"How do we know that what we are doing is making enough of a difference for our learners?"
This main guiding question from the Spirals of Inquiry helps us monitor our learning goals. What we choose to collect as evidence of our actions and school improvement is crucial. Evidence of change and evidence of school improvement are very different.
Research helps us identify the types of evidence that we should be collecting to monitor school improvement. The graphic titled "An Inclusive Evidence Base" comes from an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Lisbeth B. Schorr, "Broader Evidence for Bigger Impact," Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2012) and it states that to have a better idea of an impact, we need to examine evidence from a variety of sources:
- Evidence from Experimental Evaluations (ie. formal studies)
- Evidence from Non-experimental Evaluations (ie. report card data)
- Evidence from Other Research (ie. studies and scholarly papers around the same initiatives)
- Evidence from Practice and Experience (ie. what we experience, observe, and collect in schools every day)
Research tells us that schools who broaden their evidence base the better idea of the positive impacts their work is making. As a staff, as we move down the road of collecting evidence to inform our practice over time, we will use this framework to guide our thinking about the collection and analysis of our evidence.