Data Wise: Summer Institute: Day 1


This series of posts are being written by three teachers Erin, Jess and Sarah and Penny the Assistant Principal who are all attending or part of the teaching team at the Harvard University Data Wise Institute. 

Well, we’ve just finished day 1 of the Summer Institute course here at Harvard, at 11.00 pm. Here’s what we’ve been up to…

We began our day feeling like undergraduate students on our first day of Uni. We had to register and introduce ourselves to the people on our tables. Each of us had people from around America – Texas, Boston, Cleveland. The range of experience of the people in the room was vast – teachers, principals and system level leaders (in charge of multiple schools). We were very quick to realise that not everything was going to be new and foreign to us. We began with establishing norms, discussing meeting expectations, and engaged in some protocols that are widely used at EPS (i.e. turn and talk, traffic light, sticky notes, personal reflections and plus/delta reflections).

We engaged in an activity that was familiar to us from when Dr David Rease Jr came to visit EPS late 2013 for our “Data Inventory and Assessment Processes” book launch. This involved us using the “ladder of inference” to look at data that had been collected during the course of the lecture, from us.


We were given time today to work with our Teaching Fellow, Penny Jayne (our AP), and another team from Melbourne, Australia. It was nice to get away from the big group for a little while, and talk about what’s going on in our school now in regards to Data Wise. As an EPS group, we then spent time looking at and determining where EPS has been and started to float some ideas for future directions.

Kathryn Parker Boudett, Director of Data Wise, very kindly organised for all participants to receive a copy of the new publication Meeting Wise (which she co-authored with Elizabeth City). Now our homework is reading the first two chapters, spending time debriefing as a team, and organising our notes from the day.


Effective schools make every minute count—for students and educators. Starting from the premise that meetings matter, this straightforward book is full of practical resources and advice readers can put into practice right away. 

Mary C. Dillman, director of data inquiry, Boston Public Schools

Did You Know?: Matt Damon stayed in Matthews Hall and then Lowell House. However, did not complete his degree, instead dropped out when he won an Oscar!


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One Response to Data Wise: Summer Institute: Day 1

  1. mwalker says:

    Well I imagine you are all experiencing the Harvard magic right now – part of which is the exacting standards of participation they expect – do the readings as well as the “cold” calls are very real.

Interested in your thoughts