Below, we catalogue past seminars hosted by the QUINT Observation System Seminar Series:
- March 4th 2021: Cultural aspects of teaching: Concepts and measures to improve equitable learning opportunities for minoritized students by Bryant Jensen
Abstract: In this presentation, Dr. Bryant Jensen argues for improving equity in K-12 teaching and learning by addressing cultural aspects of teacher-student interactions across diverse classrooms. He conceptualizes equity in teaching as the interaction of generic (effective) and cultural (meaningful) aspects, and provides illustrations for how cultural aspects of teaching “instantiate” generic aspects. He presents the Classroom Assessment of Sociocultural Interactions (CASI), a new observation measure that capture three domains of cultural aspects of teaching: Life Applications, Self in Group, and Agency. Life Applications address the extent to which interactions explore and value students' everyday lives. Self in Group addresses the extent to which interactions orient students to work and identify with others instead of focusing exclusively on individual accomplishments. Lastly, Agency concerns the extent to which classroom interactions support student choice and freedom of expression. Following a presentation of CASI’s technical qualities (i.e., scoring procedures, internal factor structure, score reliability), Jensen discusses ongoing uses of the tool to enhance 1) what we know about equity in teaching and learning (i.e., research uses), and 2) how teachers work together continuously improve their equitable teaching practice (i.e., formative uses).
- April 13th 2021: From global teacher observation protocols to fine-grained, automated methods: Strengths and emerging limitations by Sean Kelly
Abstract: An essential feature of many modern teacher observation protocols is their “global” approach to measuring instruction, where trained observers provide a summary evaluation of multiple domains of instruction scored over an interval of time or even entire class session. In this talk, I highlight several limitations of global protocols that have emerged, referencing findings from the Measures of Effective Teaching data reported by Kelly et al. (2020; Educational Policy Analysis Archives). These limitations include: limited discriminatory power to categorize instruction, reliability that is highly contingent on rater training, highly correlated subdomains that make it difficult to distinguish specific practices, the confounding of classroom context with teachers’ own contribution to instruction, and evaluation solely on a continuum of effectiveness rather than measures focused on tradeoffs in time-use or emphasis. As a frame of reference for understanding global protocols, I also consider the properties of automated systems of observation currently being developed, which address some of these limitations but also introduce new challenges.
- May 4th 2021: The Change We Cannot See: Instructional Quality and Classroom Observation in the Era of Common Core by Julie Cohen and Ethan Hutt
Abstract: The adoption of “College and Career Ready” standards—including Common Core State Standards—aims to raise academic expectations for students nationwide. Meeting these outcomes requires shifts in teaching, which, in turn, requires developing measures for the observation, assessment, and support of new kinds of instruction. This essay focuses on our efforts to develop such measures in a research project conducted in the District of Columbia Public Schools, which raised fundamental questions about whether existing measures can meet this challenge. By emphasizing observable elements of individual lessons, current measures produce a restricted view of instructional quality, omitting crucial elements of instruction called forth by new standards. Having identified this disconnect, we offer suggestions for developing multi-measure systems to capture a fuller picture of standards aligned teaching
June 9th 2021: Scaling-Up Collaborations in Research on Teaching Quality: A Chimera or a Feasible Endeavor? by Charalambos Y. Charalambous and Anna-Katharina Praetorius
Abstract: An examination of the field of research on teaching quality over the past two decades suggests that significant advancements have been made in conceptualizing, operationalizing, and measuring teaching quality. At the same time, however, scholars seem to be working in parallel, with few substantive opportunities to collaboratively reflect on teaching and its quality. We argue that doing so is critical to reach some common ground in research on teaching quality. In this presentation, we reflect on whether establishing wider networks among researchers in the field is feasible and explore ways for doing so. Toward this end, we first identify five categories of challenges that impede collaborative work: lack of common goals and agendas; differences in terminology and structure; difficulties in operationalization and measurement; insufficient transparency with respect to how we understand and study teaching quality; and limited funding. Then, we present initial ideas on how to address some of these challenges, and finally engage the audience in a discussion about enriching and refining the proposed solutions for doing so. We envision this discussion to set the ground for more collaborative work in the future.