Based on Data Wise and Data Wise in Action, Key Elements of Observing Practice offers insight into one of the most challenging steps in capturing data about school performance: observing and analyzing instructional practice.
A central premise of the Data Wise approach is that teams of educators must have a good understanding of what instruction looks like in order to improve it. The most direct approach to developing this collective knowledge is to have teachers observe one another’s practice. However, many schools do not have a collegial culture in which examining instruction feels supportive rather than threatening, and most teachers do not have the skills to describe teaching in a fine-grained, evidence-based way.
This DVD and Facilitator’s Guide provide school leaders with a set of tools for developing teachers’ capacity to learn from their own practice. The DVD features a 20-minute film that follows members of one school team as they apply the five key elements of observing instruction. It also contains five sections that offer viewers a closer look at each element. Brief videos providing an overview of the Data Wise improvement process and a summary of the eight steps of the Data Wise cycle are also included. The Facilitator’s Guide provides meeting agendas, protocols, and discussion questions to help principals, academic coaches, and other providers of professional development use the video segments to structure their conversations with colleagues about observing practice. The complete program involves a series of eight meetings, each of which runs forty to seventy minutes.
This package includes one DVD and one Facilitator's Guide. There is a reduced rate for five copies of this package available for schools and training. (See above.)
This DVD can help any educator learn to use classroom observation as well as data to improve student achievement. It engages teachers in a powerful way to work reflectively and collaboratively, and shows educators how to turn theory into practice. — Peter Gorman, superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, North Carolina
Key Elements of Observing Practice is an elegant set of tools that demystifies the process of powerful collaboration focused on improving instruction and student achievement. It is profoundly respectful of teachers. The resources provided can help schools develop the habits they need to tackle the most knotty problems facing schools today. — Alan Dichter, coauthor of The Power of Protocols and director of leadership development, Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon
This DVD puts the Data Wise process in context. It’s one thing to read about school improvement but to see it in action is so empowering. We could see ourselves doing that work, having those conversations. The videos and discussions served as a springboard to taking our work to the next level. Thirty-eight minutes saved us years! — Kalia Reynolds, principal, West Park Place Elementary, Newark, Delaware
The teachers in these videos share their experiences and insights related to observing one another's practice with honesty and thoughtfulness. Their stories resonated with our teachers and made the concept of observing classroom practice tangible, practical, and meaningful. — Maryanne Stalnaker, literacy specialist, Portland Public Schools, Portland, Oregon