Data for learning: Generation and utilization of data in primary schools in Nairobi, Kenya.

Data for learning: Generation and utilization of data in primary schools in Nairobi, Kenya.

Schools generate and consolidate data all the time in the course of teaching and learning. This data can be used by teachers to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms as well as their schools. Much of the data generated is from formative and summative assessment tests; national tests, learner demographics, the teaching process and context. Teachers are expected to interpret this data for improvement of the teaching and learning in addition to school improvement. Nonetheless, this data often does not provide insight about teaching and learning in classrooms. It is based mainly on analyzed statistics leaving out learning environments, learner characteristics, emotions and relationships that drive learning in classrooms. Making large quantities of data available to schools and teachers may not address the challenges experienced in classrooms. A better understanding of good teaching and how it leads to quality learning outcomes in schools is critical in addressing education problems. Information about details, relationships, conversations and narratives that form bits of data from the classrooms, are crucial in uncovering huge trends in education. Bits of information are frequently hidden in the invisible fabric of schools. Understanding this fabric, which lies in gathering of small data from classrooms and schools, should be a priority for improving education. Therefore, there is need to shift focus to data that is generated by teachers in their classrooms, how it is used to promote learning and the best practice in effective use of data as well as challenges. Multiple case research design was employed in which in-depth interviews and document analysis were used to establish how teachers generated and used data to improve learning in their classrooms. Data was analysed by coding of the key themes of the interviews. Most teachers generated their own data. It is worth noting that, data apparently challenged expectations of staff, pupils and parents; led to transitions and transfers as well as identification of pupils’ achievements and setting of targets. Capacity building of teachers’ on skills in data collection, analysis and interpretation was imperative.

Key words: Data, small data, school improvement


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  • November 16, 2018 Create Date
  • November 16, 2018 Last Updated

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