Good morning. I am a graduate student in policy making, a research associate at an education business, and of course a baseball lover. I am working on a project to model teacher performance, to study the attributes of what makes for an excellent teacher. My hope is to identify the data we’d need and then develop different models with that data.
I am very inspired by sabermetrics and fantasy baseball. What I want to do is apply sabermetrics to a different field – education.
This is a somewhat new topic for education. I was hoping to get some inspiration from this community. I know this is off topic, but, I am looking for some brainstorming help! Some things I wonder:
- is there any reason a sabermetric approach would not work for education?
- If you were leading an effort to bring a sabermetric approach to education, how might you start?
- There is not a lot of readily available data on education – thoughts on how to get that started?
- Baseball has a clear definition of winning. That is very controversial in education. Thoughts on how to handle this?
I feel like we could build some sort of "fantasy education": players could draft and trade teachers. What do you think about this idea? Would it be a fun game to play? What data would you take a look at before drafting a teacher?
Of course we are asking these questions within the education community already. I feel though that the best ideas come from outside of the domain you are looking to change and was hoping to get some ideas here. Any and all thoughts are most welcome. Thank you for your time!!
The reason this works in baseball is primarily due to the regimented, results based step by step process that the game is. It's far less dynamic than that of a classroom. The sample sizes are far greater when weighed over an entire season vs. assessing formally, informally, formatively, summativley, or a combination of them all.
What I will say though is, if there was a fantasy teacher draft I'd be Albert Pujols. Math is a scarce position, I have dual-elig. with Students w/ Disabilities, I'm just entering my breakout prime years (27 next week), and I've yet to have a bad season.
There is a lot of statistical analysis around education - Waiting For Superman was analytically driven. Freakonomics has also discussed education with a lot of behavioral economic/statistical analysis.
I think "sabermetrics" can be leveraged in all aspects of life, in that sabermetrics is merely trying to identify causality.
So just like in baseball where you'd try to identify contact rates, outside the zone swing %, line drive rates, HR/FB, etc, etc, and determine the impact each has on the preferred outcomes of homers, batting average, power, fielding, etc.
In education, you'd try to measure the impact of various programs and funding across various ages, intelligence levels, etc.