Triangulation

(17 Posts)
Pud2 Thu 14-Apr-16 19:06:18

Would anyone be able to tell me the definition of triangulation in their school? Thank you.

PicInAttic Thu 14-Apr-16 20:52:22

For us it's cross referencing teaching (lesson observations, learning walks, looking at planning, discussion etc), data and books to make sure they all give same/similar picture.

It stops those teachers who are fantastic at one off lessons but never mark anything from automatically appearing better than those who freeze when observed but normally teach really well and have great impact on the kids.

parrotonmyshoulder Thu 14-Apr-16 21:02:39

Wow, PicInAttic. So it is really about comparing teachers against each other then? That's what is implied by 'stopping' any teacher 'automatically appearing better' than another.

Is that made explicit in the policies in your school?

DraenorQueen Thu 14-Apr-16 21:08:00

We don't do this at my current school but in my previous workplace triangulation meant looking at planning and seeing how that corresponded to work in books. The third point of the "triangle" was observations but they were always incredibly badly handled - no feedback, etc. It was a deeply unpleasant place to work; we had to do insane A4 daily lesson plans and I simply couldn't keep up.
Leaving there was the best thing I ever did.

parrotonmyshoulder Thu 14-Apr-16 21:10:50

Who has the time to micromanage teachers like this?!

DraenorQueen Thu 14-Apr-16 21:17:03

Well, if the LA "experts" are telling an inexperienced head they need to be doing this kind of nonsense, then time gets made for it! Obviously it's bollocks and serves absolutely no purpose but to make people feel like they're failures, but sadly, idiots with these fantastic ideas have risen to the top,

CrowyMcCrowFace Thu 14-Apr-16 21:20:00

People whose job it is to do the above, parrot.

Their salary could of course be spent on teachers.

I'm abroad now. There is much incredulity at how much nonsense like this I happily shrug off as 'well in the UK you'd be doing all this backwards, in high heels & with a broom up your arse'.

We do not do this crap in successful international schools. At all. It's eye opening.

PrettyBrightFireflies Thu 14-Apr-16 21:29:42

It's a term commonly used in school governance - triangulation of evidence.

The three points of the triangle are - internal (evidence from the school/HT), external (evidence in the form of external assessment and data or reports from those) and own-eyes (things the Governors see for themselves during Governor visits to the school such as evidence that policies are being implemented).

It's been part of governor training programmes delivered by a number of providers for several years.

PicInAttic Thu 14-Apr-16 21:40:14

Hardly that, Parrot, so sorry if it came over that way. We've only been back since Monday and it's already been a long term.

Triangulation is more about the fact that lesson observations on their own are notoriously unreliable and, in many ways, favoured more extrovert types who could and would perform as the observer wanted. Triangulation is intended to give a more accurate, rounded picture by using different kinds of evidence. Whilst lesson observations might not be judged in most schools any more, teachers still are. The LA and Ofsted still seem to want 'profiles of teaching' which equate to profiles of teachers. For most of us in my school, triangulation gives a fairer picture of what we do day in, day out than a once-a-term formal observation did.

parrotonmyshoulder Thu 14-Apr-16 21:45:20

Or more constant scrutiny of their daily working lives?

DraenorQueen Thu 14-Apr-16 21:50:46

I think that depends on the ethos of the school and the way triangulation is carried out. Is it something you've had a bad experience with, Parrot?

PicInAttic Thu 14-Apr-16 21:58:53

Potato - potato!
Scrutiny seems here to stay so I'd sooner it was something that better reflected what we all do.
I work in a very positive, supportive school with a great head, fab colleagues, children who are mainly brilliant and some very committed governors (long week notwithstanding).
For us, triangulation - the way we do it - seems fairer and more accurate than the previous system of once-termly, heavily-weighted, high stakes lesson observations that we had at my last school. It doesn' t feel like constant scrutiny. It feels like a school that recognises and values what we do - against all kinds of measures.
I can imagine that in a different school the experience of it might be very different but surely that would be true of any system that involves 'monitoring'? They are all only as worthwhile as the people running the systems. I like and trust the people in my school as do the rest of the staff (I think) so for me/us, triangulation of teaching, data and books works.

albertcamus Thu 14-Apr-16 22:35:30

pretty 'It's been part of governor training ... for several years'

Obviously I must have missed this during my six years as a Teacher Governor, it was never alluded to in any of the extensive Governor training events organised by Hertfordshire CC & the University of Hertfordshire.

It's the kind of nonsense I gave up my evenings to resist, on behalf of my hard-working colleagues. Fortunately my fellow Governors and Headteachers didn't insult our intelligence by wasting our time by wittering like this, there were more real & present dangers to address eg recruitment, welfare of students & staff and the small matter of budgets.

elephantoverthehill Thu 14-Apr-16 22:49:55

The hypotenuse to my triangle is going to crumble now. I have not done my marking because I am really tired because I forgot to bring home a green and pink pen.

PrettyBrightFireflies Fri 15-Apr-16 06:21:44

albert Obviously each LA decides how it's going to train Governors - I was referring to the national training provided by NCTL and NGA.

parrotonmyshoulder Fri 15-Apr-16 06:46:04

I haven't personally had a bad experience from much of the nonsense I get annoyed and frustrated about, apart from workload. But I despise structures that compare and divide colleagues who are all doing the same, difficult job. Of course there are teachers who need support. But this shouldn't be because they're not as good as someone else who they're forced to compete against.

Does 'triangulation' of data, lesson obs and marking take into account individual needs of pupils, emotional and behavioural influences, class dynamics, management support given to teacher, teacher's own needs, and many, many other influences that it would take too long to mention right now?

padkin Fri 15-Apr-16 16:49:36

At my school it means scrutinising planning and books, observations of teaching and progress data.

At first it was all 3, every half term, but in an attempt to cut down on workload and stress (class teachers and SMT doing the monitoring) it has now changed to data scrutiny and pupil progress meetings taking priority, with short snapshot observations.

If it is then felt there is an issue with progress from these, then books are scrutinised more thoroughly, there may be more 'drop-ins', and there is feedback and support. If that doesn't raise standards and increase progress then planning is scrutinised in depth, with more feedback and support.

So basically if your progress data is good, you're not monitored much as the assumption is that things must be going ok. This is a good thing generally, although there is then the issue of data being fudged, but this is normally ok as moderation keeps things in check.

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