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Teachers 'find it difficult to manage large amounts of data'

06/10/2017 Joanna

Teachers need more help to process the increasingly large quantities of data they are expected to manage, according to a new report.

Findings from Unesco's Global Education Monitoring report have been reported by TES, revealing that 56 per cent of teachers in the UK believe that data collection and management is a source of unnecessary workload, partly because many lack the skills needed to deal with the data generated by requirements to account and report.

Surveying teachers in Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Poland as well as the UK, it was shown that assessment capabilities, including data use and research, is not generally an area of focus in teacher training, resulting in many members of staff lacking confidence in this area.

As a result, teachers are not getting the most out of the data available to them, with many simply using the information to monitor performance on a superficial level, rather than gaining insights that allow them to improve instruction.

In response to these findings, Unesco called for schools to adopt a new approach to the way they gather data, as well as providing teachers with more support on how to manage it.

A statement from the organisation said: "It's vital that governments, school leaders and teachers consider the purpose for which the data is being collected, the minimum amount of data required to achieve their aims, and re-use previously-gathered data if appropriate.

"This also requires considering what reporting requirements are excessive and aren't providing sufficient value in the education monitoring process."

It was also recommended that more be done to embed data literacy as a key element of initial teacher training and continuous professional development.

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