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Framework for effective information sharing

This framework sets out the principles for effective information sharing and their expected outcomes, supported by the evidence from research, policy, and regulation.

 Principles

(In an effective reporting process, information sharing is guided by the following)

  • Evidence, policy, or regulation that supports the principle
  • Evidence from parent focus group research

Outcomes

(If information is being reported and shared effectively, these are the likely outcomes)

1 Ako (overarching principle)

Information sharing and reciprocal learning, or ako, underpin all reporting and information-sharing processes.

Parents and whānau share their expectations, their child’s interests, strengths, and learning needs and the knowledge they value.

  • Reporting processes require a high level of responsiveness to unique learning and learner contexts. This includes collaborative exchanges of information between participants in a process of reciprocal learning or ako. (Assessment Position Paper, Ministry of Education, 2011)
  • Effective schools listen to the aspirations that parents and whānau have for their children. 
  • Analyses of PISA data show better student reading performance can be achieved through genuine parent interest and active engagement. (PISA, 2012)[1]

Parents want teachers to explicitly build on and extend the learning that their child brings from home.

Parents want to know how the teacher/school sees their child.

  • What talents does the school think my child might have?
  • How is my child getting on with their friends and the teachers?
  • I am keen to have more than just academic learning reported. e.g. how is my child on the marae, how are their values, and do they know how to conduct themselves?

 

  • School practices add to family practices and family practices add to school practices.
  • Teachers know about their students’ identity, language, culture, interests, and talents.
  • Students/ākonga know that their teachers respect who they are.

2.  Focus and coverage

Information sharing provides appropriate focus and coverage, and valid and fair information about students’ progress and achievement towards valued learning outcomes across the breadth of the curriculum.

Parents want to know what their child should be learning and how they can help at home.

Most also want a process that enables explicit sharing of knowledge and responsibility.

  • I want to see what I can do at home with shorter follow-up times so we can work together.
  • I need next steps in parent speak. I need something simple to work with.

Parents want a picture of their child’s progress and growth over time.

  • I want to see my child is achieving and that they are moving forward. I want to see progress.
  • Parents and whānau are clear about what their child has achieved and the progress their child has made across the breadth of the curriculum, including the curriculum vision of confident, connected, actively engaged, life-long learners.

3. Foundations for learning

Information sharing is clear about students’ understandings and skills in areas that are likely to have a multiplier effect on their ongoing learning in all areas.

  •  National Standards need to be embedded into schools’ work with the national curriculum. (OECD, 2012)[2]
  • To improve the proportion of students who gain NCEA Level 2, learning opportunities need to be framed to develop both cognitive and key competencies at the same time and these opportunities need to be provided both in and out of school. (Wylie, C and Hodgen, E, 2011)
  • Basic skills in literacy, language, and numeracy are essential to participate fully in the modern world, and they are a priority across the education system. Without these skills, adults are limited in all aspects of their lives – including finding and keeping a job, raising their children, and following instructions. Tertiary Education Strategy, 2014–2019

Parents want to know about important foundations.

  • I want to know what my son should be doing to achieve the National Standard at the end of year 2.
  • We need to help our children get their priorities in order so they can focus on the things that will make a big difference for their future.
  • Key competencies are so important they should be at the front of the report. They are the things that will help our kids keep learning.
  • Parents and whānau can clearly see students’ progress and achievement in literacy, numeracy, key competencies, and "learning-to-learn" skills.

 

4. Student responsibility

Reporting involves and benefits students/ākonga . Each student takes increasing levels of responsibility for reporting on their own progress in ways that strengthen their view of themselves as a learner and their understanding of what they have learnt. 

  • Motivation and achievement are enhanced when students reflect and see a direct link between their actions and an outcome and when they have some choice about whether or how to undertake tasks. (Ryan & Deci, 2000)[3]
  • Students learning in classrooms that emphasise self-regulation exhibit high levels of concentration and attitudes directed towards educational and personal progress. Even low-achieving students exhibit relatively high self-efficacy; they believe that they can learn and improve, and they do not shy away from more challenging tasks. (Duckworth et al, 2009)[4]
  • When children teach their parents about school, rather than the teachers leading the discussion, parental interest and involvement increases. (Tamaki Primary School’s Home-School Partnership story)[5]

Parents want to know about what kind of effort their child is putting in and how good they are at learning new things.

  • My kids don’t have to like everything but I want to know if they are prepared to give things a go.
  • Kids’ ability to cope with things outside their comfort zone is an important thing to comment on.

 

  • Students/ākonga are clear about what they have learnt, which learning strategies were successful, what they need to focus on next, and why it is important.

5. Motivation

Information is deliberately designed to enhance student, parent, and whānau motivation and engagement.

Reports enable each and every child to celebrate their progress towards their learning goals.

 

  • Supportive, caring relationships are important for high motivation and achievement. (Pintrich 2003)[6]
  • Motivation is influenced by whether or not one feels capable of performing the task. (Bandura cited in Seifert, 2004)[7]
  • I love seeing the home/school books and the written reports. It’s a good combination, You see samples of their work, you see what they’re working towards, and you can celebrate with them.
  • To be told in hard language that your child is not achieving is a blow and it makes it hard to give your kids encouragement and support, and to believe in them, especially if as parents we don’t have the skills.
  • Student/ākonga, parent, and whānau motivation to support learning is enhanced.
  • Students/ākonga who would normally "switch off" when faced with low achievement remain motivated.

 

6. Technologies

Available technologies are used to:

  • make the indicators of each student’s progress more visible
  • enhance reciprocal information-sharing for teachers, students, parents, and whānau
  • engage networks to support students' further learning.

 

  • The potential of new technologies to transform teaching and learning is heavily dependent on educators’ abilities to see the affordances and capacities of ICT.(Bolstad, Gilbert et al, 2012)[8]
  • Rich social networks support the development of cultural identity and a sense of belonging that contribute to children’s feelings of well being and they provide crucial support for parents in supporting their children’s learning and achievement. (Biddulph et al 2003)[9]

Parents want to receive information in timely ways and through convenient technologies.

  • Almost all parents now have mobile phones; we find texting non-threatening.
  • Facebook is popular and most of us feel comfortable and free to ask questions there. It’s also useful for keeping ex-students positively connected to the school.
  • Parents and whānau can see their child’s progress on-line in real time.
  • Parents, whānau, and the wider community use a range of technologies to support their children’s learning.

 

7. Checking in with parents

Schools regularly inquire into and evaluate the effectiveness of their information-sharing processes, and improvements in information-sharing policies, processes, and practices are made as a result of listening to parents’ and students’ voices.

  • Joint interventions involving parents and teachers have the greatest impact on outcomes. (Robinson, Hohepa & Lloyd, 2009)[10]
  • Effective self-review explores parental perceptions on matters such as the school’s approachability, responsiveness, partnerships, consultation, the information received, and timeliness and accuracy of reports on students’ progress. 

Parents want their views to be taken into account and want a meaningful respectful partnership with their child’s teacher and school.

  • Our school changes the report forms nearly every year, but they don’t ask us parents what we think about them.

Parents and whānau:

  • are confident interacting with their children’s teachers
  • feel their views are valued
  • understand where their children are at, what progress they have made, and what they need to learn next.
  • know where to access the information and resources they need to support their children’s learning.

[1] https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/Parent%20Factor_e-book-new%20logo_FINAL_new%20page%2047.pdf

[2] OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: New Zealand, published in February 2012.

[3] Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American, 55(1), 68-78.

[4] Duckworth, K., Akerman R., et al (2009)Self Regulated Learning Literature Review Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning Institute of Education, University of London

[5] http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Archives/Media-gallery-archive/2011/Tamaki-Primary-School

[6] Pintrich, P. R. (2003). A motivational science perspective on the role of student motivation in learning and teaching contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(4), 667-686.

[7] Seifert, T. L. (2004). Understanding student motivation. Educational Research (46)2, 137-149.

[8] Bolstad, R., Gilbert, J., et al (2012) Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching - a New Zealand perspective, Ministry of Education New Zealand.

[9] Biddulph, F., Biddulph, J., & Biddulph, C. (2003). The Complexity of Community and Family Influences on Children's Achievement in New Zealand: Best evidence synthesis. Wellington: Ministry of Education.

[10] Robinson, R. Hohepa, M. & Lloyd, C. (2009). School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why. Best Evidence Synthesis [BES]. Chapter 7.