors'. This work is part of QUINT's LISA Nordic Study Linking Instruction and Student Achievement in Nordic Schools (LISA Nordic), a large-scale video study, investigating the quality of teaching in Nordic classrooms.