From the Quality Teaching model to Quality Teaching Rounds

From the Quality Teaching
model to Quality Teaching
Rounds: Leading
professional learning
Professor Jenny Gore
The University of Newcastle
such as
Design of
approach to
Complex field of teacher professional
Principles of effective PD
Adequate time for professional learning
Collaboration among teachers
Reflection on practice
A coherent professional learning program
Participation in active rather than passive learning
We have worked, collectively and separately, in dozens of school
districts where there was no common point of view on instruction,
where ten educators from the same district could watch a fifteenminute classroom video and have ten different opinions about its
quality, ranging the full gamut from high praise to excoriation.
Gaining an explicit and widely held view of what constitutes good
teaching and learning in your setting is a first step toward any
systematic efforts to scaling up quality.
(City et al.,2009 p.173, emphasis added)
Quality Teaching - Dimensions and
Note: * Marked elements do not pertain to the coding of assessment practice.
Underlying mechanisms
A comprehensive approach to teaching
Focus on curriculum decisions
Clear goals for and commitment to learning for all students
A supportive approach to teacher development
Overview of data collection
SIPA 2004 - 2007
*1942 teachers, several of whom completed the questionnaire in more than one year of the study
Deep Knowledge coding scale
To what extent does the knowledge addressed in the lesson focus on a small number
of key concepts and the relationships between them?
Almost all of the content knowledge of the lesson is shallow because it
does not deal with significant concepts or ideas
Some key concepts and ideas are mentioned or covered by the teacher
or students, but only at a superficial level.
Knowledge is treated unevenly during instruction. A significant idea may
be addressed as part of the lesson, but in general the focus on key
concepts and ideas is not sustained throughout the lesson.
Most of the content knowledge of the lesson is deep. Sustained focus on
central concepts or ideas is occasionally interrupted by superficial or
unrelated ideas or concepts.
Knowledge is deep because focus is sustained on key ideas or concepts
throughout the lesson.
Intellectual Quality of lessons
Difference between primary and secondary is statistically significant (t=4.469, df=662, p<.01)
Quality Learning Environment of lessons
Difference between primary and secondary is statistically significant (t=7.946, df=662, p<.01)
Significance of lessons
Difference between primary and secondary is statistically significant (t=2.219, df=662, p<.05)
Quality Teaching and Equity
 Students with low prior achievement get poorer quality pedagogy
 Indigenous and low SES students get poorer quality pedagogy
 Better pedagogy is correlated with narrowing of achievement gaps
for indigenous and low SES students
 Teachers’ dispositions and beliefs are related to the context in which
they work
Quality Teaching Rounds
Developed for the ARC Linkage project Effective
Implementation of Pedagogical Reform, 2009-2012 – Gore and
Miller CIs; Bowe, PhD candidate; Bowe and Roy, facilitators
Taking place in 4 schools, with 7-8 teachers in each school
forming a professional learning community (principal included
in 3)
Combines aspects of professional learning community,
instructional rounds and the Quality Teaching model
Literature on teacher buy-in
Convinced effect on teaching practice and student outcomes
Explore and understand concept in relation to beliefs and values
Active collaboration and dialogue
Trusting, supportive atmosphere
External facilitation
Coherence in professional learning and in reform agenda
Extended professional learning time
Leadership support
Professional Learning Community
long-term, ongoing commitment to a group
the capacity for the development of trust and respect
colleagues with whom to debate and explore practice
scope for breadth of insights/diverse views to be articulated
Rounds process
turn taking which requires all participants to share their practice
a common experience as a basis for analysis and discussion
deprivatised practice
a focus on describing practice
Quality Teaching model
a lens through which to comprehensively notice and assess
what it happening in any lesson -- both for the teacher and for
the students
a tool for the systematic and specific analysis and judging of
lesson quality
a focus on the lesson rather than the individual teacher
a framework from which to commence important
conversations not only about the specific lesson observed but
also about teaching in general
Anatomy of a Rounds day
Session 1: Professional reading to develop a shared knowledge base,
includes interrogation of the Quality Teaching model, explicitly providing
constructive spaces for alternative points of view.
Session 2: Classroom observation by all members of the PLC. A common
experience on which to base discussions using the shared lens of Quality
Session 3: Coding and discussion of the observed lesson drawing on the
language and concepts of the Quality Teaching model. Teachers make
judgments about the observed practice based on their own experience,
knowledge, and insights. Disconfirming evidence or alternative
experiences and views are discussed.
Note: Teachers are encouraged to reflect on their own practice and
broader practices within the school, so that the professional conversation
moves beyond the observed lesson.
The sample
Group A: 28 teachers who participated in Rounds,
21completed survey in 2009
Group B: 47 teachers at schools where Rounds were being
conducted but not participating
Group C: 256 teachers at 12 other schools in same school
system that had participated in QT Rounds pilot and prior QT
professional development
Group D: B +C = 303
Survey scales
teachers’ view of the coherence of professional learning in the school;
teachers’ view of the coherence between Quality Teaching and
aspects of the school organisation:
teachers’ views of the effectiveness of their professional learning
teachers’ estimate of the level of trust among teachers in the school;
the degree to which they feel supported to engage with Quality
how favourably Quality Teaching has been received in their school;
how important Quality Teaching is; and,
the degree to which they take responsibility for student learning.
This comprehensive approach to teacher professional learning, an
approach that focused teachers’ attention on student learning,
actively and collaboratively engaged them in making sense of the
reform, and provided them with extended time and other symbolic
and practical forms of support, enabled them to experience
coherent and meaningful professional learning.
These data augur well for the potential of Quality Teaching Rounds
within professional learning communities to substantially impact on
teacher professional learning.
Developing Teachers’ Pedagogical
I think that it’s the best approach to changing your thinking
and changing your classroom practice that I’ve been involved
in…This rounds approach means that you’re in the thick of it
straight away. There’s no hiding, there’s no – like it’s you’re in
there and you’re doing it and it’s affecting your classroom
practice… like I was going in and viewing other people’s
lessons and there’s so much value in even doing that and
learning from each other and it’s the value of the conversation
afterwards that’s so important and sort of that reflective
practice. [I51300409]
Developing Teachers’ Pedagogical
I think the model of teachers presenting lessons and being
coded is beneficial for all. We are learning from each other in a
risky but safe way. Risky because you put yourself in front of
people you respect and admire, but safe because they can be
trusted to deliver honest and helpful critiques. Being in other
classrooms widens your experience of different ideas and
practices. I have always felt there is a level of ‘performance’ in
teaching- and watching other teachers ‘perform’ enriches your
own approach to the craft of teaching. [J042010]
Overcoming differences
I have never planned so collaboratively in my previous 20 years of
teaching experience as I have over the last 18 months. I don’t
think it’s because I didn’t want to, but I think it was the fact that I
felt I was very dissimilar in my teaching style to others I have
worked with. The focus of lessons or units I have previously taught
didn’t seem to always go with the way others were teaching the
same material. Now that we all have the same ideas about what
makes a great unit or a great lesson I see how similar I am to the
way I plan with my grade partner. Because we have the same
language and goals for a lesson/unit now, we are not bogged
down with the way we like to do things, but are focused on the
way these lessons should be planned: what to include, what to
leave out, what is the focus. [J112009]
Negotiating agreement
Yeah you have your shared understandings … you’ve got
something to base it on so it doesn’t matter if you’ve been
teaching a hundred years or two years you know, if you can
put it in the context and argue it for or against within that
framework or that language, then it kind of becomes a
benchmark. Because if you don’t have that, it’s very easy for
me to convince anybody that what I’m doing is right, if I don’t
actually have something to stick onto. [I51100210]
Negotiating agreement
This year a lot of our time, for two or three hours, is centred on
debate and discussion and clarification and challenging each
other’s ideas and I think [this] comes through the confidence,
and talking the language, and understanding and unpacking
what was happening in the lesson, as well unpacking what the
suggestions and what the elements are all about and what
they’re centred on. [I5120042010]
Intellectual Quality
Knowledge is treated unevenly during
Most of the content knowledge of the lesson is
instruction. A significant idea may be addressed deep. Sustained focus on central concepts or
as part of the lesson, but in general the focus on
ideas is occasionally interrupted by superficial or
key concepts and ideas is not sustained
unrelated ideas or concepts. Deep
throughout the lesson. Deep understanding is
understanding is uneven. Students demonstrate
uneven. Students demonstrate both shallow and both shallow and deeper understanding at
deeper understanding at different points in the
different points in the lesson. A central concept
lesson. A central concept understood by some
understood by some students may not be
students may not be understood by other
understood by other students. Some knowledge
students. Some knowledge is treated as open to
is treated as open to multiple perspectives. Most
multiple perspectives. Students primarily
students demonstrate higher-order thinking in at
demonstrate routine lower-order thinking a good least one major activity that occupies a
share of the lesson. There is at least one
substantial portion of the lesson. Some use of
significant question or activity in which most
metalanguage. At the beginning of the lesson, or
students perform some higher-order thinking.
at some key juncture, the teacher or students
Low metalanguage. During the lesson
stop and explain or conduct a “mini-lesson” on
terminology is explained or either the teacher or some aspect of language, e.g. genre,
students stop to make value judgements or
vocabulary, signs or symbols. Substantive
comment on language. There is, however, no
communication, with sustained interactions,
clarification or assistance provided regarding the occurs over approximately half the lesson with
language. Substantive communication among
teacher and/or students scaffolding the
students and/or between teacher and students
occurs occasionally and involves at least two
sustained interactions.
Quality Learning Environment
Only general statements are made regarding the
desired quality of the work. Variable
engagement. Most students are seriously
engaged in parts of the lesson, but may appear
indifferent during other parts and very few
students are clearly off-task. Many students
participate in challenging work during at least
half of the lesson. They are encouraged
(explicitly or through lesson processes) to try hard
and to take risks and are recognised for doing so.
Social support is clearly positive. Supportive
behaviours and comments are directed at most
students, including clear attempts at supporting
reluctant students. Most students, most of the
time, demonstrate autonomy and initiative in
regulating their own behaviour and there is very
little interruption to the lesson. Once or twice
during the lesson, teachers comment on or
correct student behaviour or movement. Low
student direction. Although students exercise
some control over some aspect of the lesson
(choice, time, pace, assessment), their control is
minimal or trivial.
Detailed criteria regarding the quality of work are
made explicit during the lesson, but there is no
evidence that students are using the criteria to
examine the quality of their work. Serious
engagement. All students are deeply involved,
almost all of the time, in pursuing the substance
of the lesson. Most students participate in
challenging work during most of the lesson. They
are encouraged (explicitly or through lesson
processes) to try hard and to take risks and are
recognised for doing so. Social support is strong.
Supportive behaviours or comments from
students and the teacher are directed at all
students, including soliciting and valuing the
contributions of all. All students, almost all of time,
demonstrate autonomy and initiative in
regulating their own behaviour and the lesson
proceeds without interruption. Low student
direction. Although students exercise some
control over some aspect of the lesson (choice,
time, pace, assessment), their control is minimal
or trivial.
Students’ background knowledge is mentioned
Students’ background knowledge is mentioned
or elicited briefly, is connected to the substance or elicited several times, is connected to the
of the lesson, and there is at least some
substance of the lesson, and there is at least
connection to out-of-school background
some connection to out-of-school background
knowledge. No explicit recognition or valuing of knowledge. Some cultural knowledge is evident
other than the knowledge of the dominant
in the lesson, but it is treated in a superficial
culture is evident in the substance of the lesson.
manner. At least one meaningful connection is
No meaningful connections. All knowledge is
made between topics or subject areas by the
strictly restricted to that explicitly defined within
teacher and/or the students during the lesson.
a single topic or subject area. Students from all
Students from all groups are included in all
groups are included in a significant way in most aspects of the lesson and their inclusion is both
aspects of the lesson, but there still appears to
significant and equivalent to the inclusion of
be some unevenness in the inclusion of different students from other social groups. Students
social groups. The teacher or students try to
recognise some connection between classroom
connect what is being learned to the world
knowledge and situations outside the classroom,
beyond the classroom, but the connection is
which might include sharing their work with an
weak and superficial or trivial. Narrative is used
audience outside the classroom, but they do not
on occasion as a minor part of the lesson and/or explore implications of these connections which
is loosely connected to the substance of the
remain largely abstract or hypothetical.
Narrative is used at several points in the lesson to
enhance the significance of the substance of
the lesson.
For me the greatest positive that has come out of the QT PD this year was
the time we were given to be able to have professional conversations
around current research and best practice and equally to be able to go
into our colleagues’ classrooms and see great learning that is taking
place across the school and again have the professional conversation
around that. As a school I believe we've been comfortable with our
colleagues in our rooms and having safe professional dialogue, but to be
able to have the time to dedicate to such conversations has been
invaluable. This type of course comes with the negatives of the number of
days away from our classes, time it takes to organize work etc. In saying
that I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives as the learning and
conversations that came out of these days were some of the best
professional learning that I have been a part of.
For more information, email:
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