QUINT Observation System Seminar: November 8th, 2021

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Welcome to the QUINT Observation Systems Seminars (OBS seminars).  This series will discuss classroom observation systems as a tool for understanding and improving teaching quality.

This and upcoming OBS seminars are open for all interested parties.  We want it to become a meeting arena for scholars genuinely interested in observation systems and related issues. Therefore we recommend that you join our network by subscribing to the network mailing list. You must confirm your email address in the confirmation email you receive to complete signing up to the mailing list. 

If you are interested in presenting your research or have questions, please contact the organizer, QUINT Postdoctoral Fellow Mark White.


In this seminar, taking place on November 8th at 9am ET/ 15.00 CET Kristen Bieda and Serena Salloum will present on the challenges in observing math instruction at scale. This work is in connection with the "The Study of Elementary Mathematics Instruction" (www.studyofelemmath.org). The title of the talk is The Good, the Bad, and the Satisficed: Orchestrating Observations to Measure Quality of Mathematics Teaching Practice at Scale.  A paper that the talk is based on can be found here.

Abstract: Classroom observations are seen as the "gold standard" to capture the quality of instruction. However, they are rarely used in quantitative research as the majority of large-scale studies that collect classroom observation data often use observational tools that capture aspects of teaching quality that are not domain-specific. Moreover, observations studies often rely on, and have preference for, video recordings to facilitate data collection, a medium that some school districts, particularly those who serve students in urban settings, will not allow due to privacy concerns. In this presentation, we share what we learned as a result of trying to overcome these challenges in a project where we sought to measure the quality of 119 early-career elementary teachers' mathematics teaching practice, from 8 school districts across three states in the U.S., with a rater team with varying levels of experience in teaching mathematics or in elementary classrooms. We will share the inevitable challenges that arose as we began the effort, and the lessons we learned as we found solutions to the dilemmas of large-scale collection of observational data of mathematics instruction. We discuss how our choices were made by satisficing (Manski, 2017), a notion that captures the nature of researchers' decision making when working in mercurial settings such as school classrooms.

BioKristen Bieda's WebsiteSerena Salloum's Website

Web-Recording of the Talk:

Download media file



Published Aug. 9, 2021 7:47 PM - Last modified Nov. 8, 2021 4:32 PM