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Data collection is an essential aspect of the special education field. Assessment can come in all forms, from formative, informal, summative, formal, standardized, and anecdotal assessments. Special educators need to use this data when making educational and IEP decisions. Being data literate and understanding how to use data appropriately will help increase the efficacy of the special educator and student results.

Allocate at least 4.5 hours in the field to support this field experience.

Observe a certified special educator in the setting of your choice (inclusion, resource, self-contained, etc.), consistent with your choice from Clinical Field Experience A.

Observe the delivery of two or more lessons and take notes on the types of assessments the teacher uses, how data is gathered, and how the data he or she gathers is used. Consider all types of assessments, even those that are very informal such as signals for understanding, questioning techniques, and group and independent work.

After you observe and take notes, meet with the certified special educator to ask the following questions:

  • What type of data did you plan to collect during the lessons?
  • How do you collect data? How do you store it?
  • What do you use this data for?
  • When do you revisit the data?
  • When and how do you share data with students? Teachers? Parents? Other service providers?
  • How often do you assess students in a typical lesson?
  • Which types of data do you find most useful? Why?

Use any remaining field experience hours to collaborate with the teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.

Reflect upon your observations, interview, and collaboration in a 250-500 word summary. How does the teacher’s use of data correlate with your recent research on data collection and use? Be sure to explain how you will use your findings in your future professional practice.