Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Instructional Rounds

Instructional rounds is adapted from the medical rounds process used in the medical schools to diagnose and identify treatment and is based on a belief that by working together educators can solve common instructional practices. It is based on the work of Dr. Richard Elmore.

Rounds is a multi-step process. First is identification of a "problem of practice," or an area of inquiry. Then a team "makes the rounds" by visiting classrooms throughout the school. The observers then debrief their observation and the data is used to identify appropriate next steps.

The South Lane School District in Cottage Grove, OR, an Oregon GEAR UP district, implemented an Instructional Rounds model. In South Lane each school selects a "problem of practice" or an area of inquiry that is their focus for the year. Visits by teams of district administrators makes the "rounds," visiting classrooms to gather information. Following the "rounds" the team meets, debriefs and provides the school's principal with advice about next steps.

The emphasis is on identifying factual patterns from the observations, not personal opinion or personal judgment. The debriefing does not identify specific teachers or classrooms but rather looks for trends across the school's classrooms.

A brief PowerPoint from the Oregon Leadership Network describes the South Lane Instructional Rounds model.

I'd enjoy hearing from you about other ways you work with your teachers to improve instruction in your school.

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