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  • A teacher who introduced a change in the way he taught themes and ideas through literature used his discussion with parents at teacher conferences to collect evidence. His reasoning was that if students were really engaged in and working out the ideas, they would share them with others. One possible place of sharing is with parents who are often curious about is going on in school. Students share things that they find important or relevant. By finding out what parents knew about the unit ideas, he was finding out what students took home from their school experience.

  • A professional developer who was experimenting with a more engaging way of working with teachers used a version of time on task to see if changes were effective. She noted the length of time teachers left the room for breaks or phone calls. She found when she shifted the activity the amount of time out of the workshop room decreased dramatically. She used this as evidence that the teacher found the shift in teaching more engaging.

  • A teacher who wanted to increase the amount of informal discussion of ideas among teachers created a number of professional learning experiences including visiting one another classrooms. He kept track of informal conversations with teachers. He would note the time and place of the chat and the percent that was social (about family or friends), procedural (what time or where things were taking place) or professional (dealing with instructional practices. This coding of his own conversation helped him see which activities prompted the most informal professional dialogue.

  • A media specialist in a hospital setting changed the way he educated nurses moving out of the role of teacher and become more of a support person. The data he collected included the use of media by nurses in their educational programs. He was able to track how this shift led to more use, and the ownership over the technology generated a higher demand for similar training which had not been the case with earlier efforts.

  • A doctor who wanted to develop his patients "self-healing" potential explored the nature of the doctor-patient interaction. He started by initiating an email contact before and after the visit. He audiotaped the treatment sessions and listening to these tapes which helped him see a change that happened when he shifted the use of pronouns from "I" and "you" to "we." His next cycle was to experiment with changing his use of pronouns to "we" in discussing the problem and attending to how this shifted the dialogue and engagement of the patient in the healing process.

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