Data driven instructions boost performance

Dear Editor,
I don’t know if it’s been done before but kudos to Education Minister Priya Manickchand for using data analysis of the NGSA mock exams to drive instruction. Data analyses works; I know as I was part of the data analysis team at my school, and we were able to see significant improvements via use of this instrument. And, given that curricula are standards driven, data analysis enables teachers to know exactly what standards need reinforcement to plan instructions accordingly. In fact, data analysis enables students to reflect on their progress, visualise possibilities, set individual goals and create plans to achieve those goals.
Data analysis can also be used to create small groups in classrooms so that sets of students can focus on their specific areas of needed reinforcement while teachers can plan individualised, small group and differentiated instructions. Naturally, as part of the professional development, teachers must be provided with the requisite pedagogical training in a context where whole classroom, one size fits all instructional approach is a thing of the past.
Now with the internet playing an increasingly greater role in the delivery of education, the Ministry may want to consider setting up a portal that would enable schools to move the entire evaluative process online so parents can track real time progress of their children and become more involved in their children’s education while students can be able to stay on top of their progress and adapt accordingly. In fact, via such a portal, resources can be provided to parents to empower them to better help their children and additional scope can be provided to students to help them meet, if not surpass goals.
When students become intrinsically involved in their education, they take greater ownership; when they realise the possibilities within their grasp, they are more driven to achieve. This then positively impacts their emotional IQ and overall mental health, both of which are critical for whole child development and fostering an attitude of success. Emotional and mental health can also be tremendously boosted if the Ministry implements a mechanism to address the psychosocial needs of both teachers and students as a regular fare within the education system.
The bottom line is in the contemporary education context, the teacher should be a guide, mentor and coach in a student-centred approach helping students towards self-exploration, aspirational development and fulfilment of potential.
Annan Boodram
The Caribbean Voice