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Instructional Rounds ØInstructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning August 2, 2012 “Schools with a high degree of ‘relational trust’ are more likely to make the kind of changes that help raise student achievement. Improvements in such areas as classroom instruction, curriculum, teacher preparation and professional development have little chance of succeeding without improvements in a school’s social climate. (Bryk, A. and Schneider, B. , 2002) Educational Leaders 2012
Learning Goals 2 Understand: Who is here? Why are we here? Build common language, expectations and norms for conducting Rounds Become familiar with the steps of Rounds and learning goals behind each step Understand how the instructional core is the heart of Rounds and of improvement efforts Develop skills in observing teaching and learning – describe what we see – and debriefing observations 2
Learning Goals 3 Review current practices, plan for future actions Understand develop a Theory of Action Understand develop a Problem of Practice 3
Theory of Action 4 If we as educational leaders create an environment of collaboration among administrators, focused on improving instruction, then shared responsibility and accountability will create support for continuous improvement of learning for ALL students.
Introductions: Leaders are Learners 5 Think of three things: Something non-education related that you know lots about Something non-education related that you know little about Something education-related that you would like to learn 5
Introduce yourself and discuss 6 Introduce yourself and share one of the three items from above. Introduce your new friend to the group. 6
Review Norms 7 What do you want to ask of your colleagues to help you have the best experience possible with this work? What do you want to ask facilitators to help you have the best experience possible with this work? 7
Group Norms 8 Covenant
Why Rounds? Build Professional Community Develop a Common Language for Understanding and Analyzing Instructional Practice Develop a Culture of Shared Practice Develop Collective Efficacy Around Improvements in Student Learning Build Common Understanding of System-, School-Level Improvement Strategies
PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS BUILD COMMITMENT AND LATERAL ACCOUNTABILITY
Inspired by the medical profession 11 ØBased on the model of medical rounds ØGood practice is highly contextualized ØEducation is a “profession in search of a practice”
Practice: A definition 12 Ø A set of protocols and processes for observing, analyzing, discussing and understanding instruction that can be used to improve student learning “at scale”. ØThe instructional rounds process is an example of a specific practice.
Rounds are not: 13 ØWalkthroughs ØPLCs ØImprovement Strategies
Key Idea: 14 ØEveryone is working on their practice. ØEveryone is obliged to be knowledgeable about the common task of instructional improvement. ØEveryone's practice should be subject to scrutiny, critiques and improvement.
Not Walkthroughs: 15 ØWalkthroughs presume we know what we are looking for and will monitor ØWalkthroughs do not ask us to reflect on our own practice and to grow ØInstructional Rounds are about the leaders growing
Not PLC’s: 16 ØRounds can be the vehicle for PLC work
Not improvement strategies: 17 ØRounds inform and are informed by improvement strategies ØRounds start with a POP, one that emerges from improvement strategies and ends with ideas for making our improvement strategies more effective ØRounds are a vehicle for improving our strategies and making us more reflective about our work.
18 Medical Rounds
19 Rounds are a special kind of walkthrough, a special kind of PLC and a special kind of improvement strategy integrated into one practice.
A Picture of Rounds 20 A four-step process: ØIdentifying a problem of practice from theory of action that is guiding our work. ØObserving classrooms, as individuals or in small teams, gathering descriptive, non-evaluative evidence. ØDebriefing using the ladder of inference ØFocusing on the next level of work.
21 Rounds can be understood as a(n)… Organizational process Ø Learning process Ø Culture-building process Ø
Questions for Reflection 22 Ø Ø What are your reactions to the notion that education is a profession in search of a practice? How would our work differ if we understood our work as practice? To what extent does our work in this district already embody the notion of professional practice? In what ways is our work lacking in this dimension? What specific examples from our district’s experience or from your own professional practice illustrate or conflict with any of the issues noted so far?
Reality Check… 23 “Each of us has in our minds a map of reality. The problem is that the map is not always indicative of the territory. ”
True or False? 24 Cleveland, Ohio is northeast of Tallahassee, Florida. Toronto, Canada is southeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Los Angeles, California is southeast of Reno, Nevada.
Current Practice 25 What is your current practice for observation? How do you record and understand what you see? How do you use that data?
Classroom Observation #1 26 Use your current practice for observations to record what you observe in this 6 th Grade Science classroom
Descriptive vs Evaluative 27 Rounds is like…….
Using Descriptive Language Specificity Descriptive Objectivity Judgmental Specific General “The choice of Huckleberry Finn as text was inappropriate for this age group” “The teacher did a fabulous job of holding the students’ attention” “At about three minutes into the lesson, the teacher asked two students to respond to the question, “Why did Huck decide to leave? ” “The teacher introduced a writing prompt”
Evidence: Sticking to the Facts! 29 What do you see? è Just the facts please, Ma’am! She did a great job of transitioning from the whole class lesson to independent work time. 29
Just the facts…? 30 At the end of the lesson, the teacher asked students what materials they needed to get for their upcoming independent work. She took a few responses and released students to go to their desks four at a time.
Just the facts…? 31 During a period of 20 minutes, the teacher asked 1 question. The teacher used a very interactive teaching style.
Developing the Discipline of Seeing 32 Seeing is a discipline It’s like a muscle—it gets stronger with repetition Foundation of our practice: 1. Specific description 2. non-evaluative, non-judgmental description 32
Classroom Observation #2 33 This time as you watch the 6 th grade science classroom, record your observations focusing on using descriptive feedback vs evaluative feedback.
Instructional Rounds Instructional Core ØInstructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning Educational Leaders 2012
Instructional Core 35 How does the idea of instructional core correspond to your own understanding of how classrooms work? What does it reveal? What does it exclude?
Instructional Core 36 • The “Instructional Core” is the interaction of: CONTENT • Level of content • Teachers’ knowledge and skill Task • Student engagement TEACHER STUDENT
Instructional Core 37 • Only improvements in the instructional core will actually make a large difference in learning, CONTENT Task TEACHER STUDENT • Improving one element of the core must lead to improvement in the other two
Instructional Core 38 • Principle #1: Increases in student learning occur only as a consequence of improvements in the level of content, teachers’ knowledge and skill, and student engagement. CONTENT • Principle #2: If you change one element of the instructional core, you have to change the other two. Task • Principle #3: If you can’t see it in the core, it’s not there. • Principle #4: Task predicts performance. TEACHER STUDENT • Principle #5: The real accountability system is in the tasks that students are asked to do. • Principle #6: We learn to do the work by doing the work. • Principle #7: Description before analysis,
Instructional Core 39 Count off to form groups of 3 Each person reads one of the principals of the Instructional Core (pgs 24 – 34) Discuss as a group what each of these principals mean to you.
Instructional Core 40 • Principle #1: Increases in student learning occur only as a consequence of improvements in the level of content, teachers’ knowledge and skill, and student engagement. CONTENT • Principle #2: If you change one element of the instructional core, you have to change the other two. Task • Principle #3: If you can’t see it in the core, it’s not there. • Principle #4: Task predicts performance. TEACHER STUDENT • Principle #5: The real accountability system is in the tasks that students are asked to do. • Principle #6: We learn to do the work by doing the work. • Principle #7: Description before analysis,
Instructional Core The best way to get a glimpse of the instructional core is to look at what the students are doing, not necessarily what the teacher is doing
Instructional Core 42 Feedback and guidance for the teacher should focus on the tasks students complete, with attention to how the three dimensions of the instructional core must be addressed.
Instructional Core 43 Instructional rounds is a practice that can be learned through repetition, reflection, and analysis at progressively higher levels of skill and knowledge. Rounds is a way of focusing on the instructional core of teachers and students in the presence of content.
Instructional Core 44 In your experience, what features of classrooms do practitioners tend to focus on when they observe teaching and learning? How does the framework of the instructional core focus your attention in classroom observation?
Instructional Core 45 School leaders are conditioned to jump from observation immediately to evaluation Rounds process asks us to break this perpetual habit by using: Description before analysis Analysis before prediction Prediction before evaluation
Instructional Rounds Theory of Action ØInstructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning Educational Leaders 2012
47 Theories of Action and the Problem of Practice We all have theories of action: “If…then” formulas that guide our thinking and decision-making in all aspects of life. Ø Made up of a set of assumptions and action strategies to accomplish a particular purpose. Ø They are the “story line that makes a vision and a strategy concrete. ” Ø
An example from everyday life 48 “If I brush my teeth twice a day, then I won’t get cavities and will keep my teeth for a long time. ” Ø Based on certain assumptions. Ø Based on past experience. Ø Formulated using an action strategy. Ø
Theories of Practice 49 Most theories of action (sometimes called theories of practice) in the workplace are based on a whole network of assumptions and action strategies much more complex than teeth-brushing.
Hidden theories of action 50 Most of our theories of action are in our subconscious until we start to intentionally name and work with them. Ø Espoused theories are theories we claim to use to solve various problems. Ø Theories in use are the actual theories of action that guide our behavior. Ø There is often a gap between our espoused theories and theories in use. Ø
Liz City 51 ØVideo Clip on Theory of Action
Criteria for using theories of action in the instructional rounds framework 52 Ø Ø Ø Must begin with a statement of a causal relationship between what I do and what constitutes a good result in the classroom. Must be empirically falsifiable; I must be able to gather evidence that would either prove or disprove that the causal relationship I assume in theory of action actually exists. It must be open ended; that is, it must prompt me to further revise and specify the causal relationships I initially identified as I learn more about the consequences of my actions.
A draft theory of action 53 Ideally, theories of action for instructional rounds should be collaboratively developed. This is just an example. Ø Exploring the differences among our theories of action would be very revealing. Ø There are multiple theories of action that could be starting points. This is one example, focused on learning targets. Ø
A first attempt 54 “If teachers use learning targets to guide instruction, then higher student achievement will be the result. ” Problematic on a couple of levels…
Problems… 55 Ø Ø Ø Vague Makes no reference to the student Leaves out many things that must occur between the “if” and the “then. ” Ø A common problem with theories of action, which, if explicitly stated, suggest something like, “If we do x, then…a miracle will happen…and then higher student achievement will result. ”
A second attempt 56 If lessons are guided by clearning targets aligned to established content standards, and if students and teachers use effective formative and summative assessments of learning aligned to those targets, then students and teachers will have richer information to guide the teaching and learning process and to differentiate learning for individual student needs, and higher student achievement will be the result. ”
Reflection Activity 57 Using the criteria analyze the usefulness of these theory of action for instructional rounds:
Write your own Theory of Action 58
Instructional Rounds Problem of Practice ØInstructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning Educational Leaders 2012
Problem of Practice: Purposes 60 Set a common frame of reference for rounds visits Anchors rounds in work that advances the school’s and the district’s improvement strategy Build diagnostic capacity of teachers and administrators Model continuous improvement
Problem of Practice 61 Begins to shape what, specifically, we’ll be looking for during the rounds. Emerges from the questions raised by the assumptions embedded in our theory of action.
Problem of Practice: Criteria for Useful POP 62 Criteria for useful problems of practice Focus on the instructional core (the interaction of students, teacher, and content) Is directly observable in class Is actionable (is within the school or district’s control and can be improved in real time)
Problem of Practice: Criteria for Useful POP 63 Criteria for useful problems of practice Connects to a broader strategy of improvement Is high-leverage (if acted on, it would make a significant difference for student learning) Address the what, not the how
Problem of Practice: Reflection Activity 64 How Question : What evidence do you see of Six Traits Writing strategies? What Question: What evidence do you see that students are producing high levels of writing?
Problem of Practice: Things to Avoid 65 Compliance language: “Are teachers enacting the key elements of the XYZ curriculum” Global terms that haven’t been defined by prior work: “Are students engage? ” “Is the work challenging? ” Structural, physical things not connected directly to instructional core: “Are students working in groups? ” Are the instructional objectives on the board? ”
Problem of Practice: Reflection Activity 66 Review the draft problem of practice and analyze based on the criteria established above.
Problem of Practice: Reflection Activity 67 Create a problem of practice for your school based on the assumptions from your theory of practice and using the above guidelines.
Problem of Practice 68 Discuss at your table: Review at your table each other’s POP keeping in mind the elements of a good POP.
Reflection What was your experience like as a learner? What did the facilitators do that contributed to that experience? What are the implication for your own work?
Today’s Reflections + - Plus Minus Delta