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INSTRUCTIONAL ROUNDS AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT RICHARD F. ELMORE HARVARD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION LIASCD APRIL 2011

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WHAT WE WILL DO TODAY Explore the Rationale for Instructional Rounds Introduce the Practice of Rounds Explore the Relationship Between Rounds and the More General Processes of School Improvement

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THE PROBLEMS OF THE WHOLE ARE THE PROBLEMS OF THE SMALLEST UNIT

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MEMORIZE THIS PROPORTION OF VARIANCE IN STUDENT GAIN SCORES-- READING, MATH-- EXPLAINED BY LEVEL-- PROSPECTS STUDY CLASS 60% READING 52-72% MATH STUDENTS 28% R 19% M SCHOOLS 12% R 10-30 M ROWAN, ET AL., “...PROSPECTS...” TEACHERS COLLEGE RECORD (2002).

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BLOOM’S TAXONOMY KNOWLEDGE: RECALL, ACCURACY, DESCRIBE, ENUMERATE, IDENTIFY, REPRODUCE COMPREHENSION: EXEMPLIFY, EXPLAIN, RESTATE, PARAPHRASE APPLICATION: ARTICULATE, COMPUTE, DEMONSTRATE ANALYSIS: CATEGORIZE, COMPARE, CONTRAST SYNTHESIS: HYPOTHESIZE, INTEGRATE, MODEL EVALUATION: CRITIQUE, DEFEND, JUSTIFY, REFRAME

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What do you see? Source: Education Trust; John Holton, South Carolina Department of Education, analysis of assignments from 362 Elementary and Middle Schools in SC.

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As Grade Level Increases, the Assignments Given to Students Fall Further and Further Behind Grade Level Standards, and this Pattern Continues in High School Source: Education Trust; John Holton, South Carolina Department of Education, analysis of English Language Art Assignments in14 High Schools in South Carolina

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OBSERVING AND ANALYZING THE TASK WHAT IS THE ACTUAL WORK THAT STUDENTS ARE BEING ASKED TO DO? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW IN ORDER TO ENGAGE THE TASK? WHAT IS THE ACTUAL PRODUCT OF THE TASK? WHAT IS THE DISTRIBUTION OF PERFORMANCE AMONG STUDENTS IN THE CLASS ON THE TASK? IF YOU WERE A STUDENT AND DID THE TASK, WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW HOW TO DO?

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TEACHER STUDENT CONTENT THE INSTRUCTIONAL CORE 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. Principle #2: If you change one element of the instructional core, you have to change the other two. Principle #3: If you can’t see it in the core, it’s not there. Principle #4: Task predicts performance. 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, analysis before prediction, prediction before evaluation. TAS K

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WHAT ROUNDS IS AND IS NOT IS... A practice A culture-building activity, focusing on the actual conditions of teaching and learning in classrooms ONE school improvement practice, among many Difficult, demanding, and counter-intuitive Challenging to existing beliefs about “good” teaching IS NOT... A process A supervision and evaluation tool THE practice that will improve your school Easy and fun A way to confirm you beliefs about “good” teaching

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WHAT ROUNDS CAN AND CAN’T DO FOR YOU CAN DO... STRENGTHEN AND DEEPEN AN EXISTING IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY BUILD AND REINFORCE A CULTURE OF IMPROVEMENT PROVIDE CLARITY AND FOCUS FOR EXISTING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BUILD PATHWAYS INTO MULTIPLE LEADERSHIP ROLES CAN’T DO... COMPENSTATE FOR THE LACK OF AN IMPROVEMENT STRATEGY REPAIR A PATHOLOGICAL CULTURE COMPENSATE FOR LACK OF FOCUSED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPENSATE FOR A WEAK HUMAN RESOURCE STRATEGY

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SO, WHY ROUNDS...? BUILD CULTURAL COHERENCE AROUND INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE DEVELOP AND REWARD EXPERTISE IN INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICE AS A REQUIREMENT OF LEADERSHIP PROVIDE A SETTING FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT OF PRATICE AND STRATEGY PROVIDE A SETTING FOR RECRUITMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF LEADERSHIP

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INSTRUCTIONAL ROUNDS: THE PRACTICE FOCUS ON THE INSTRUCTIONAL CORE DEVELOP DESCRIPTIVE/DIAGNOSTIC PRACTICE, RATHER THAN EVALUATIVE CREATE STRONG PEER, CROSS-ROLE CULTURE OF INSTRUCTION THROUGH DISCOURSE AND PRACTICE STRENGTHEN LATERAL ACCOUNTABILITY

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INSTRUCTIONAL ROUNDS: GROUNDING PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE IN THE INSTRUCTIONAL CORE

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THE ROUNDS PROCESS PROBLEM OF PRACTICE OBSERVATION ANALYSIS PREDICTION PRESCRIPTION TS C

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Using Descriptive Language “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” Specificity Objectivity GeneralSpecific Judgmental Descriptive

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TASK PREDICTS PERFORMANCE

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ANALYZE THIS TASK THE TEACHER ANNOUNCES THAT THE UNIT WILL BE THE STUDY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. SHE ASSIGNS READING FROM THE TEXTBOOK AS HOMEWORK. SHE LECTURES FROM AN OUTLINE PROVIDED BY THE TEXTBOOK PUBLISHER, KEYED TO THE STATE STANDARDS FOR SOCIAL STUDIES. THE LECTURE COVERS THE THE HISTORY OF FOREIGN POLICY IN THE U.S. FROM THE PERIOD IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING WORLD WAR II TO THE END OF THE COLD WAR. THIS LECTURE TAKES TWO FULL PERIODS. SHE ASKS STUDENTS TO OUTLINE THE CHAPTER IN THE TEXTBOOK THAT DEALS WITH THE SUBJECT, AND TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AT THE END OF THE UNIT. SHE REVIEWS STUDENT OUTLINES AND THEIR ANSWERS TO UNIT QUESTIONS, PROVIDES FEEDBACK ON HOW WELL STUDENTS HAVE CAPTURED THE MAJOR THEMES, AND ADMINISTERS A UNIT TEST, TAKEN FROM THE SUPPORTING MATERIALS PROVIDED BY THE TEXTBOOK PUBLISHER, AND ASSIGNS GRADES.

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ANALYZE THIS TASK THE TEACHER EXPLAINS THE PURPOSE OF THE LESSON: TO DEVELOP A FOREIGN POLICY FOR THE U.S. FOR THE NEXT DECADE. STUDENTS ARE ASSIGNED TO FIVE GROUPS ACCORDING TO VARIOUS “FUTURES” FOR AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY, AND ONE GROUP IS ASSIGNED THE ROLE OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, WHICH WILL REVIEW AND CRITIQUE THE PROPOSALS OF THE OTHER GROUPS. THE TEACHER PRESENTS EACH GROUP WITH A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATIVE FUTURES– E.G., THE U.S. AS GUARANTOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS, THE U.S. AS THE CUSTODIAN OF DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD, THE U.S. AS AGENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ETC.– ACCOMPANIED BY A LIST OF POSSIBLE SOURCES THE STUDENTS MIGHT USE TO GET STARTED. THE ASSIGNMENT IS FOR EACH GROUP TO PRODUCE A WELL-RESEARCHED PROPOSAL, PRESENT IT TO THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE AND DEFEND IT IN PRESENCE OF QUESTIONS FROM THE COMMITTEE. STUDENT PRESENTATIONS ARE PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED TO STUDENTS IN OTHER CLASSES. THIS WORK OCCURS OVER A FIVE-DAY PERIOD. THE STUDENTS’ WORK IS EVALUATED BY THEMSELVES, BY THEIR PEERS, AND BY THE TEACHER ACCORDING TO A RUBRIC THAT THE TEACHER HAS PREPARED.

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OBSERVING AND ANALYZING THE TASK WHAT IS THE ACTUAL WORK THAT STUDENTS ARE BEING ASKED TO DO? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW IN ORDER TO ENGAGE THE TASK? WHAT IS THE ACTUAL PRODUCT OF THE TASK? WHAT IS THE DISTRIBUTION OF PERFORMANCE AMONG STUDENTS IN THE CLASS ON THE TASK? IF YOU WERE A STUDENT AND DID THE TASK, WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW HOW TO DO?

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STUDENTS ARE SITTING GROUPS, FACING EACH OTHER. THE TEACHER BEGINS THE LESSON BY INTRODUCING STUDENTS TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LINEAR EQUATIONS AND LINEAR INEQUALITIES. SHE DEMONSTRATES HOW TO GRAPH A LINEAR INEQUALITY FOR STUDENTS USING THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE: y > ax+b THE TEACHER PASSES OUT A WORKSHEET WITH FIVE EXAMPLES OF LINEAR INEQUALITIES THAT FOLLOW THE FORM OF THE EXAMPLE, AND SHE INSTRUCTS STUDENTS TO GRAPH THEM FOLLOWING HER EXAMPLE. SOME STUDENTS COMPLETE THE WORKSHEET BEFORE OTHERS. THE TEACHER CIRCULATES THROUGH THE ROOM ANSWERING STUDENTS’ QUESTIONS. OTHER STUDENTS ASK THE TEACHER TO EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN EQUATION AND INEQUALITIES, TO WHICH SHE RESPONDS BY REPEATING WHAT SHE SAID EARLIER. AT THE END OF CLASS, SHE ASSIGNS EIGHT MORE EXAMPLES LIKE THE ONES SHE ASKED STUDENTS TO DO IN CLASS FOR HOMEWORK. ANALYZE THIS TASK

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LINEAR EQUATIONS AND INEQUALITIES X Y y = ax + b y < ax +b y > ax+ b

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STUDENTS ARE SITTING IN GROUPS FACING EACH OTHER. THE TEACHER BRIEFLY PRESENTS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LINEAR EQUATION AND A LINEAR INEQUALITY. THE TEACHER THEN DISTRIBUTES A SCATTER PLOT OF DATA SHOWING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LEVEL OF HYDROCARBONS IN THE ATMOSPHERE (X-AXIS) AND THE PREVALENCE OF RESPIRATORY DISORDERS IN THE HUMAN POPULATION (Y-AXIS). SHE INSTRUCTS STUDENTS TO FIND A LINE THAT REPRESENTS THE “BEST FIT” FOR THE DATA IN THE SCATTER PLOT, TO WRITE AN EQUATION THAT DESCRIBES THAT LINE, AND TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE LINE TELLS US ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HYDROCARBONS AND RESPIRATORY DISORDERS. SHE CIRCULATES THROUGH THE GROUPS ANSWERING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROBLEM. THE TEACHER THEN ASKS TWO GROUPS, WITH DIFFERENT ANSWERS, TO PRESENT THEIR WORK, AND ASKS THE CLASS TO CRITIQUE THEIR SOLUTIONS AND EXPLANATIONS. THE TEACHER THEN ASKS, “SUPPOSE YOU WANTED TO RESTRICT RESPIRATORY DISORDERS BY CONTROLLING AIR QUALITY. CAN YOU REPRESENT WHAT THAT MIGHT LOOK LIKE USING A LINEAR INEQUALITY EXPRESSION? CAN YOU USE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LINEAR EQUATION AND THE INEQUALITY TO DISCUSS HOW MUCH IT MIGHT COST TO REDUCE RESPIRATORY DISORDERS?” STUDENTS GRAPH AND WRITE VARIOUS INEQUALITY EXPRESSIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE TEACHER’S QUESTION. THE TEACHER ASKS TWO GROUPS TO PRESENT THEIR WORK, AND INVITES THE CLASS TO CRITIQUE THEIR SOLUTIONS AND EXPLANATIONS. THE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT IS TO WRITE A TWO-PARAGRAPH EXPLANATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATMOSPHERIC HYDROCARBONS AND RESPIRATORY DISORDERS, IN THE FORM OF A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER, AND TO EXPLAIN HOW THE EVIDENCE MIGHT BE USED TO ESTIMATE THE COST OF REDUCING RESPIRATORY DISORDERS. STUDENTS WILL PRESENT THEIR EXPLANATIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEXT DAY’S CLASS. ANALYZE THIS TASK

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ATMOSPHERIC HYDROCARBONS/RESPIRATORY DISORDERS HYDROCARBON PARTICULATES PPM RESPIRATORY MORBIDITY/MORT ALITY PER 10,000

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ATMOSPHERIC HYDROCARBONS/RESPIRATORY DISORDERS HYDROCARBON PPM MORBIDITY/MORT ALITY PER 10,000

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CONTENT LOWHIGH COGNITIVE DEMAND LOW HIGH PROCEDURAL, RECALL TASKS; EXPLICIT TEACHING OF RECALL STRATEGIES EXPLICT TEACHING OF PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE; RIGHT ANSWERS SPEED, FLUENCY IN RECALL AND PROCEDURAL TASKS; EXPLICIT TEACHING OF COMPLEX RECALL STRATEGIES MULTIPLE POINTS OF ENTRY; MULTIPLE STRATEGIES; INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS WORKING AT THE EDGE OF ZONE OF PROXIMAL DEVELOPMENT UNPACKING RIGOR

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FIXED AND INCREMENTAL VIEWS OF INTELLIGENCE AND LEARNING FIXED Individuals Differ in Their Aptitude for Academic Work These Differences Manifest Themselves in Differences in Measureable Academic Performance Performance is the Basis for Judgments of Students’ Work Performance Improves with Positive Reinforcement INCREMENTAL Aptitude is Malleable, Depending on the Conditions of Learning Effort and Persistence Heavily Influence Both Learning and Attitudes Toward Competence Positive Reinforcement for Effort and Persistence, Coupled With Self-Analysis of Performance Improve Learning

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Increased exposure to instructional strategies and practices (individual) Increased expectation of group success leads to “normative press” (lateral accountability) Press leads to greater risk- taking, perseverance, resilience in face of failure Leadership Practice Organizational Processes Model public learning Create environment supportive of risk-taking (psychological safety) Focus on structures, processes and content of team work Examine available instructional supports / PD Individual efficacy linked to classroom behaviors Collective efficacy a strong predictor of whole- school achievement Structures in place Instructional mandate (vertical accountability) Attention to processes Explicit focus on group commitments Individual and Collective Efficacy Beliefs Student Achievement

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IMPROVEMENT PROCESSES [A] [B] [C] P/Q T SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT

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Organizational Learning and Accountability A Developmental Process – Different Stages, Different Problems – Each Stage Creates a Set-Point Learning Organizations are Problem-Seekers – Built-In Diagnostic Capacity – Distributed Cognition – Psychological Safety Reciprocity – Each Level of Performance Produces Its Own Demands for Knowledge, Support Symmetry – Requirements for Learning are Symmetrical Across Levels – Transparency Creates Psychological Safety

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