Elizabeth A. City, Richard F. Elmore, Lee Teitel, Sarah E. Fiarman, & Andrew Lachman Instructional Rounds in Education—A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning
The authors of Instructional Rounds Education were inspired by the medical rounds model used by physicians to refine their practice and insure the health and safety of their patients. They use highly effective protocols to develop a common understanding of best practices. In a quick summary, Instructional Rounds is School Improvement in action. Small groups of teachers and other instructional leaders develop a shared understanding of what effective and engaging instruction looks like by briefly observing each other and comparing their practices to improve the quality and level of student learning.
The important work comes after the observations. Collaboratively, the discussion revolves around The Instructional Core. This is “the relationship between the teacher, the student, and the content—not the qualities of these by themselves—that determines the nature of instructional practice”. At the center of the instructional core, is the instructional task. What is the actual work that students are asked to do—not what teachers think they are asking students to do—but what are students actually doing.
“Making meaningful and productive changes in instructional practice requires us to confront how they upset and, in some sense, reprogram our past ways of doing things.”
Student learning is the fundamental core of this practice and the model of the instructional core provides seven principles needed to improve the quality and level of student learning. In summary, the basic framework includes:
- 1. student learning = improvement of content, teacher knowledge/skill + student engagement
- 2. To change one element of the core, you have to change the other two
- 3. If you can’t see it in the core, it’s not there
- 4. Task predicts performance
- 5. Real accountability = the task students are asked to do
- 6. We learn to do the work by doing the work
- 7. Description before analysis, analysis before prediction, prediction before evaluation
Douglas Reeves, founder of The Leadership and Learning Center supported the use of Instruction Rounds in Education. He stated, “At last, we have a book that moves school and district leaders closer to the classroom……Instructional Rounds in Education will have a profound influence on education leaders who are willing to invest the time to observe, listen, and learn.”