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‘Data’ shouldn’t be a dirty word

By Jim Knight and Michael Faggella-Luby
April 2022
Data is an inescapable part of our lives. We ask Siri the temperature before we decide which coat to wear when we leave the house in the morning, we keep an eye on the speedometer as we drive to and from work, and we might even use a sleep app to gauge how effectively we sleep at night. Data is so deeply woven into the fabric of our lives that it is next to impossible to imagine what a data-free life would be like. But despite the centrality of data in everyone’s personal lives, when people talk about data in schools, their comments are often negative. For example, aware of the negative feelings the word “data” evokes for many, coaches often try to find other

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References

Amabile, T. & Kramer, S. (2011). The power of small wins. Harvard Business Review. hbr.org/2011/05/the-power-of-small-wins

Buckingham, M. & Goodall, A. (2019). The feedback fallacy. Harvard Business Review, 97(2), 92-101.

Knight, J. (2019). Students on the margins. The Learning Professional, 40(6), 28-32.

Lopez, S. (2013). Making hope happen: Create the future you want for yourself and others. Atria Books.


Senior Partner at Instructional Coaching Group | + posts

Jim Knight, senior partner of Instructional Coaching Group, is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has spent more than two decades studying instructional coaching, writing several books on the topic.  Knight’s articles on instructional coaching have been included in publications such as the Journal of Staff Development, Principal Leadership, The School Administrator, and Teachers Teaching Teachers. Knight directs several research projects, including Pathways to Success, a comprehensive, district-wide school reform project in the Topeka, Kansas, School District. Knight also leads the Intensive Instructional Coaching Institutes and the Teaching Learning Coaching annual conference. Knight has presented and consulted in more than 40 states, most Canadian provinces, and around the world. He has also won several university teaching, innovation, and service awards.

Michael Faggella-Luby (m.faggella-luby@tcu. edu) is a professor at Texas Christian University and director of the Alice Neeley Special Education Research & Service (ANSERS) Institute.


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