Looking at Student Work
Looking at Student Work


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Books, Articles and Videos

Below are some books, articles and videos that provide more information about looking at student work and protocols for looking at student work. Many of the authors are participants in the Looking at Student Work association. Please note: This is an initial listing; many more print and video resources exist, and this list will continue to expand.

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A Facilitator's Book of Questions:
Resources for Looking Together at Student and Teacher Work

David Allen and Tina Blythe.
New York: Teachers College Press, 2003.
 > Read the excerpts.

Collaborative Analysis of Student Work: Improving Teaching and Learning
When teachers get together and apply their combined knowledge and experience to the challenges of teaching and learning, amazing things can happen. In this book, you'll find out how to set up collaborative analysis of student work in your school. Developed and refined with more than 100 elementary and secondary teachers, this adaptable system combines the best of action research, study groups, standards-based learning, student assessment, teacher reflection, and portfolio assessment. The authors guide you through each component with concrete, detailed descriptions and authentic examples. You'll learn

• ideas for setting up effective study groups
• strategies for documenting students' progress toward learning standards
• methods for reflecting on professional growth
• ways to share the benefits with colleagues and students.

This system of professional inquiry challenges you to examine your beliefs about what students can do and helps you identify which teaching methods are working most successfully. You and your colleagues can acquire deeper insight into the link between your instruction and each student's learning—and enhance your ability to help every student succeed.

by Georgea M. Langer, Amy B. Colton, and Loretta S. Goff
Download Flyer (1 Mb)
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Allen, D. (Ed.). (1998). Assessing Student Learning: From Grading to Understanding. New York: Teachers College Press.

Annenberg Institute for School Reform. (1997). Looking at Student Work: A Window into the Classroom. VIDEO.

Barnes, Nancy. (2000). Teachers Teaching Teachers. In Education Week, January 19, 2000 (19:19, pp. 38, 42). The article is available in full on EdWeek's web site. Go to research to read a summary.

Barr, M. (2000). "Looking at the Learning Record." In Educational Leadership, February 2000 (pp. 20-24). An abstract of this article is available at the ASCD web site.

Blythe, T., Allen, D., & Powell, B. (1999). Looking Together at Student Work. New York: Teachers College Press.

Boston Public Schools 5-Year Reform Plan: Focus on Children II: Focus on Results. (December 2000)
The second of the six "Essentials" for all schools states: "Use student work and assessments to identify student needs, plan professional development, improve instruction and assess progress." This essential also includes steps and a description of what every school must achieve. Essential Two has been excerpted on this web site. The complete executive summary of the report can be downloaded as a word document to your desktop. Carini, P. (1982). The School Lives of Seven Children: A Five-Year Study. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota/North Dakota Study Group on Evaluation. [Available from the North Dakota Study Group.]

Cushman, K. (2000). Students Solving Community Problems:Serious Learning Takes On a New Look. Challenge Journal: Volume 4, Number1.
This issue of Challenge Journal presents examples of students' work and their experiences inside the classroom and out-accomplishments that blend traditional and unconventional notions of academic success. The stories reveal strengths not always associated with scholastic aptitude: initiative,persistence, flexibility, patience, curiosity, risk taking, and service. They also raise important questions about what we ask our students to do, and how we define and measure achievement.

Cushman, K. (1999). Horace. Vol. 15, No. 4 (April). The Cycle of Inquiry and Action: Essential Learning Communities. Oakland, CA: The Coalition of Essential Schools.

Cushman, K. (1996). Horace. Vol. 13, No. 2 (November). Looking Collaboratively at Student Work: An Essential Toolkit. Providence, RI: Brown University, The Coalition of Essential Schools.

Darling-Hammond, L., Ancess, J., and Falk, B. Authentic Assessment in Action: Studies of Schools and Students at Work. New York: Teachers College Press.

Dunne, D. W. (2000). Teachers Learn from Looking Together at Student Work. Education World on-line magazine.
School reformers say the way to improve education and accountability is by improving the way teachers and students look at student work. Today, Education World examines two collaborative approaches that teachers are using to look at student work. Included: Tips for looking at student work.

Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (2000). Documenting Student Learning. November 2000 Issue of The Web.
This newsletter of Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound includes three articles about why and how to document student work along with links to schools that created web portfolios of expeditions from participating in the ELO Web Publishing Institute.

Falk, B. (2000). The Heart of the Matter: Using Standards and Assessments to Learn. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2000. "In this immensely thoughtful book, Falk lucidly explains how standards and assessments can serve learning and teaching. What's at stake? Nothing less than students who joyfully embrace their learning, teachers who are respected as professional decision makers, and a society that strives for social justice."   > Read the book review.

Falk, B. and Darling-Hammond, L. (1993). The Primary Language Record at P.S. 261: How Assessment Transforms Teaching and Learning. New York: Columbia University/NCREST. [Available from NCREST.]

Featherstone, H. (Ed.). (1998). Changing Minds, Bulletin 13: Teachers Looking Closely at Students and Their Work (Spring). College of Education, Michigan State University.

Glickman, C. (1993). Renewing America's Schools: A Guide for School-Based Action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Graham, B. & Fahey, K. (1999). School Leaders Look at Student Work. Published by Educational Leadership. Vol.56, No. 6, March 1999, pp. 25-27.
Using the Collaborative Assessment Conference model, educators in Danvers, Massachusetts meet monthly to look at student work in an effort to construct a common language, shared meaning, and a collective vision around teaching, learning, and assessment. Initially, a piece of student work is presented to the educators without identifying the student or grade level, the nature of the assignment, or how the piece was assessed in other words, without context. The educators describe what they see and speculate about what the child may have been working on. When the context of the student work is eventually revealed, the group moves to powerful conversations about the implications of their heightened understanding for teaching and learning. The reflective process of collaborative assessment has enabled the educators to truly consider the meaning of teaching, learning, and standards. Part of a theme issue on "Using Standards and Assessments."

Grant, G. & Murray, C. (1999). Teaching in America: The Slow Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press Go to research to read a summary.

Hatch, T. (1998). "From a Public Education to an Education in Public" Ed Week, January 14, 1998.

Himley, M. (editor) with Carini, P. (2000). From Another Angle: Children's Strengths and School Standards:
The Prospect Center's Descriptive Review of the Child. Teachers College Press
"This volume represents the first effort to present--and teach--the descriptive processes, philosophy, and values developed at the Prospect Archives and Center for Education and Research in North Bennington, Vermont, under the leadership of Patricia Carini."
Read the book review!

Hord, S. (1997). "Professional Learning Communities: Communities of Continuous Inquiry and Improvement." Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
Available in full on the SEDL web site at http://www.sedl.org/pubs/change34/.
Go to research to read a summary.

Huff, D. (November 2000). "Teachers Examining Student Work To Guide Curriculum, Instruction." Education Week on the Web.

Kohn, Alfie (September 1999) The Schools Our Children Deserve. Houghton Miflin.
Kohn makes a powerful case for the effects (even if unintended) of having kids always be focussed on HOW they are doing, rather than WHAT they are doing. He says it leads to LESS learning, not more learning. See reviews at Amazon.com

Kohn, Alfie (1998) "Students Don't Work, They Learn" from What to Look for in a Classroom and Other Essays." San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. A version of it is available on the Ed Week web site.

Lieberman, A. and Miller, L. (2000). Teaching and Teacher Development: A New Synthesis for a New Century. In Education in a New Era: ASCD Yearbook 2000 (Ronald S. Brandt, Ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2000, pp. 47-66. Go to research to read a summary.

Lieberman, A. and Miller, L. (Ed). (2001) Teachers Caught in the Action: Professional Development that Matters. New York: Teachers College Press. > Read the review.

McDonald, J.
(1996). Redesigning School: Lessons for the 21st Century. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mitchell, R. (1996). Front-end Alignment: Using Standards to Steer Educational Change. Washington, DC: The Education Trust.

Mitchell, R. (1992). Testing for Learning: How New Approaches to Evaluation can Improve American Schools. New York: Free Press.

Jean Moon. (1997). Developing Judgment: Assessing Children's Work in Mathematics. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Go to research to read a summary.

Fred Newmann, F.,Lopez, G. & Bryk, A. (1998) "The Quality of Intellectual Work in Chicago Schools: A Baseline Report." Consortium on Chicago School Research. The complete report is available as a PDF file from the Consortium's web site.

Richardson, J. (February 2001) "Student work at the core of teacher learning." Results Newsletter, published by the National Staff Development Council. This article talks about LSW generally, the tuning protocol, and includes Kate Nolan's "seven qualities that are common to student work studies that have proven effective." The article also has a link to some other related stories in NSDC publications.

Schlechty, P. (2001) "10 Critical Qualities Of Student Work." http://www.middleweb.com/schlechty.html
In an interview in the NSDC Journal of Staff Development, Schlechty recalled 10 qualities of student work he described in his book "Inventing Better Schools: An Action Plan for Educational Reform" (1997). Here's an excerpt of his comments and a capsule description of the 10 qualities. Includes links to the full interview and Schlecty's web site.

Seidel, S. (1998). Learning from Looking. In Lyons, N. (Ed.), With Portfolio in Hand: Validating the New Teacher Professionalism. New York: Teachers College Press.

Warren Little, J., Gearhart, M., Curry, M., and Kafka, J. (2003). "Looking at Student Work for Teacher Learning, Teacher Community and School Reform." Phi Delta Kappan, November, 2003.

Watt, M. & Watt, D. (1999). "Doing Research, Taking Action, and Changing Practice with Collaborative Support." in The Diagnostic Teacher: Constructing New Approaches to Professional Development. (Ed. Mildred Z. Solomon.) New York, Teachers College Press,pp. 48-77. Go to research to read a summary.

Wheelock, A., Bebell, D., & Haney, W. (2000). "Student Self-Portraits as Test-Takers: Variations, Contextual Differences, and Assumptions about Motivation." TCRecord

Wheelock, A., Bebell, D., & Haney, W. (2000). "What Can Student Drawings Tell Us About High-Stakes Testing in Massachusetts?" TCRecord

Wiggins, G. Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.