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Improving Teaching and Learning. Tony Wagner, Co-Director Change Leadership Group Harvard University, Graduate School of Education THE NEW WORK: 7 DISCIPLINES FOR STRENGTHENING INSTRUCTION .

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improving teaching and learning

Improving Teaching and Learning

Tony Wagner, Co-Director

Change Leadership Group

Harvard University, Graduate School of Education

the new work 7 disciplines for strengthening instruction

1. The district or school creates understanding and urgency around improving ALL students’ learning for teachers and community, and they regularly report on progress.

  • Data is disaggregated and transparent to everyone.
  • Qualitative (focus groups & interviews) as well as quantitative data is used to understand students’ and recent graduates’ experience of school.

2. There is a widely shared vision of what is good teaching which is focused on rigor, the quality of student engagement, and effective methods for personalizing learning for all students.

  • Either developed by the district or by the school

3. All adult meetings are about instruction and are models of good teaching.

7 disciplines for strengthening instruction cont

4. There are well-defined standards and performance assessments for student work at all grade levels. Both teachers and students understand what quality work looks like, and there is consistency in standards of assessment .

5. Supervision is frequent, rigorous, and entirely focused on the improvement of instruction. It is done by people who know what good teaching looks like.

6. Professional Development is primarily on-site, intensive, collaborative, and job-embedded and is designed and led by educators who model best teaching and learning practices.

7. Data is used diagnostically at frequent intervalsbyteams of teachers to assess each student’s learning and to identify the most effective teaching practices and have time built into their schedules for this shared work.

looking at instruction
Looking at Instruction
  • Was this effective teaching? (Before discussion, place the grade you’d give this lesson on a 3x5 card to be collected)
  • What are your criteria for determining how effective was the lesson?
  • What would need to be in place in order to help this teacher continue to improve as a teacher?
assessing student learning 7 key questions to ask students
Assessing Student Learning:7 Key Questions to Ask Students
  • What is the purpose of this lesson?
  • Why is this important to learn?
  • In what ways am I challenged to think in this lesson?
  • How will I assess or communicate what I’ve learned?
  • How will I know how good my work is and how I can improve it?
  • Do I feel respected by other students in this class?
  • Do I feel respected by the teacher in this class?
some walkthrough purposes
Some “Walkthrough” Purposes
  • Professional development for administrators: gaining greater clarity and consistency in observing teaching (reminder: this is not a form of individual teacher evaluation!)
  • Assessing the overall level of instruction in a building
  • Developing building-wide Professional Development priorities and monitoring progress towards agreed-upon goals for teachers i.e. “evidence-based” professional development!
working strategically focus questions
Working Strategically: Focus Questions
  • What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?
    • What does it have to do with improving teaching and learning?
    • What data tells you this is the root problem, not a symptom?
  • What is your strategy for solving this problem?
    • Why did you choose this strategy? What others did you consider?
  • Who is accountable for what to solve this problem?
    • What do they need to get the job done?
  • What data will you track to tell you whether you’re making progress in solving this problem?