In a new commentary piece published by The Conversation, University of Washington Assistant Professor Katie Headrick Taylor discusses the importance of all educators, be they parents or teachers, using data wisely to build pathways to better futures for young people.

"Just having data about children is not equivalent to them living well, or having hopeful futures," Taylor writes. "Often, the very opposite is true. Students get excluded from opportunities because they are perceived as 'low-performing' based on limited data points. The burden is on the student to improve rather than asking how the system is failing the child.

"I believe that schools should focus on developing more data wisdom – considering the power of data for building pathways to better futures. Doing so means all educators, be they parents or teachers, use data wisely: considering what it does and does not show, considering that data in the larger social context, and looking at past experiences and trends in a child’s life to thoughtfully plan for the future."

Read the piece in its entirety at The Conversation.

Taylor studies children’s digital literacy practices, spatial literacy as it pertains to youth mobility and mapping, new ways of teaching spatial literacies, and how to leverage new technologies to engage young people in civic processes that drive community change. She was named a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow in 2018 and is principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded project, Mobile City Science: Youth Mapping Community Learning Opportunities.


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