Some Guidelines for Learning from Student Work
"Learning from Student Work," Eric Buchovecky of the Atlas Communities project
has described a collaborative process adapted from the work of Mark Driscoll at
and that of Steve Seidel
and others at
's Project Zero. The
piece lays out useful reminders for how participants can stay focused on the
evidence before them and on listening to multiple perspectives, rather than
getting bogged down in assumptions or evaluations. Those norms are summarized
with the author's permission here:
looking for evidence of student thinking:
focused on the evidence that is present in the work.
judging what you see.
openly and broadly; don't let your expectations cloud your vision.
for patterns in the evidence that provide clues to how and what the student
listening to colleagues' thinking:
in to differences in perspective.
controversy as an opportunity to explore and understand each other's
on understanding where different interpretations come from.
your own thinking clear to others.
patient and persistent.
reflecting on your thinking:
yourself, "Why do I see this student work in this way? What does this tell me
about what is important to me?"
for patterns in your own thinking.
in to the questions that the student work and your colleagues’ comments raise
what you see and what you think about the student work with what you do in the
reflect on the process of looking at student work, ask:
did you see in this student's work that was interesting or surprising?
did you learn about how this student thinks and learns?
about the process helped you see and learn these things?
did you learn from listening to your colleagues that was interesting or
new perspectives did your colleagues provide?
can you make use of your colleagues’ perspectives?
questions about teaching and assessment did looking at this student's work
raise for you?
can you pursue these questions further?
there things you would like to try in your classroom as a result of looking at
the student's work?