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Improving the efficiency of case studies​


Two sources of data in particular present themselves as viable ways for teacher education programs to more efficiently and effectively gauge the performance of beginning teachers through case studies.  These sources
are described below.


Source 1. School-based supervisor’s evaluation of teacher performance

Case studies of individual beginning teachers require an evaluation of the teachers’ performance in the school. Teacher educators can conduct these observations and evaluations can be productive, but is also time consuming. An efficiency can be gained by relying on the observations and evaluations that are already conducted at the school site by the beginning teacher’s supervisor.  Asking beginning teachers to submit supervisor evaluations would be efficient from the perspective of the teacher education program and open opportunities to conduct multiple case studies. Recognizing that supervisor evaluations are personnel data and can be viewed as sensitive, this process would require the permission of the beginning teacher and an understanding of how the evaluation data would be used.  It is also important to recognize that teacher supervision and evaluation may differ across school districts so comparisons will not be easily possible.  However, this option leverages the professional expertise of school-based supervisors
(e.g., principals and mentors) and the established processes already in place for districts.

Source 2. Interview questions on Common Metrics 

Another possible efficiency can be gained by combining data collection moments for beginning teachers.  For example, the Transition to Teaching Survey is administered at the end of the first year of teaching.  If first year teachers are the population within the case study, it would be efficient to add interview questions related to impact on student learning at the end of the Transition to Teaching Survey and/or Supervisor Survey to eliminate the separate, time-intensive teacher and supervisor interviews.

P-12 Student Engagement Data

The intent of gathering P-12 student engagement data is to identify the relationship between the quality of student engagement and the actions of the teacher.  Student engagement data might be obtained through item analysis on the Transition to Teaching and Supervisor Surveys, classroom observations, or through direct surveys of P-12 students in early career teachers’ classrooms.  In the latter two cases, teacher preparation programs collaborate with local P-12 teachers and administrators to gather and analyze student engagement survey data.

Student engagement surveys

The NExT institutions do not promote any one particular stance on student engagement.  We define engagement broadly to mean a student’s or teacher’s way of interacting within the learning environment and broader school/community context through constructs such as behavior, passion, interest, curiosity, attention, and willingness to be in relationship with others.  We recognize that several instruments are available through researchers and commercial venues.  For example, two versions of student engagement surveys have been developed by North Dakota State University.  These are described below.

Primary Engagement Survey as designed for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade.  In grades K-3, the survey is read to students, and students select the statement that best matches their level of engagement in the classroom.
In grades 4-6, students read the survey and complete
it independently.

Table 4.10

Survey of Student Engagement K-6