4.04.2010

Accountability and Measurements of Effectiveness

You could also call this "The Mismeasure of Teaching" - My thoughts on evaluation of work product. You have two kinds of work: 1. Easily-measured productive work and 2. Creative work that is hard to measure.

Typical evaluation techniques such as checklists are used for production. Counts of assignments, distribution of test grades, presence of "essential question" on whiteboard, presence of vocabulary related to lesson on wall, number of students off-task over a quarter hour, actions taken by staff, presence of discussion, student evaluations - typical list-based management of the outward and visible signs. But is it possible to use the theological next step? Signs of the inward and spiritual state? Does it follow logically and can it be reliable?

For creative work, Yochai Benkler's Wealth of Networks chapter on Economics of Social Production - mentions the inherent difficulty of measuring a distinction between quantity of labor and quality of labor when it comes to creative output. A widely based traditional model of production can't produce an increased qualitative output is his conclusion.

If you look at The Structure of Educational Organizations by John W. Meyer & Brian Rowan, 1978 pp 79 through 109, Meyer et al identify lack of evaluation procedures as resulting from a lack of will-to-measure and consequent reliance on credentialism.

Benkler hypothesizes peer review as an effective method of measuring creative work in a collaborative environment. This may be networked and collaborated in an environment outside work, so internal measurement by a checklist will miss it completely. Peer review takes into account publication, and involvement in publication, workshops, symposia, production and collaboration with persons outside of the institution.

To the extent that teaching is simple production, evaluation using simple metrics should suffice. But to the extent it is creative, the checkoff sheet will fail measure creative and networked production.

I believe management technique may identify creativity improperly in the k-12 environment as "enthusiasm". So while it is being taken into consideration, it is mismeasured. Another problem is professionalization. To the extent lawmakers

No comments:

Post a Comment