Pre-Service Teacher’s Efficacy, Anxiety, and Concerns about Data and the New Idea of Anchored Judgment



Teacher efficacy, Anxiety, Concerns, Data Driven Decision-Making, Anchored Judgment, Evidence-Based Practice


In this study, teacher education students’ concerns, sense of efficacy, and anxiety related to the future use of data to drive educational decision-making were explored. In alignment with prior research with practicing teachers, this sample of pre-service teachers reported concerns (thoughts, preoccupations, and feelings) that indicate they are not interested in engaging in data driven decision-making (DDDM). Moreover, they had a low sense of efficacy for DDDM and high levels of anxiety for DDDM; further indicating that they are unlikely to adopt DDDM practices. We explain these results, but we go further and propose a new way of talking about data that may mitigate some of these concerns. Specifically, we propose a new paradigm for evidence-based practice in which teacher experience and intuition are deemed of equal import with data. We propose anchored judgment as an integrated decision-making model in which the intersection of teacher experience, teacher intuition, and classroom data creates the context for optimal instructional decision-making. This model is based on established research about effective decision-making in psychology, medicine, and business, and may help support the international educational mandate for DDDM.

Author Biographies

Karee Dunn, The University of Tennessee

Dr. Karee Dunn is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Tennessee. She currently directs the core educational psychology course for the educator preparation program at the University of Tennessee. Her primary research interest is understanding how to help future teachers, teachers, and schools best leverage extant data to help students reach their full potential. 

Denise T. Airola, The University of Arkansas

Dr. Denise Airola is the Director of the Office for Innovation in Education (OIE). OIE is housed in the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Dr. Airola has decades of experience working in and with K-12 schools and systems. In her role as the Director of the OIE, she seeks to support new thinking, investigate new practices, and connect education stakeholders with new platforms and tools for more effective and personalized instruction. OIE was established to connect innovators, educators and diverse education stakeholders to advance education and success for all students. 

Takuya Hayakawa, The University of Tennessee

Mr. Hayakawa is pursing his Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary education program with emphasis on educational psychology, technology, and cultural studies. 




How to Cite

Dunn, K., Airola, D. T., & Hayakawa, T. (2020). Pre-Service Teacher’s Efficacy, Anxiety, and Concerns about Data and the New Idea of Anchored Judgment. Current Issues in Education, 21(1). Retrieved from