Does our change lead to every student have the support they need to DIG Deeper to learn?
We address the research questions above using a mixed-methods approach.
Data collection activities include teacher and principal questionnaires, teacher and principal focus groups, teacher interviews, classroom observations by BCPS Instructional Facilitators, and document and record review (e.g. teacher developed resources, district professional development attendance).
We are inviting all elementary (K-5) teachers and principals in BCPS to complete a questionnaire four times during the project: February, 2019; October, 2019; November, 2020 and May 2021. (A fifth questionnaire administration was cancelled in Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and the transition to virtual instruction). Questionnaire analysis includes descriptive and psychometric properties of key study variables as well as inferential analyses to explore associations between teachers’ and principals’ readiness for change; teachers’ and principals’ expectations about their students’ readiness to engage in argumentation, use of evidence, and communication; and spread of awareness of DIG Deeper across BCPS.
We will also examine the growth rates of each measured variable and explore differences in growth rates of teachers from different geographical areas of the district.
We are conducting teacher and principal focus groups annually. We began in May, 2019 and will repeat in May 2021. (May 2020’s focus groups were not conducted due to the COVID-19 global pandemic). Teachers and principals participate in focus groups separately, and their responses provide insight into teachers’ and principals’ beliefs about teachers’ readiness to engage their students in argumentation, use of evidence, and communication.
In Spring 2021, we will interview fifteen fourth grade teachers to capture their expectations about their students’ readiness to engage in argumentation, use of evidence, and communication (e.g., DIG Deeper) in each subject area. These teachers will be recruited from all ten district Cadres in order to ensure that a variety of perspectives are collected.
Throughout each school year, BCPS Instructional Facilitators conduct classroom observations in the demonstration schools. Observations are conducted in-person, except during the pandemic when they are conducted virtually . During these observations, the Instructional Facilitators collect examples of what high quality facilitation of critical thinking (e.g., DIG Deeper) looks like across different schools, grade levels, and subject areas. Outlier will work closely with the Instructional Facilitators to organize themes from their classroom observations into examples that can be highlighted on this website for other practitioners in BCPS as well as other elementary school teachers, principals, and staff members in the United States.