A laser-beam focus on improving instruction to improve learning
Saying “teaching matters most” is easy, and seems obvious. Making it the top priority for school leaders and staff is not so easy—in fact, it's messy. If we want to change how students write, compute, and think, then teachers must change how they teach. They must transform the old “assign-and-assess” model into engaging, compassionate, coherent, and rigorous instruction. The authors show school leaders how to make this happen amidst myriad distractions, initiatives, and interruptions.
Unlike other books that stop at evaluating teachers and instruction, this work demonstrates how to grow schools' instructional capacities with a three-step process that involves: 1. Envisioning what good teaching looks like; 2. Measuring the quality of current instruction against this standard; 3. Working relentlessly to move the quality of instruction closer and closer to the ideal
The authors provide helpful guidance on issues such as hiring, induction, professional development, mentoring, and teacher evaluation. Each chapter offers specific action steps toward building the blueprint for improvement. Also included are frameworks for completing instructional audits in schools, and probes, instruments, and protocols for measuring and tracking the quality of instruction. Leaders will find excellent guidance for spearheading and sustaining a focused and aligned effort to improve the quality of teaching to impact all learners.
Chapter 2: What Distinguishes Quality Teaching?
What Distinguishes Quality Teaching?
The previous chapter briefly reviews the debate about whether or not we can say with any certainty that there are best practices in teaching. While we eschew claims that there are universally recognized best routines for teaching, we judge that most experienced educators can view contrasting practitioners and say that one mode of teaching is better than another. The challenge as always in making a judgment about a question of value is to express the criteria that one is using to determine what is best. The following three vignettes invite the reader to identify instructional features that distinguish one teacher from another and ultimately to express a standard for recognizing high-quality teaching.
Teachers and administrators can turn to such ...